Howl’s Moving Castle

June 24, 2005

Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke….Studio Ghibli just does good stuff. It was highly enjoyable to sit down last week and catch a showing of their latest work, Howls’ Moving Castle.

Howl’s is the story of a young woman, cursed by an evil witch, who falls in with a powerful magic user, his demon cohort, and the little kid that runs errands for him. She takes on the role of house-keeper for the immense moving structure, and as we learn more about the history of the mage and his his home a senseless war begins to rage between two neighboring countries. The war is the backdrop for the story of two people growing together to beat back the odds.

Ghibli’s magic just won’t quit, and I think they may have recaptured some of their earlier stride. The Cat Returns (not released in the U.S.) and Spirited Away didn’t have the same kind of charm as Howl’s did. The movie was a return to the kind of feeling I got from Kiki’s Delivery Service…magic was part of the world, not something fully understood, but wonderful to behold.

I got to see it in the original Japanese, but I’m looking forward to the English Dub. Ever since Mononoke Hime, Ghibli’s English dubs have been fantastic. Billy Crystal as the rambunctious fire demon is going to be something to see.

If you haven’t partaken of the anime love of late, Howl’s is something you shouldn’t pass up.

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