Howl’s Moving Castle. Another film that is highly recommended for anime lovers is Howl’s Moving Castle. This film is one of the successful films released by Studio Gibhli, directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Tosiho Suzuki. Howl’s Moving Castle is adapted from the English novel by Diana Wynne Jones with the same title.
Howl’s Moving Castle is one of the highest-grossing films in Japan and on September 5, 2004 premiered at the Venice Film Festival. So it’s not surprising that this film was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 78th Academy Award in 2006. If you are interested in the film, let’s first read the synopsis and review here.
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Synopsis Howl’s Moving Castle
Sophie is an 18 year old girl and the daughter of a hat maker in her father’s hat shop. Actually she is a beautiful girl, but she is always insecure. Sophie always thought that she was less beautiful and attractive, unlike her sister named Lattice.
One day, Sophie was on her way to Lattice who was working at another shop and met a handsome wizard that all the girls were talking about. His name is Howl. Howl is being chased by another wizard who eventually escapes and takes Sophie to the shop where Lattice works.
Lattice warns Sophie to be careful of Howl, as rumors circulate that Howl eats the hearts of beautiful women. But Sophie didn’t think she was pretty, so she didn’t worry about that.
It turns out that the witch who had tried to catch Howl was The Witch of Waste. In the evening he went to Sophie’s shop to ask for a hat to be made. But Sophie refused on the grounds that the shop was closed. The witch was angry and cursed Sophie to become a 90 year old woman, but Sophie could not tell anyone about the curse.
Sophie leaves the house
Not wanting to shock her mother and sister, Sophie decided to leave the house and find a way to get rid of her curse by going to the Waste or the valley where witches are dumped. In the valley, Sophie met a scarecrow who she managed to help and then gave her a stick to help her stand.
The scarecrow then takes him to Howl’s mobile castle where he meets a fire demon named Calcifer and Howl’s assistant Markl. Sophie also offered to become a cleaner at the castle.
It turns out that the castle has a magical door controlled by Calcifer. Every time the castle doorbell rang, Calcifer would give a warning and Markl would disguise himself as an old man.
At the first ringing of the bell, someone came to ask where the wizard Jenkins was. However, when Markl opened the door a second time, Sophie saw a different person and place. That person asked about the Pendragon mage. Sophie thought why were there Jenkins and Pendragon in the castle? Even though here is only inhabited by Howl the owner of the castle, Markl and Calcifer.
He was curious and opened the door knob repeatedly which took him to a different place. While he was still amazed, Howl came through the door. Then, who is Howl? Pendragon or Jenkins? Can Howl help Sophie break the curse placed on the exiled witch?
This film is the best film. It features strong female characters, beautiful witches, curses and villains. The most interesting element of this film is Howl’s mobile castle which is Steampunk style and has a unique design because it is supported by two legs like chicken claws.
We will find some details such as breakfast and packed lunches like eating at a fast food restaurant, even though we find them in castles which usually serve sumptuous royal-style food. These things give the film an eccentric impression.
Reporting from the Loud and clear review site page, Miyazaki presents the film’s opening beautifully. The scene begins with the appearance of the castle from behind a thick fog. The castle moves from place to place by jumping up and down.