Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro) is a 2004 Japanese animated family fantasy film scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, animated by Studio Ghibli.
Sophie, an average teenage girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. After this chance meeting she is turned into a 90-year old woman by the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste. Embarking on an incredible adventure to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl's magical moving castle where she becomes acquainted with Markl, Howl's apprentice, and a hot-headed fire demon named Calcifer.
As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our young grey heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world. From the Studio Ghibli Collection.
- Background artwork from ‘The Baron's Story’
- Alternate angle storyboards
- Alternative angle storyboards
- Theatrical Trailer
- Study-guide (DVD-ROM content)
- Won Mainichi Film Concours Readers' Choice Award for Best Film (2006)
- Won Tokyo Anime Awards for: Animation of the Year, Best Director (2005)
- Nominated for Oscar, Best Animated Feature Film of the Year (2006)
- Nominated for Annie Awards for Best Animated Feature, Best Directing, Best Writing (2006)
- Nominated Hong Kong Film Award, Best Film (2006)
Howl's Moving Castle Reviews
“…Howl's castle is full of doors, each one opening onto a new world. Miyazaki won an Oscar for 2001's Spirited Away. He should clear space for more gold. There's a word for the kind of comic, dramatic, romantic, transporting visions Miyazaki achieves in Howl's: bliss.” Rolling Stone
“Taking as his starting point the 1986 fantasy by Diana Wynne Jones, Hayao Miyazaki has crafted a surrealistic fairytale that represents anime at its very finest – lightning paced, visually stunning, feverishly creative and overrun by a logic all its own, where each scene glides fluidly into the next, yet it is nigh on impossible to see how anything besides pure magic could get the whole thing to fit together…If animation were a medium limited only by the power of imagination, then Howl's Moving Castle would seem to have no limits at all. It is an instant classic that will be viewed with admiration, awe and not a little puzzlement for decades to come.” EyeforFilm.co.uk
“Though not without a few nagging faults, Howl's Moving Castle is another confident, entertaining Studio Ghibli film that continues to carry a torch for hand-drawn animation. Showcasing a number of memorable characters, detailed designs and interesting locales, portions of this visual tour de force will stick in your brain for days at a time…this one's Recommended.” DVD Talk