Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Actors: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin
Genre: Action, Adventure, Animation
Howl’s Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli and based on the novel of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones.
A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sofî, cursed by a witch into an old woman’s body, and a magician named Hauru. Under the curse, Sofî sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Hauru’s strange moving castle. In the castle, Sophie meets Hauru’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 Hauru, then Karushifâ will lift the curse that Sophie is under, and she will return to her 18-year-old shape. Written by Sophie Ball
- Mamoru Hosoda was selected to direct the film but he abruptly left the project. Hayao Miyazaki then took up the director’s role.
- The license number on the first car Sofie’s mother rides is 667.
- Upon seeing Spirited Away, Christian Bale immediately agreed to play any role in this film.
- Loosely based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones.
- Although the film was not released in the United Kingdom until 23 September 2005, director Hayao Miyazaki personally traveled to England in the summer of 2004 to give a private showing of the film to Diana Wynne Jones.
- Hayao Miyazaki and Lauren Bacall, both long-time fans of each other’s work, met at a subtitled screening in New York. Reportedly, Bacall jokingly asked Miyazaki if he was married.
- Jean Simmons’s last cinema film.
- In the Japanese version, Chieko Baishô plays both Young and Grandma Sophie, while in the English dub it is split between Emily Mortimer as Young Sophie and Jean Simmons as Grandma Sophie.
- Sophie’s city was modeled after Colmar, France.
All in all, its an awesome movie.