8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
dreamlike and touching film,
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This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle [DVD]  (DVD)
I was apprehensive about this movie as it received some lukewarm reviews but the film really charmed me and is my favourite of all Miyazaki films I've seen. The lead character is Sophie, a 19 yr old girl transformed into a 90 yr old woman, who has to find a way to break the spell put on her. She finds her way into the moving castle of Howl; the elusive handsome wizard with a reputation for eating pretty girls' hearts. The plot moves at a gentle pace and the story does not talk down to the audience. Having an old lady as the protagonist may not sound appealing at first but Sophie is a feisty character with plenty of life in her and I liked her a lot more than I thought I would. The visual set pieces are lush, dreamy and striking all at once, which create a wonderful spectacle of a film. I may be in the minority of people who prefer the English dubs to subtitles (for anime films) as I really liked Christian Bale's voicing of Howl (squeeing fangirl moment!). The film isn't perfect but if you let the imperfections wash over you and surrender to the film experience you will find a moving story and message.