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Howls Moving Castle [Movie Review]

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Kirigiri avatar Kirigiri
Level 71 : Legendary Princess
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Howl’s Moving Castle





Howls moving castle is easily my favorite Studio Ghibli movie, the classic Ghibli style lends itself beautifully to the story being told. Like all Ghibli movies the characters and scenery are stunningly drawn but what makes howls moving castle stand out to me over other Ghibli movies is the story, howls moving castle is based off a book of the same name by Diana Wyne Jones (which by the way is absolute brilliant and hilarious I highly recommend reading it)






Synopsis:



Sophie Hatter is the eldest daughter of a hat-maker, she considers herself to be plain and ordinary looking. It is common knowledge that in the land of Ingary if you are the eldest and you go out to seek your fortune you will fail Sophie knows this and as a result, she doesn’t go out to seek her fortune, instead she works for her stepmother fanny in her fathers hat shop even though this isn’t what she wants to do with her life. During the may-day parade Sophie goes to visit her younger sister Lettie in the bakery she works at, while on her way there a pair of soldiers begin flirting with the introverted Sophie but she is rescued by howl himself (although she does not know it at the time) in a beautiful scene howl and Sophie walk over the crowds through the air where he drops her on the balcony of the bakery and sort of floats away (although she does not know it right now this encounter will shape her days to come.) The witch of the waste (who is chasing after howl well more accurately his heart) has taken notice of howls encounter with Sophie and decides to pay Sophie a visit (when I say she decides to say Sophie a visit what I mean is that she decides to get r/petty revenge on Sophie for even vaguely associating with howl) so visiting Sophie at the hat shop after it's closed she places a two-part curse on Sophie, the first part of the curse turns Sophie into an old shriveled lady the second part makes it so that Sophie won't be able to tell anyone (who doesn’t know already) about the curse. Sophie is moderately calm bearing in mind the situation that has just befallen her and the next morning she leaves home and wanders around for a while until she stumbles upon howls moving castle and decides to let herself in. She meets howls familiar a fire demon named Calcifer who is also under a curse, so Calcifer makes a deal with Sophie that if she can break his curse he’ll break hers. During her time spent at the castle Sophie unconscious slips in and out of her old woman form (I'm not exactly sure why this wasn’t in the books)



Howl gets a letter from his old teacher a lady called Madam Suliman asking him to come and fight in the war that’s been going on and to help find prince Justin, howl does not want to fight in said war because he believes himself to be a coward so he asks Sophie to go to the palace and tell madam Suliman that he is a coward and to persuade her to rescind the invitation for Howl to fight in the war. On her way to the palace Sophie meets the witch of the waste who was also summoned to the palace, once at the palace madam Suliman steals the witch of the wastes powers.



Sophie then gets a private audience with Suliman where she beings to tell her how much of a coward howl is but then Suliman begins to tell Sophie that howl is selfish and that he gave his heart to a demon, she proceeds to tell Sophie within regards to howl: “that boy is extremely dangerous, his powers are far to great for someone without a heart” Suliman then calls for the witch of the waste to be brought in and she has shrunken from this balloon of a woman to more of a raisin, all her youth and glamour has been stripped away from her and she was restored to her actual age Suliman then proceeds to imply that howl is a “disreputable” wizard and threatens to strip him of his powers like she did to the witch of the waste at this point Sophie stands up from her chair and proclaims “that is enough, now I understand why howl was so concerned about coming to see you. It’s a trap you lure people here with an invitation from the king and then you strip them of all their powers! Howl would never be so heartless he may be selfish and cowardly and sometimes he's hard to understand, but his intentions are good!” while Sophie makes this speech she begins to shift into looking eighteen again but she quickly reverts back to being an old lady when Suliman says “Now I understand, you’re in love with howl.” Sophie tells Madam Suliman that howl won't come to the palace but Suliman tells Sophie that she now knows her weakness, suddenly a man presumed to be the king lands in the garden and strolls into the room the king is actually howl in disguise and he rescues Sophie, the witch of the waste and (sort of steals Suliman dog but its a cute dog so nobody actually cares and the fact that howl and Sophie legit just stole a dog and kidnapped a witch is never really brought up again )



Later that evening Sophie has a dream that she follows howl to his room only to see that he has turned into a giant bird monster. In her dream she tells howl that she's going to break the spell that he's under and as a response to this howl basically asks her how she's going to manage that when she's not even able to break the spell she's under, she tells Howl she loves him and he tells her she's too late, he shuffles off and she shifts back into old lady Sophie.



With the new additions to the family (the kidnapped witch and the abducted doggo also at this point this creepy-ass scarecrow has decided to tag along because why the heck not), howl decides to get an extension so everyone sits in the living room and howl puts Calcifer in a frying pan and makes the house magically bigger, he also adds more places to the portal door one of these places is the old hat shop which they eventually re-purpose into a flower shop and the other is a beautiful garden which Howl gives to Sophie which leads to one of the CUTEST SCENES IN ANIME HISTORY where Sophie has shifted back into her 18-year-old self and howl is showing her the garden, Sophie asks howl if he's going away again and he avoids the question then Sophie says “please howl I know I can be of help to you even though I’m not pretty and all I’m good at is cleaning” this is when howl says (prepare to swoon) “Sophie, Sophie! You’re beautiful!” *SWOON* Sophie shifts back into the curse as howl sadly looks on. At this point in time its made VERY CLEAR that he reciprocates the feelings she has for him and the look on his face as the girl he loves so much falls back into the curse she got because of him is that of utter heartbreak and also disappointment and I think this is such attention to detail its amazing!



One thing I would like to take a moment to point out is the design of old lady Sophie, it's only subtle but as the movie passes and her relationship with howl is more established she begins to look less wrinkly.



Howl has decided to stop being a coward and has gone to fight the war and this worries Sophie because she doesn’t want Howl to become a monster like the other wizards fighting in the war, but since howl has no heart he's more likely to destroy himself with his magic which is slowly what he's doing. Sophie's stepmother Fanny (and yes that is her real name) comes to visit her and to show the audience how little she really cares about Sophie SHE DOESN’T EVEN NOTICE THE FACT THAT SOPHIES BEEN TURNED INTO AN OLD WOMAN I MEAN GEEZ TALK ABOUT NEGLECT MUCH!



Its never really explained AT ALL in the movie how Sophie breaks out of the curse, but in the books, she breaks the curse by herself by defeating the witch of the wastes fire demon, in the movie I think she just sort of forgot she was cursed tbh but her hair stayed silver. My theory is once she stopped telling herself that she wasn’t beautiful the curse lifted because the witch of the wastes power wasn’t strong enough to maintain it and Sophie's own powers Were not keeping it in place



Realizing that howl would get killed if he kept trying to defend the moving castle Sophie decides to destroy the castle so that howl has nothing to defend. After destroying the castle Sophie gets separated from Calcifer and the others (except the abducted doggo because everyone needs a floofy sidekick) using a light from a ring howl had given her she finds a door and walks through it seemingly into howls past, she sees that howl caught Calcifer a falling star and to save Calcifer from dying howl made a contract with Calcifer wherein howl would give Calcifer his heart and Calcifer wouldn’t die, knowing now how to break the contract Sophie starts falling into her own time but not before yelling at young howl to find her in the future (which he does at the start of the movie)



When Sophie emerges from the door she sees howl has become a giant bird thingy and he flys her and the abducted doggo to where Calcifer and the others are (a giant wooden platform with a chicken leg) howl falls unconscious and his bird form fades away (in a scene which honestly looked like it inspired the Thanos snap) Sophie presses Calcifer into howls chest and tells Calcifer to live on and for howls heart to basically start working again but with the contract broken the house falls apart and the freaky scarecrow saves everyone from crashing into a big rock breaking his stick in the process. Sophie feeling pity for the scarecrow gives him a kiss (honestly this girl HAS KISSED ALOT OF STUFF IN THIS MOVIE 1. A HOT WIZARD IN BIRD FORM 2. A SCARECROW 3.A FIRE DEMON 4. THE HOT WIZARD IN HOT WIZARD FORM) any-who the kiss from Sophie breaks the curse the scarecrows under and BOOM he's also a human being (I wonder what would happen if she kissed the dog) howl wakes up and says he likes Sophie s hair (I mean it does look pretty cute BUT WHY IS IT STILL SILVER) and she hugs (possibly kisses) him. The scarecrow who's now a guy (a friend-zoned guy at that!) sort of walks off (possibly because the witch made googly eyes at him and he don’t wanna tap DAT!)



Calcifer comes back and decides even without the contract he's gonna control the castle, and now it flys because a moving castle is nothing compared to A FREAKING FLYING CASTLE. Howl and Sophie kiss and the credits roll!





Side note: the reason that there was a war was because for some reason it was assumed that Ingary kidnapped prince Justin which they didn’t and so then everyone raged and started trying (and succeeding) to kill each other (the off-screen death count for this movie must be horrific)



My final thoughts: Tldr: HOWLS MOVING CASTLE IS AMAIZING AND CHRISTIAN BALES ENGLISH DUB VOICE FOR HOWL IS SOOOOOOOO FRIGGIN SEXY. The story is absolutely amazing and charming and it does justice to Dianna Wynne Jones’ book of the same name without being a shameless copy. It has enough elements from the books so the book readers enjoy it but at the same time it’s got so much uniqueness to it it’s almost completely different to the book at the same time making reading the book non-essential (although if you like this movie I highly recommend checking out the book because it’s hilarious and the characters are nothing like their movie counterparts)



Howls Moving Castle [Movie Review]Howls Moving Castle [Movie Review][​img]blob:www.planetminecraft.com/b95a59f6-417a-410a-b70f-eba68ee2d6d5[​/img]

I'm probably gonna do more ghibli movie reviews as my laptop is having a midlife crisis and I'm having to use an almost 10-year-old Toshiba laptop with a bunch of virus stuff
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1
01/27/2020 2:58 am
Level 63 : High Grandmaster Modder
dreamCritting
dreamCritting avatar
I watched this years ago, like long before I had minecraft, I've been meaning to watch it again for a while but I never got round to it.
2
01/27/2020 3:28 am
Level 71 : Legendary Princess
Kirigiri
Kirigiri avatar
It's going to be on Netflix in April if you have Netflix lol :D
1
01/27/2020 3:41 am
Level 63 : High Grandmaster Modder
dreamCritting
dreamCritting avatar
I haven't got netflix :((
1
01/27/2020 4:00 am
Level 71 : Legendary Princess
Kirigiri
Kirigiri avatar
oof, you can also watch it on kissanime i can get you a link if you need lol
1
01/26/2020 4:55 pm
Level 2 : Apprentice Miner
bruh-moment
bruh-moment avatar
I'm probably gonna do more ghibli movie reviews as my laptop is having a midlife crisis and I'm having to use an almost 10-year-old Toshiba laptop with a bunch of virus stuff

Isn't there a way to factory reset your laptop if it uses Win10?
2
01/26/2020 6:16 pm
Level 71 : Legendary Princess
Kirigiri
Kirigiri avatar
the Toshiba or my normal laptop?
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