8.2/10
241,869
331 user 220 critic

Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Hauru no ugoku shiro (original title)
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Daiana Win Jônzu)
Reviews
Popularity
1,290 ( 68)

On Disc

at Amazon

Top Rated Movies #139 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
Spirited Away (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman
Ponyo (2008)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A five year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

Directors: Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Stars: Youko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
WALL·E (2008)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Director: Andrew Stanton
Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.

Director: Hiroyuki Morita
Stars: Chizuru Ikewaki, Yoshihiko Hakamada, Aki Maeda
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, 2 monsters realize things may not be what they think.

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Up (2009)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chieko Baishô ...
Sofî (voice)
...
Hauru (voice)
Akihiro Miwa ...
Arechi no Majo (voice)
Tatsuya Gashûin ...
Karushifâ (voice)
...
Marukuru (voice)
Mitsunori Isaki ...
Koshô (voice)
Yô Ôizumi ...
Kakashi no Kabu (voice)
...
Kokuô (voice)
Daijirô Harada ...
Hin (voice)
Haruko Katô ...
Sariman (voice)
...
Grandma Sophie (voice)
...
Howl (voice)
...
Witch of the Waste (voice)
...
Madame Suliman (voice)
...
Young Sophie (voice)
Edit

Storyline

A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sophie, cursed by a witch into an old woman's body, and a magician named Howl. Under the curse, Sophie sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Howl's strange moving castle. In the castle, Sophie meets Howl's fire demon, named Karishifâ. Seeing that she is under a curse, the demon makes a deal with Sophie--if she breaks the contract he is under with Howl, then Karushifâ will lift the curse that Sophie is under, and she will return to her 18-year-old shape. Written by Sophie Ball

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

steampunk | anime | castle | witch | demon | See All (83) »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for frightening images and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howl's Moving Castle  »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

JPY 1,444,469,305 (Japan) (21 November 2004)

Gross:

$4,711,096 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Upon seeing Spirited Away (2001), Christian Bale immediately agreed to play any role in this film. He didn't expect to get the titular role. See more »

Goofs

Sophie's top ribbon doesn't always reappear when she transforms back into her younger self. See more »

Quotes

Howl: I'm tired, make some hot water for my bath.
Calcifer: Not again!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Animenia: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sekai no Yakusoku
Written by Yumi Kimura
Performed by Chieko Baisho
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This is art
6 June 2005 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

Howl's Moving Castle is as marvelous and magical as Miyazaki's other great work. Something in Disney's advertising or the description I read gave the false impression that it was going to be sub-standard work meaning it was still going to be better than anything DreamWorks Animation was doing (Madagascar was sooo pedestrian).

While not as awe-inspiring as Spirited Away or action-packed as Mononoke, it does work on the level of Kiki's Delivery Service as a girl is forced to be better than she thinks she can be (well, that's not a big surprise, that's all his films). And as with all Miyazaki stories, the story teaches without being preachy. And the lessons learned are represented in character changes and in the character's physical appearance as well. It's that same attention to detail that has made Pixar so great.

The animation is wonderful. The castle is itself is a mesh-mash of so many haphazardly arranged pieces that an engineer would have an aneurysm just sorting them all out and yet it works. Through magic, of course. The magic being Howl's and the authoritative hand of Miyazaki's direction. The airships (wow, airships in a Miyazaki film? Who would have thunk?) are great variations of one's he's used before and there are some rather dark and beautiful scenes of a world at war.

Most of the voice work was very strong including Christian Bale (Howl) and Emily Mortimer (as the young version of the heroine, Sophie). The voice that surprised me was Billy Crystal as Calcifer, the little flame that could. He's the heart of the castle and only annoyed at his first few scenes then becomes a very likable character.

There a few clunky moments in the plot line where transitions between story points weren't very strong, but overall it's another outstanding film from Studio Ghibli. Even my 40 year old partner, who had spent the day mountain biking, was dead tired and had never seen a Miyazaki film stayed awake for the entire 2 hours. When we left at 3:30 in the morning still jabbering away about all the imagery and meaning, we realized we had seen true art.


230 of 268 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?