Monday, October 17, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight: Howl's Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki)

Day Twenty-Eight: Favorite movie from your favorite director
Everything Hayao Miyazaki makes is gold. If you aren't that aware of anime, you may remember the animated movie Spirited Away that won an Oscar 2003 - well that was not only a Miyazaki movie (however my least favorite one), but also the first Japanese animated movie to win the category. Miyazaki has an impressive list of movies that he's made, or helped to make, or even just influenced. My Neighbor Totoror, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Porco Roso, Castle in the Sky, Ponyo, Kiki's Delivery Service, Grave of the Fireflies and of course Howl's Moving Castle, are just some of them. Fun fact: one of the reasons Pixar movies are so good is because Pixar makes a habit of scooping up old Studio Gibli people - Studio Gibli being the company Miyazaki co-created and works in. Pixar admited that Toy Story 3 was a homage to Miyazaki, they even included a Totoro doll in the movie.

Sophie, a strong willed young woman, gets cursed by the Witch of the Waste which turns her into an old woman. With nothing left for her at home, she sets out to start fresh and finds her way to a warlock named Howl and his strange moving castle. There she strikes up a deal with the fire demon Calcifer who powers the entire castle- he promises to remove the curse on  her, if she can remove the curse on him. While trying to figure out what the curse even is let alone how to break it, Sophie finds herself falling in love with the mysterious Howl.

Howl's Moving Castle is one of the cutest stories around. A story about love despite appearances and per-determined opinions. A story about never giving up even when it seems hopeless. I watch this moving when I'm feeling down, when I'm feeling happy, even when I'm mad and just need to watch something. I even loved this movie so much that I went out of my way to read the book it was based off of (which is equally good and adorable by the way).


  1. I love this movie. Every year on my birthday, my sister, best friend, and I get together and watch it. Our favorite scene is the bathroom scene with Howl (you know, the green slime, spirits of darkness... So funny!)

  2. My favorite scene is definitely when Sophie is cleaning and she gets all "You dirt will not defeat me!" Makes me laugh every time.