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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Howl's Moving Castle (2004, Japanese - Hauru no ugoku shiro)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Animation

World War I is the backdrop for this unusual and, as always, dreamy world of Miyazaki.

Howl's Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle is strange in an interesting, rather pleasing, way. It is more like a disjointed dream you enjoyed so much but can’t make much sense of. This is a sort of movie where you need to lose all your senses and go with Mayazaki flow. 

Howl is a wizard who falls for a young hat-maker Sophie. A jealous witch turns Sophie into a wretched old woman but this actually unleashes Sophie's enshrouded adventurous streak! They live in a world controlled by secretive magic where two Kingdoms are at war—because of a missing Prince. Howl has always avoided war, however this time he has a reason to get involved.

The movie is another perfect example of hand-drawn and beautiful Mayazaki animation, and its commercial success proves there is still audience that loves olde worlde style of animation. Even those fed on today’s top notch, hi-tech animation welcomed it as a breath of fresh air.

From my very personal perspective I’ll rate “Laputa” above it—as it was made in 1986 and is at par with “Howl” in terms of sheer creativity. Now, "Monoke Hime" and "Nausicaä" are at another level!

A must watch, and a perfect escapade from an unhindered dose of sequels and too much technology—courtesy the likes of Transformers!


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