• Howls moving castle feature film is produced my Studio Ghibli and released in 2004, directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
  • It is in the style of Anime
  • Before it’s domestic release in November 2004 Howls Moving Castle had already been given the prestigious Osella award for technical excellence at the Venice Film Festival. following its debut in japan the film received the Audience Award at the Sitages International Film Festival. Proceeding that Miyazaki won the Time Mashine Award for lifetime achievement at the festival’s inaugural ceremony. Miyazaki went on to win many more awards  following the success of Howls moving castle.
  • On the opening weekend howls moving castle was seen by 1.1 million viewers and earned 1,500 million yen ( approx $14.6 million)
  • Jone’s Howls moving castle was published in 1986 and is a light hearted and tantalizing fantasy story that elegantly deconstructs a number of familiar fairy tale conventions. Jones believes it was this and the characters that made the story instantly appealing to  to Miyazaki. Also the challenge of creating a movie whose heroine is a pensioner rather then a young child or shoujo. To create an attractive character without the assistance of well-tested aesthetic and generic conventions. Miyazaki to careful care and consideration to the diverse opinions voiced by his teams younger staff. Toshio suzuki stated ” he wasn’t sure… weather it was okay for a popular entertainment movie to have a 90 year old woman at its center from beginning to end.’ so he would bring it up at staff meeting and a female responded with “whats wrong with having a grandma as a heroine? it think its  great idea” another female staff member would say ‘it might be nice to see her back in a girls body every now and then’ it was those exchanges that really inspired Miyazaki’s imagination.  Subtle facial adjustments and bodily modulations give the impression that Sophie is neither 18 or 90 but several ages at once, glimpses of he young  Sophie fluidly infiltrate the images of her permanently aged self.
  • THE STORY; The main character is Shophie, a young talented hat maker. While Sophie is busy working on her hats a moving castle comes to a halt on the outskirts of the town. It is rumored to belong to a wizard who eats the souls and hearts of young girls. Having enraged the witch of the waste, by attracting Howls attention, she turns Sophie into an old woman and casts a curse that see can not tell anyone about it. Sophie runs away from her friends and family  and when evening descends she comes across the wandering castle and forces her way in and invites her self to stay the night. The wizards apprentice Michael is powerless to stop the demanding old lady and she falls sleep in front of the fire. When she awakens she discovers the flames are actually a face, the fire demon Calcifer. Calcifer is also under a curse, bound to the castle hearth not knowing how this has come to pass. Sophie and Clacifer strike a bargain to discover each others curse and out an end to it. This then give Sophie an excuse to reside in the castle an claims the position of house keeper. Upon the wizards (Howl) return he neither invites her to stay or leave.- In Jone’s novel the wizard has a reputation as a heart eater giving him the credentials of your standard fairy tale ogre but upon closer insperction it is just mindless philandering. Howl has given up hiss own heart in order to save a falling star from certain death, thereby giving birth to the fire demon Calcifer. having given up his heart his lack of sincere emotion compels him to wander helplessly from woman to woman unable to feel anything other than the desire to make them fall for him then rid himself of their attentions.
  • Throughout the film, the audience  is constantly discouraged from taking appearances at face value and urged instead to accept the existence of discrepancies between people’s physiques and their personalities. Sophie her self combines the semblance of the hag with the crooked nose (which is often associated with somebody evil like a sorceress) and characteristics of popular heroines immortalized by animations based on fairy-tale and fantasy. Sophie’s blue dress and white apron, for example, instantly brings to mind diseny’s Alice, whereas the protagonist’s earnest battle against dust and cobwebs is vividly reminiscent of snow white’s analogous approach to her hosts’ untidy dwelling.
  • Towards the end of the movie we see Sophie looking more like her younger self but she still has grey hair. Although her hair is thick like that of a younger woman. This stylistic decision could be read as a symbolic reminder, on Miyazaki’s part, that the past is indelible and that even though baleful spells may be broken and evil vanquished, the traces of the past experiances live on.
  • Miyazaki has remained fundamentally faithful to its drifts and tenor. The film has considerable narrative complexity, leaving strands for the story open to allow viewers to complete it by recourse of their own imagination faculties.
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