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ハウルの動く城 特別収録版 [DVD]
●原作者 ダイアナ・ウィン・ジョーンズ インタビュー
●英語吹き替え版監督 ピート・ドクター インタビュー
●メビウス・宮崎駿対談 ~宮崎駿 ハウルを語る~
●全米プレミア試写・記録映像 ~MoMA(ニューヨーク近代美術館)全米プレミア試写での監督:宮崎駿と英語吹き替え版キャスト インタビュー~
I highly recommend this film and I'll be watching out for other Studio Ghibli films.
Howl's Moving Castle has some beautiful bits in and some not so beautiful bits. Wizards and witches exist in this world and Howl is known for his castle that is constantly on the move. Sophie who works in her family shop creating hats, never sees herself as beautiful compared to her sister and her mother she feels dull. However, whilst trying to get to her sister's workplace to visit she is cornered and saved by Howl. Unfortunately a witch who wants Howl's heart finds out and puts a spell on Sophie. Now old she can't stay where she is so she leaves and becomes a cleaning woman for Howl. Things develop along with a war brewing. Everything has a happy ending but the war bits might not be for everyone.
1) Changed into an old woman (voiced by the incomparable Jean Simmons) by the wicked witch of the waste ( voiced by Lauren Bacall, and a huge nod toward Oz, methinks)
2) Befriended by a scarecrow called Turniphead (See (1)!)
3) Befriended by a fire demon called Calcifer (Don't worry - he's a good guy. Well...he IS voiced by Billy Crystal!)
4) Becomes the cleaner for Howl the sorcerer, who is the mysterious blond young man who rescued her. Voiced, may I add, by Christian Bale, more famous for his Batman movies.
To say much more would give too many clues to how the story progresses. It is a warmhearted family film, and quite simply a delight. Studio Gibli at its finest.
in a way I find anime films comforting as they have the perfect amount of beauty, fantasy, childlike imagination, intriguing story and of course breathtaking artwork and music. I definitely found that 'Howl's Moving Castle' had this in abundance.
The main character is Sophie, a lovely girl who gets taken for granted by her step mother. One day Sophie unintentionally annoys a witch and a curse is put on her which turns her into an old woman. Sophie is thrust into a world she has never known, and with her new found age comes a certain level of confidence. She no longer cares what people think of her so much, and forgets to be scared of the wizard Howl who lives in a moving castle. In fact she pushes her way into his household like only an old nosey woman can.
With entrance into his magic home Sophie meets new people and finds she is pulled into Howls magical battles.
My favourite character in this film apart from Sophie who i think is best when she's an old woman and very funny. Is Calcifer, the magical flame that resides in Howls castle, he's very funny and endearing, and I must say when i watched the English dubbed version of the film Billy crystal who plays Calcifer makes the character even better.
All in all a must watch for anyone who just loves to be swept up in a magical tale.
This is a film if you MUST see if your looking for a nice feel good film, not too much depth but great characters, then see it without a doubt!
But if your looking for some sort of action film, war film, phycological thriller or just anything other than family friendly really then advised not to watch.
Although i do believe this film with surprise everyone.
Other than its fast wrapped up ending, i give this film a big 5/5 for just how it makes you feel during and after.
The audio track we usually play when watching the movie is the Japanese one, but the English audio track is also quite enchanting - very good voice casting, most notably in having Lauren Bacall voice the Witch of the Waste. Christian Bale adds an intriguing and aloof quality to Howl, and Billy Chrystal does a lovely job of Calcifer.
The musical illustration to the film is once again by Joe Hishaishi, whose work complements the film beautifully. 'The Merry-go-round of Life' and 'The Promise of the World' are wonderful melodies that stay with you well after you have switched off the DVD-player.
All in all a movie I highly recommend. You'll likely find yourself watching it again and again.
There is not one thing about this movie that I would change. The direction, the art and the voice acting. when it comes to studio ghibli movies it's always different with the voice acting. In one movie it can be fantastic and in the other it can be a total flop. That isn't the case here. Christian Bale and Billy Crystal are absolutely amazing.
This movie isn't for everyone, especially not for small children. The images at times can be a little dark and scary, but for the most time it's just brilliant action-packed fun.
You need to give this movie a chance. You may not like it, but if you're a fan of Miyazaki or ghibli then you need to see this film. This isn't just my favourite ghibli movie, it's one of my favourite movies ever.
They were both great films, but for me HMC has the edge. I think it's a good choice if you are new to Miyazaki and Japanese films, as it has a British/European feel to it, particularly in terms of the character Sophie and the locations. (Also while HMC does feature a few bizarre language-less blobby monsters and creatures, there are fewer of these than in Spirited Away, perhaps this is what makes it seem like it has a better flow and sharper pacing)
Visually this film is very beautiful and very striking - both when it is portraying the fantastical (Howl as a bird, the ramshackle moving castle) and when it is portraying the more mundane (the elderly drooping face of Sophie, or the rolling fat of the obese Witch of the Waste). The colours are vibrant and the sense of movement in the film feels very strong.
At the centre of the story is the young girl Sophie who is transformed into a 90-year-old by an evil curse, and in the English-dubbed version Sophie is voiced by two actresses - Emily Mortimer as young Sophie and Jean Simmons as elderly Sophie (I think it's a lovely detail explained in the Extras on the DVD, that the producers listened to the voice of Jean Simmons as a young woman, and then chose Emily Mortimer because her voice matched the young Jean). One thing in the film that I found especially imaginative and striking was the moments (particularly towards the end of the film) when the images and voice of Sophie moved between young/old. For example, a frame in which Sophie feels hope and love for Howl might show Sophie as visually old but with the young Sophie's voice. There were also several times that visually she was at some in-between stage moving between young and old (indicated by variations in the greyness of hair, length of hair and posture which were all subtly altered). Very imaginatively done.
There are some dark themes in the film (war planes in the night sky, Howl's depression/difficulty adjusting when coming back from the dark side to 'normal' life, the threat of death). However there is also a great deal of humour - for example the character of Calcifer (voiced by the always-funny Billy Crystal, although perhaps a little under-used), and there's a particularly funny scene where the obese Witch of the Waste and the elderly Sophie (carrying a dog) are struggling to climb an extremely long flight of stairs while trying to maintain some dignity!
***** One thing to note: I wish I had know before purchasing from Amazon, that this product was the English dubbed version, as I usually prefer to watch foreign language films in their original language with sub-titles. However I found that it really wasn't distracting (in the way it can be on a 'live action' movie), and it didn't jar with the context of the film (British/European style settings). Apparently in the original Japanese version they only used one voice for Sophie throughout, and as I noted above I felt that the use of two voices for the young/elderly Sophie added to the strengths of the film, so there are advantages to getting the English dubbed version after all!