Sunday, February 25, 2007

Howl's Moving Castle

Hello fellow moviegoers! My name is Alexis, and I'm the newest addition to the Bethel Park movie library blog! Today I will be reviewing Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle, (Japanese: Hauru no ugoku shiro) based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones. Howl was nominated for Best Animated Feature in the 2006 Academy Awards along with Corpse Bride and Wallace and Grommit: The Cure of the Were-Rabbit. Unfortunately, it lost to Wallace and Grommit. In any other year, though, it would have won. (For that matter, so would Corpse Bride.)
Howl's Moving Castle is Miyazaki-sensei's most recent film. Other movies he dircted include Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and the 2002 Oscar winner for Best Animated, Spirited Away. I HIGHLY reccommend all of those movies. The library owns all of them, and you can even have them shipped to you! All you need is your library card.
Anyway, on with the review! Howl's Moving Castle is the story of 18-year old Sophie (voiced by Emily Mortimer) who gets cursed by the Witch of the Waste (Laruen Bacall). The curse turns Sophie into a 90-year old woman. (now voiced by Jean Simmons) Sophie goes out in search of the Wizard Howl (Christian Bale) to help her break the curse. She goes to Howl's "castle", which is actually just a magic pile of junk that moves, where we meet Calcifer (Billy Crystal) a fire demon that moves the castle, Markl (Josh Hutcherson) Howl's apprentice, and a scarecrow with a turnip for a head that Sophie aptly names "Turnip-head".
If you've read the book, you're going to spend the whole movie going "That never happened!" and "Markl is supposed to be 10 years older!" and "wasn't Suliman a man?" . What you need to do is forget everything from after page 20 of the book, THEN watch the movie. I guarentee you will love it. Miyzaki-sensei is literally the greatest animated movie dirctor in the world. This movie has some of the most beautiful animation that I've ever seen. Seemlessly combinging 2D with 3D effects (the castle) , and a 3D program that makes things look handrawn when they're really not (the blob-men), this movie is visually perfect. Also, it has one of the greatest composers in the movie industry, Joe Hisaishi. (Who also scored almost all of the Studio Ghibli movies)
Rating: 3 and a half stars. It's good, but Miyazaki has better.
If you like this: Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart.

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