Quick-Thoughts: Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Screened at The Rancho Santa Margarita Cinépolis

Imaginative, vibrant, and surprisingly hilarious, it’s hard to picture any other animated company other than Studio Ghibli adapting Diana Wynne Jones and Lesley Sims’ enterprising novel, Howl’s Moving Castle to such an elevated quality. While the narratively jarring and overstuffed beginning ten minutes and final twenty minutes serve as considerable nuisances to the overall picture, Hayao Miyazaki’s follow-up to the universally adored Spirited Away is still charming to behold, ingeniously animated, and has some of the greatest implications of fantasy lore ever put to film.

Also, what an interesting perspective for a children’s picture to possess! If I can recall, I haven’t seen many movies aimed towards kids that have had a protagonist be a young woman who’s suddenly turned into an old woman for nearly the majority of the film, but that stunt is clever and risky!

Verdict: B

Studio Ghibli Ranked

“Howl’s Moving Castle” is now available to stream on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu.

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