Reviews for Howl's Moving Castle

Video Librarian Reviews
Based on a children?s fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki?s Howl?s Moving Castle is even better than his Oscar-winning Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke?more affecting, whimsical, and (until a final act that goes rather haywire) coherent. Set in a fictitious war-torn 19th-century land in which wizards coexist with Victorian-era humans, the story revolves around Sophie, a hardworking young seamstress (voiced by Emily Mortimer) who?s transformed into an old woman (Jean Simmons) by the wicked Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall). Sophie seeks help from the great?and handsome?wizard Howl (Christian Bale), who lives in a huge mechanical contraption that lumbers across the landscape on skinny metal legs, and she meets up with an assortment of lovably eccentric characters along the way. An enchanted fable that skillfully combines Miyazaki?s highly idiosyncratic visionary talents with expert voice work, Howl?s Moving Castle is?for the most part?a beautifully wrought, dreamily intoxicating parable of personal and social maturation that is also both humorous and charming. Highly recommended. (F. Swietek) Copyright Video Librarian Reviews 2006.