10/10
A fantastic fairy Tale from Miyazaki
14 June 2005
Howl's Moving Castle is another addition to the magic of Miyazaki's long list of masterpieces. Based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones, the film takes the basic premise of the story and takes it into a new direction.

The basic story is this: 18-year-old Sophie is a hatter who believes she is an ordinary nobody. But when the witch of the waste curses her to be trapped in the form of a 90-year-old woman, Sophie must go on a grand adventure to find a way to break the curse. Along the way she meets a strange cast of characters including the living scarecrow affectionately dubbed "Turnip Head", a wisecracking fire demon, and a mysterious and tragic wizard named Howl.

Fans of the book will realize right away that Miyazaki takes great liberties with the source material. While I found this fine, (as the film weaves the tale in a splendid fashion) I did wish that perhaps he had titled the movie differently and added "Based on Howls Moving Castle" as the film is more a taking of the IDEA of the book and using it to form a story, than a faithful adaptation of the novel. However, the changes Miyazaki makes works for the film brilliantly, and I have found I like the movie and the book equally.

A tale full of magic, romance, excitement, and wonder, this is a highly recommended film for lovers of fairy tales and mythology, as well as Miyazaki fans. It will engage both young and the young at heart.
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