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An Honest Review of Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle

Victoria is a certified movie junkie. She is currently creating articles reviewing movies she admired and hated.

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Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle

Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle is an animated fantasy film written and directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki under the Japanese film studio. It was released in 2004 and it was also inspired by the book under the same name that was written by Dianna Wynne Jones in 1986.

Howl’s Moving Castle is one of Miyazaki’s masterpieces that shook Studio Ghibli fans and immersing ordinary movie-goers in a world of fantasy and magic.


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As a representative for those ordinary movie-goers, the first time I watched Howl’s Moving Castle (watched it on Netflix actually, not the movie theater), it instantly transformed me into a Ghibli fan, opening a new door for anime movies and series. That kind of impact is truly cathartic.

Honestly, the movie was strong in all aspects. The hand-drawn, two-dimensional animation is superb, and it created a certain charm for the movie. It was like opening a comic book or a children’s storybook, it was laid out artistically. It is really a great recommendation if you want your toddler, child, kid, teenager occupied for two hours.

The music in the movie is astonishing. Joe Hisaishi’s participation took the movie to another level. I was entirely hooked to the whole soundtrack. No wonder Joe took charge, he was also responsible for other Studio Ghibli’s unforgettable soundtracks.

The fact that I watched the movie before entirely knowing about the book hurts me. But I think I know the reason they want to make a movie out of it, the story sounds cinematic and exciting. The books are a must-read.

There are minimal flaws in the movie. I watched it with the English dub, all I can say it needed more emotion and it lacks the kind of magic that animated movies have and the significance of their voice actors. Although Christian Bale’s Howl is certainly astounding (imagine he was Batman).

All in all, the whole cinematic experience was there, not all the time I can appreciate an animated film as a young adult but Howl’s Moving Castle and its effort to entertain me is surprisingly admirable. After I watched it, admittedly, I had an animated crush (Surprise! It's Howl). Every bit in the movie is perplexing and truly one of the best anime films of all time.

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