Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle)

posted June 16, 2005 by Jenn

JennMiyazaki rocks my world. I was lucky enough to live near one of the few select cities his new movie is playing in and went to see his latest delight Hauru No Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle) last Sunday. However, I've been too busy in the following days to write a review, what with the two 10-hour days at work and off times spent preparing to go/going out of town. As this moment, I am On Vacation so this will be a fairly brief review.

Chalk up another one for Miyazaki. This is the first movie since Pirates of the Caribbean that was able to pull me in so completely that I forgot I was in a movie theater and barely noticed the noisy small children and cellphones you get in theaters these days. Hauru No Ugoku Shiro is a light-hearted war drama with a touch of love story in there. If you're not a love story kind of viewer (and I'm not), but have enjoyed previous Miyazaki movies, you can handle this one easily. This time, the movie concentrates more on the characters than the hows and whys of the war going on. This works fine, because the hows and whys of the war aren't as important as the characters emotions, feelings and decisions. More details about the war would only funnel in extraneous information and would get in the way of the characters themselves.

This movie has Miyazaki's tendencies we know and love all through it:

Hauru No Ugoku Shiro is a long, deep breath of fresh air in the quagmire of animation crap that's been released recently and opens everywhere June 17th. This movie is subtitled, so if you're the kind to piss and moan about sub vs dub, hush yer mouth, get over it for a couple of hours and go see this movie anyway. You'll be a better person for it. The rating below has nothing to do with the movie itself. I recommend at least one beer taken about 30 minutes before you enter the theater so your brain will still have a few switches off during the mostly Disney-related previews but will be back up to speed by the time the movie begins.

Cheers from OBX, NC.

Rating: 1.0 beer