Howl's Moving Castle

Within the backdrop of a lavish fantasy world of wizards, Miyazaki develops a subtle romance and a sensitive reflection on the fact that appearances are not everything.

Howl no ugoku shiro
Japan 2004
  • Czech
120 min.
  • This film is available until 31. 7. 2028 in these territories: Czechia, Slovakia.

Miyazaki's adap­tation of the young adult fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones is set in a world full of magic and steampunk technology, but also chaos, ambiguity and contrast. Sophie, a humble hatter, is turned into an old woman by the curse of a mischievous witch. She finds refuge in the bizarre walking castle of the renowned wizard Howl, where she meets the fire demon Calcifer and the little boy Markle. While the dashing and handsome Howl regularly sets out on nocturnal expeditions from which he returns ragged and exhausted, Sophie admits to herself that there is more than just a curse cast on her that keeps her in the strange habitation. On the one hand, Miyazaki enchants the audience with baroquely opulent scenes, while slowly revealing the individual layers enveloping the insides of the characters here. The audience's highly successful film deals with appearances and externals that mask the true nature and interiority of people and things. But above all, it tells of the power of love to overcome any obstacles.

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Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Based on: Diana Wynne Jones
Screenplay: Hayao Miyazaki
Cinematography: Atsushi Okui
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Sound: Kazuhiro Wakabayashi, Shuji Inoue
Editing: Takeshi Seyama
Production Design: Yôji Takeshige, Noboru Yoshida
Producer: Rick Dempsey, Ned Lott, Toshio Suzuki
Cast: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Akihiro Miwa, Tatsuya Gashûin, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Mitsunori Isaki, Yô Ôizumi, Akio Ôtsuka, Daijirô Harada, Haruko Katô

Venice Film Festival

2004 – Golden Osella for the animation

  • This film is available until 31. 7. 2028 in these territories: Czechia, Slovakia.