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Howl’s Moving Castle review
Until about three years ago, I never watched much in the way of Anime. My ex-boyfriend did get me to watch (and enjoy!) “Spirited Away,” though, as well as a few other anime films (most of which I didn’t like). However, I really fell in love with “Spirited Away,” and began looking into other Hayao Miyazaki films. This is how I came to discover “Howl’s Moving Castle.”
“Howl’s Moving Castle” is the story of a young woman named Sophie, who believes herself to be quite plain. Sophie works in her mother’s hat shop, and is rather the opposite of her buxom, blonde sister who serves drinks in one of the town taverns. Nothing extraordinary ever happens to Sophie, and she’s content to live her life out as an un-extraordinary girl. This all changes, though, when the wizard Howl enters her life. Though Sophie and Howl only meet for a few moments, the Witch of the Waste hunts Sophie down afterwards and curses her with a spell to make Sophie appear as an old woman, a spell which does not allow Sophie to talk about what was done to her or who put the curse on her.
So Sophie wanders into the Waste and comes across Howl’s moving castle. She enters it and befriends those within the castle, which includes the wizard Howl himself! On her journeys with Howl and friends, Sophie learns a lot about herself and magic, and does what she must in order to try to break the spell on her.
I really love this movie, and actually enjoyed it more than I did “Spirited Away.” Featuring the voice talents of Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Billy Crystal, and more, “Howl’s Moving Castle” is what I consider a perfect film. This movie has a bit of an “older” feel to it than “Spirited Away” does, I suppose. I like the lessons taught in this film about the value of self-worth and friendship (among others!), the cast, the animation, and the music. Honestly, there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this move. I definitely recommend it!
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