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Howl's Moving Castle (Hauru no ugoku shiro)

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

Sophie, a diligent teenage girl working in her family's hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when a handsome-but-mysterious wizard named Howl sweeps her off her feet. This innocent encounter enrages the vain and conniving Witch of the Waste, who transforms Sophie into a 90-year-old woman. Sophie's efforts to break the curse bring her to Howl's magical moving castle, where she befriends Markl, Howl's apprentice, and the hot-headed fire demon Calcifer. Her love and support have a major impact on Howl, who can be maddeningly self-indulgent and singularly noble. He defies royal orders to participate in a meaningless war and risks his life to bring peace to the kingdom.

Cast

  • Chieko Baishô
  • Takuya Kimura
  • Akihiro Miwa
  • Tatsuya Gashûin
  • Ryûnosuke Kamiki
  • Mitsunori Isaki
  • Yô Ôizumi
  • Akio Ôtsuka
  • Daijirô Harada
  • Haruko Katô

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • Mamoru Hosoda was selected to direct the film but he abruptly left the project. Hayao Miyazaki then took up the director's role.
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Goofs

  • When Sophie leaves her bedroom, her dress has turned from green to blue. However, she couldn't have changed dresses because none of them would fit her after she was transformed (wider, much shorter, etc.).
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Quotes

    • Howl: You're wearing that hat? After all the magic I used to make your dress pretty?
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

70

Consequently, though it's difficult to work out what's going on, it's never boring.

Metacritic review by Richard James Havis
Richard James Havis
The Hollywood Reporter
100

Perfect for anyone with a youthful heart and a rich imagination.

Metacritic review by Michael Wilmington
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
100

You run across animation this ingenious about as often as a moving castle comes your way.

Metacritic review by David Sterritt
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor