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Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday Movie Review - Howl's Moving Castle


This week's movie review is yet another film by Hayao Miyazaki, who created the notable production company Studio Ghibli. You may remember my earlier review for "The Cat Returns," which is a must-see film for cats and their beans. While "The Cat Returns" is fun and fanciful, "Howl's Moving Castle" has a more serious tone, yet still manages to be fun.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writers: Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay)

This is probably my mommy's favorite of Miyazaki's films. Thanks to this movie, mommy discovered the incredible fantasy author, Diana Wynne Jones! If you are more into reading than viewing films, you should definitely give her novels a try. Ms. Jones combines fantasy, humor, and heart into all of her works. She is an author who is definitely worth paying attention to.

The film version differs significantly from the original novel, but both have their own charm, and the fact that Miyazaki changed the story to fit his own vision does not detract from the film in the least. In fact, both can be appreciated for their unique style and meaning. This is unusual for me to say, because I am usually picky about making sure the film version meshes with the original novel. However, Miyazaki made it work. For that alone, the film deserves a paw up.

At the beginning of the movie, we meet Sophie, an unassuming girl working in her family's hat shop. Sophie does not think much of herself, in fact, she views herself as plain and boring. On a holiday, she decides to pay a visit to her pretty younger sister who works in town in a pastry shop. On the way she has an encounter with a handsome wizard, and her adventure begins.





Sophie soon learns that the wizard she met is the infamous Howl, who is known both for living in a magical moving castle and for eating the hearts of young girls! What is even worse is that the Witch of the Waste places a curse on Sophie due to her recent meeting with Howl!




Sophie finds herself turned into an old woman, thanks to the witch's curse. Leaving home and the hat shop, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her to Howl's castle, where she will find that all is not what it seems. While trying to break her curse, Sophie learns more about herself and the world around her, and finds adventure and romance in unlikely places.


I give "Howl's Moving Castle" (both film and novel) two paws up! It combines action, adventure, fantasy, humor, and romance flawlessly, and as an added bonus the film has gorgeous animation and a beautiful musical score. Even if you are not a fan of animated films, you should give this one a try.

26 meows:

Christine and FAZ said...

Tybalt you are clearly a very cultured cat. FAZ

TT said...

Oh, Mommy Bean says that one of those captured piccys looks like a scene from one of her Final Fantasy RPG video games! She's goings to check out that movie for sure!!

Victor Tabbycat said...

Dat's a grate review. Mom an Dad sawed this moovie in Japanese wif English subtitles an really enjoyed it.

Mom gotted My Neighbor Totoro for Chrissmouse an we watched it. We hafn't seen The Cat Returned... yet.

An fanks fur the author suggestion, too. Mom'll haf to check her out. Purrs!

Daisy said...

That looks like a movie I would enjoy!

Professor Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monkee said...

Hi Tybalt! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

That movie looks really cool and the review was great. I may have to get my mom to rent it.

Diamond Emerald-Eyes said...

Bean has read some of Diana Wynne Jones books to me but not Howl's Moving Castle. I will have to have her put this movie on her list to rent the next time she goes to blockbuster.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We will hafta put dat author on da list so mom can get one of her books and read it to us. Mom disconnected dvr from da tv in da liffing room! Dey say we is getting a new entertainment center fur all da stuff but we hasn't seen anything yet.

Samantha & Tigger said...

Wow Tybalt, that sounds like a great show. I'll have to get Mom to get it so we can watch, too. Thanks for coming over to play toys with me!
Purrs,
Samantha

Chairman Mao said...

That sounds like a kool movie! We Ballicai really enjoy readin yur movie reviews.

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

Marilyn MonREOW said...

That sounds like a fun movie! Thank you for the excellent review, Tybalt.

Purrs and snuggles from Marilyn!

Mickey said...

Very nice review.Mom does not watch anime,but she might try this :)
Purrs Mickey

Karl & Ruis said...

We should be able to order it for tonight - we ARE on a first class luxury cruise after all, right???
We will visit the South Pole station tomorrow so make sure to come by!!!

Asta said...

Tybalt
You awe such an ewoodite cat..I enjoyed youw weview vewy much..it cewtainly looks like a film wowth watching
smoochie kisses
Asta

Karen Jo said...

That really sounds like an interesting movie. I am not familiar with the author, but it sounds like she writes the kind of thing I like to read. Thank you for the recommendations.

Dragonheart & Merlin said...

Thank you for your good wishes yesterday. I am doing much better. Dragonheart

Jenny Momma Cat said...

Hi Tybalt!
Thanks for that information...we just hates it when we waste our time on movies that ain't no good. We will check this one out real soon.
Very truly yours,
The Whiskers & Purrs Gang

Kaz's Cats said...

Nice review Tybalt! We enjoyed watching both 'Howl's Moving Castle' and 'The Cat Returns' - Mum likes Mr Miyazaki's movies. We like the bright colours and the snuggling that goes with movies watching...

Purrs

Gypsy & Tasha

Hot(M)BC said...

The reeview is grate, so maybe Mommy will let us watch the moovie.
Purrrrrrrrs!

Sassy Cat said...

This looks like a really good movie, I hope we can get it in the house and watch it.

TT said...

Final Fantasy viii was Mommy Bean's favorite one too! She has been playings it since the first version of the old Nintendo ... she says that was a squillion years ago. hehe

michico*Adan said...

This is a great movie, Michico saw it in movie teather~~ She said it's terrific.

Karl & Ruis said...

Come on over and see the interior of our fabulous Antarctica cruise ship and meet the crew!
Karl and Ruis

Maggy & Zoey said...

No comment on the movie review cause we aren't film-felines around here. Did want to offer an idea tho (from Zoey)... try popsicle sticks instead of straws; yummy, they gots lots of good stuff still stuck on them when the Zoolatry Human is finished. The wrappers pulled from the trash bin aren't bad either.

PB & J said...

Cool review - you always come up with cool new movies we need to see!

Also, we tagged you over on our bloggie!

Anita said...

We love anime too.

Happy New Year!