Howl's Moving Castle
HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (U)
D: Hayao Miyazaki
Studio Ghibli (Toshio Suzuki)
Japan 2004 [US version* released 2005]
W: Hayao Miyazaki [based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones]
Mus: Joe Hisashi
voices of*: Emily Mortimer (Young Sophie), Jean Simmons (Grandma Sophie), Christian Bale (Howl), Lauren Bacall (Witch of the Waste), Billy Crystal (Calcifer), Josh Hutcherson (Markl)
Another of Studio Ghibli's animated films which fails to disappoint.
Set in a fictional kingdom where both magic and 20th Century technologies co-exist, a young girl is transformed into an old woman by a witch and goes into the wastelands to find the moving castle of the powerful wizard Howl so the curse can be broken, but with the kingdom on the verge of war with another, she finds love and sacrifice far more important matters.
With brilliant animation you'd come to expect from Miyazaki, the fable presents a moral that life is always worth living, as well as having some anti-war metaphors due to Miyazaki's viewpoint on the Iraq War, which was still ongoing at the time of release.