Howl's Moving Castle - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Howl's Moving Castle Reviews

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½ May 18, 2018
Beautiful movie, only have one complaint. I wish her hair didn't stay gray once she turned young again.
May 17, 2018
There are several moments that are confusing; I am well aware of the magic but I'm actually talking about the lore. There are questions left unanswered; especially with the villains. I understand and applaud the film for having a message about mercy; but the two witches start out so despicable that their character shift doesn't fully justify their actions. (minor spoiler warining) The 'royal witch' for little to no reason just suddenly leaves the protagonists alone and declares peace: despite having no character growth at all. At least the former witch had her own character arch.

I will say that the best thing about this film is it's portrayal of magic; magic is done with subtly, brightness, beauty, joy or emotion, symbolism and is normally depicted slowly enough so that the audience can actually see the spell working. This is how you depict magic right.
½ April 11, 2018
Fantastical! And an incredible amount of depth in this beautiful adventure.
March 31, 2018
A delightfully crafted piece of visual wonder. A genuine article of pure emotions and a magical film of full blast phantasmagoria!
March 27, 2018
C. I thought this movie was too slow-paced. It's cute/funny at times, but it's got that usual Japanese weirdness and overall bland plot with a happy ending I didn't care for.
½ February 20, 2018
Beautiful animation and emotional storytelling leaves the audience in an almost irreversible state of melancholy.
February 6, 2018
This is a fantastic movie with a brilliant story, characters, and stunning animation.

This movie is about a young woman Sophie who is cursed with a spell which makes her old, she seeks the help of a wizard Howl to help her.

Sophie is fantastic. She starts out as a shy insecure girl, and over time she gains more confidence, especially when she's an old woman who's willing to boss around the other members of Howl's Moving Castle. Most of the characters are very likeable and engaging. Howl's character is very engaging and you could see his struggles, like how much he struggles to transition from a flying creature to a human, or how much he doesn't want to go to war so tries to avoid going. However very little detail is actually given about Howl's background, we no very little about his childhood and he always seems to be a mystery.

The plot is ambitious and well done, even if it's a bit unwieldy at times. The main plot is that Sophie wants to break the curse that makes her old, although the movie is so much more than that. This is a movie ultimately about compassion, love, and the stupidity of war (this is a very anti-war film). The film shows these very well especially through's Sophie's actions helping a former enemy, and the anti-war theme is shown clearly throughout, like seeing the refugees from war leave their home, or seeing entire cities up in flames. While Sophie and Howl get to know each other over time and become closer. However the story's main "problem" seems to be unclear at times, and the scenes sometimes seem almost irrelevant to one another and don't transition very well. There's one scene where Sophie is trying to help Howl do one thing, then during the final part of the movie she's focussing on something entirely different.

The animation was brilliant, one of the best I've ever seen. Every scene is full of detail, like the outdoors scenes or inside the moving castle, like even the detail in all the furniture is stunning.

The music is very good as well, especially the main theme where the piano and violin perfectly captures the atmosphere of Howl's Moving Castle.

This movie is fantastic, it has great characters and an engaging story with thought provoking themes, it is very ambitious but this makes the movie a bit unclear and confusing at times. But this movie is seriously brilliant, and definitely worth watching.
January 27, 2018
Through and through, I rewatch this film every now and then. Love the world, the characters, storytelling, visuals, and oh how can I leave out the music! All around fantastic.
January 26, 2018
From the get go, I knew this movie was going to be a spectacle. Monstrous in size that castle and then it looms around hanging in the shadows and fog. The military and war aspect is ever present as well. It's always a good movie or story when there's war involved. It brings out the best of things, it brings out the worst in things.

How terrifying it must be to suddenly be turned into an old person. Absolutely beautiful animation especially on the castle. The way each part moves and has it's own particular movement and characteristics. Really innovative and creative ideas in this movie. Especially that magic door that teleports the castle to distinct locations.

That witch is one ugly ass hag. Jeez, she looks like a bag of carrots going up those stairs, a blob. That dog that Howl took the form of looks so funny. He has his own little personality. Sophie is such a sweetheart and such a kind and cute girl that your hoping the whole time that she is able to return to her younger form.

Beautiful colors and gorgeous landscapes are all throughout this movie.

Overall, it's a little bit scattered and kind of all over the place but it was really nice to watch. Although Miyazaki's themes and characters are in this movie, I couldn't help but feel it wasn't his work sometimes. Maybe the animation or the artwork style. Anyways, it was a wonderful movie full of great messages and themes.
½ January 4, 2018
It's better watching it again.
December 28, 2017
Heartwarming and as any Miyazaki´s Work, Beautifully Drawn, Howl´s Moving Castle Is a Fantasy Fairy Tale That Would Beat Any Fantastic Live Action Film , Helping The Director´s Career Expand Even More
December 20, 2017
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½ December 5, 2017
Howl's Moving Castle is admittedly much better upon second viewing and it features excellent world building and attention to detail. I really liked its historical period and the magical elements. The two main characters and their relationship are strong and the animation is magnificent and beautiful to look at. But this is still one of the more flawed Ghibli films with overwhelming action and a problematic narrative that leaves too many things unanswered and too many characters underutilized. Miyazaki was influenced by his 'Spirited Away' a bit too much and this is obviously a pale imitation of that classic film.
½ November 29, 2017
In terms of animation, it is just as exquisite and imaginative and colorful and detailed as anything Miyazaki has created throughout this career.
November 29, 2017
la amo, la musica, animacion e historia son impresionantes
½ November 27, 2017
Pretty to look at, but most of the story is too confusing to enjoy.
November 27, 2017
You see elements of Beauty and the Beast in Howl's Moving Castle and it works great with all of the other fantastical elements. The steampunk environment is beautiful to watch and the characters are top-notch. Although some of the story could be told in a less confusing way, you will still watch this film with a big smile on your face.
½ November 26, 2017
A near perfect film from the esteemed Studio Ghibli. The animation, voice work, writing, and especially the directing were all on point in this outing. The theme of what is more important is key here. Outer or inner Beauty, what is worth fighting a war for, and what is the value of the heart? These questions are threaded throughout this masterpiece. It is a shame that more western audiences haven't seen this film. I think it would spark a lot of good things in the hearts of us Americans. Just saw it again at a Fathom Event and it reminded me why I fell in love with this animation studio and their excellent films. Even the worst of their movies beats the best of most other studios today. The subtlety that Christian Bale brings to the character of Howl, when he could have easily went over the top, was perfect. Howl is a character that is nest left mysterious and quiet. His crescendo at the end will bring tears to the audience's eye after seeing the final move that he makes. Great film to introduce audiences to this fascinating studio and their work. Please go out and find it on Blu Ray or at a local theater for a Fathom Event. It is worth the time and money to watch. I'm jealous of those who get to experience it for the first time. I can't recommend this film enough.
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