Howl’s moving castle (Hauru no ugoku shiro)

howls-moving-castle-posterJapanese animated adventure from 2004.
Starring: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûins
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writers: Diana Wynne Jones, Hayao Miyazaki
Bechdel test: Pass


Sophie works in a hat shop in the city, but one day she meets a wizard. This makes her a target for the Witch of the Waste and soon Sophie is cursed. Can the spell be lifted or must she simply live with it?


“Howl’s moving castle” is one of Miyazaki’s many brilliant movies, and this one has lots of fun adventure on the surface and a deeper meaning to it, just as the others.

Miyazaki’s constant use of flying is present in this movie as well, but less than in many of his others. (Specially less than in “Porco Rosso”, “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” and “Castle in the sky” where flying is all important parts of the plots.) The use of flying often feels freeing and adventurous, but in “Howl’s moving castle” it feels more like a burden or simply a way of moving. It offers no release, or very little.


The themes of the movie is strong and universal and can probably be understood quite well by the younger members of the audience. Maybe some of the ideas about female roles and stages in life will go over their heads, but still, lots to understand and contemplate for everyone.

More than anything else, the movie is an adventure, and I was immediately transported to the universe of fun and strange stories when I heard the familiar sounds of the Studio Ghibli music by Joe Hisaishi.

I love the animation in this movie specially well, because of the steampunk style of some parts. The castle itself is just wonderful, and makes me dream of living quite differently from the ordinary way I live now.

This is a movie that will stay with most viewers for a little while, I think, and in this case, I don’t mind recommending the American voice actors. I still think the Japanese version is best, but it was quite decent in English as well.

The story is fun and original, and I have decided to even read the book it is based on. If you want to do the same, here is a link to Howl’s moving castle by Diana Wynne Jones on Amazon.


“Howl’s moving castle” is a fun adventure and I will certainly watch it again.


I recommend “Howl’s moving castle” to anyone for a romantic or family movie evening.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “Howl’s moving castle” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

55 movies down. 310 to go.

If you want to get “Howl’s moving castle” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “Star Trek”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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