Here we have one of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpieces: Howl’s Moving Castle. If you are somehow unaware of Miyazaki’s work, he is a brilliant artist and story teller from Japan that has reached world renown and then some. This movie was the first Miyazaki film I’d ever seen as a girl so it will always be near and dear to my heart; although, my favorites are probably Castle in the Sky or Naussicca.
This film is about Sophie, a young ‘plain’ girl that works in a hat shop who absolutely does not believe in herself. One day, she’s saved by Howl, a mysterious and handsome wizard who’s rumored to eat hearts, but although the experience was magical for the young lady she catches the eye of one of Howl’s enemies: the Witch of the Waste. The Witch shows up at her hat shop and curses her with old age. Sophie leaves her home to go to the Wastes in hopes of finding a way to break her curse. From there, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
Howl’s Moving Castle is just beautiful. It’s completely whimsical with beautiful artistry and an exemplary plot that warms and excites the heart. When I watch this movie I’m filled with hope and a spark of imagination. It shows how to overcome the darkness of one’s heart and the world’s; through the movie as I watch Sophie I find myself learning to be brave and believe in myself right along with her.
This film also has an exemplary voice cast: Jean Simmons, Christian Bale and Billy Crystal to name a few. This movie is one of the only anime I ever watch in English. Honestly, I would suggest this film to anyone: old or young. It’s a beautiful story as well as funny and exciting. I would strongly suggest watching any of Miyazaki’s films; they are all quite brilliant.