Movie Review: Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki.
It's 2004 animated movie based upon the same title novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones (published in 1986).

Here's the story:

Sophie's a young girl, working as an hat maker. She lives with her parents and sisters in a town named Market Chipping, in the magical kingdom on Ingary.
One day, on her way to see her sister, Sophie comes across a bunch of soldiers who start to teasing and bother her, but she's saved by an handsome man and she's so impressed by him that barely figure out they're flying. This guy present himself as Howl and fly away before Sophie has the chance to ask him any other quastion. 

The same night an old and imposing woman came in Sophie' shop. She tells the woman they're closed and to come back the next day. So the woman gets angry and it's revealed that she's the Witch of the Waste and throw a spell on Sophie. The next day, she find herself transformed into an old woman and run away from her family to the hills nearby the town. There she wants to find a stick to help her walking up the hill and finds an enchanted scarecrow in a bush. It's so thankful that took Sophie to a giant iron "house", that's moving thanks to some spider iron legs under it.

That's Howl's moving castle and Sophie hopes to find him and that he could get her back like she was before.Howl's moving castle

She enters what it seems to be the kitchen and dining room, the place is a mess! Sophie finds a fireplace and she sits nearby to rest. The fire happens to be a "fire demon" Calcifer and it's the reason why the castle is able to move. Howl forced Calcifer there with a spell and he promises to Sophie that if she finds a way to make Calcifer free, he will make her young again. After that, Sophie falls asleep.


The next day Sophie is woke up by Markl, Howl's apprentice. He runs Howl's affairs in differents towns and cities thanks to a magic door. It has a circle with some colours and an arrow. Wherever the arrow stops, the door opens to a cities or anothe, it depends to the colour. 

Sophie presents herself as the new cleaning woman and starts to work, cleaning everything. When Howl's got back home, he immediately recognizes Sophie, but doesn't say a word.

It turns out that Howl's different than what Sophie has thought. He's a self-absorbed, dishonest but ultimately good-natured person. He has been called to the war that is been fighting because Prince Justin is missing and Howl's former mentor, Madame Suliman, declared war against the neighbour town. 

Sophie goes to see her (pretending to be Howl's mother) to say that Howl's a coward and it will be useless during the war. Madame Suliman sees the scam and goes after Howl and Sophie.

After running away thanks to Howl's door, Madame Suliman got him and forced him to fight. Meanwhile, Sophie keeps changing aspect until she stays young but with white hair.

While Howl's fighting, Calcifer gets sick and the castle stops moving and starts falling apart over a ravine. Howl's got back in time to save Sophie from falling and they end up on a piece of wood that's falling in the ravine, but the scarecrow save them. Sophie kisses him as thanks and it turns out that it was prince Justin under a curse. 

The war's over and it is revealed that also Calcifer had survived. The movie finish with Sophie kissing Howl, having decided to stay with him, Markl and Calcifer. 

I saw this animated movie for the first time two years ago and, even if it has a wierd plot and only after seeing it a few times more I've finally understand it, I found it eccentric but original. And I don't have to tell you how amazing the drawings are! 
Raking : 5 /5

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