Acclaimed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki adapts British writer Diana Wynne Jones's popular fantasy tale for this animated feature, adding his own unique and celebrated dreamlike spin. The dreaded Witch of the Waste turns Sophie, a young hat-maker, into an old woman when she attracts the notice of Howl, a young wizard whom the witch desires for herself. As the old woman, Sophie finds refuge as a cleaning lady in Howl's magical castle, an impressively realised mishmash of anthropomorphic shafts and gears, where she meets, among other wonders, a cantankerous fire demon named Calcifer. Howl's courage inspires her to seek a cure for her curse, and vice versa, and the two work together to prevent a major war as the castle roams the countryside on its mechanical legs. There's lots of magic afoot as well, including travel through barriers of space and time, and shape-shifting, requiring full viewer attention to keep track of who, where, and when, but this how dreams really are and the film engages on that same subconscious level. As with Miyazaki's previous work ('Spirited Away', 'Kiki's Delivery Service'), the emphasis here is on creating a beautiful alternate reality, where anything can happen and every frame is a breathtaking work of art.
Behind the Scenes "Behind The Microphone", Featurette "Hayao Miyazaki Visits Pixar Animation Studios", Interviews Pete Docter - Pixar Animation Director, Trailers
Release Date: 25 June 2012
Certificate: U - Universal - Suitable for all
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 119 minutes
Production Year: 2005
Main Language: English