the legendary Director of the
fabulous Spirited Away comes the
equally-delightful and stunningly-visual
Studio Ghibli animé Howls Moving
Castle, a fascinating tale of wizards and
witches, enchantment and romance...
DIRECTOR HAYAO MIYAZAKI adds to his successful and visually-spectacular tales
of imagination with Howl's Moving Castle, a captivating and appealing
animé adapted from the much-loved source novel by acclaimed children's author
Dianne Wynne Jones.
In a town reminiscent of German Mediaeval villages in an indeterminate age when
steam trains, steam cars and airships are all familiar sights, young milliner
Sophie (voice of Emily Mortimer) works in the hat shop established by her late
intriguing and utterly
assistants watch from a window as Howl's moving castle comes into sight through
the mist, a mismatched collection of iron and brick, the home of a wizard who
has a reputation for preying on pretty girls.
It is a time of unrest and the town is full of soldiers and great tanks. The
land is on the brink of war and the King (voice of Mark Silverman) has commanded
all the witches and wizards should attend him at the Palace to attempt to avert
the threatened hostilities.
As Sophie leaves the shop that night, she is accosted by two soldiers. A mysterious
figure appears and rescues her, pretending to have been waiting for her. But
he is being followed by menacing black shadows and whisks her away over the
rooftops to the safety of her sister Lettie (voice of Jena Malone). This is
no mere mortal, but the disturbing and flamboyant wizard Howl (voice of Christian
Later that night, an apparently well-heeled woman comes into the shop while
Sophie is alone. But events turn sinister when she turns out to be the wicked
Witch of the Waste (voice of Lauren Bacall), who is in love with Howl and angry
that he has approached Sophie. She casts a spell that turns Sophie into an old
woman (voice of Jean Simmons) and leaves.
Unable to face anyone as she now is, Sophie leaves the hat shop and heads out
into the Wastelands in search of somewhere to stay. She rescues a friendly scarecrow
(voice of Crispin Freeman), who leads her to Howl's Castle, where she offers
her services as a cleaning woman to young Markl (voice of Josh Hutcherson).
She befriends him and Howl's helper Calcifer (voice of Billy Crystal), a powerful
demon who exists in the form of fire.
Sophie is accepted by Howl, who is tormented by his past, and she discovers
that it is Calcifer who is responsible for making the castle move. Markl shows
her that the front door is a portal that leads to other lands and dimensions
and Howl is known by various names in these different places.
As Sophie becomes closer to Howl, her path once again leads her to The Witch
of The Waste and she also meets the king's sorceress, Madame Suliman (voice
of Blythe Danner), who may not be all she seems to be. Determined to find a
way to reverse the witch's spell and help Howl to protect the land from war
and destruction, Sophie bravely faces demons, witches, wizards and flying warship
bombers. But will the war end and will Sophie find her way back to normality?
Howl's Moving Castle is a wonderful journey into the world of fantasy
and is funny, witty, intriguing and utterly charming. Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary
director who thrilled international audiences with Spirited Away, has
created another visually-spectacular tale of imagination that's now available
for the first time in stunning high-definition. Howl's Moving Castle
was Academy Award nominated in 2006 for best Animated Feature.
From the novel Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, the Screenplay
is by Director Hayao Miyazaki; Original Music is by Joe Hisaishi; Cinematography
is by Atsushi Okui; Producers are: Rick Dempsey, Neg Lott and Toshio Suzuki.
Howl's Moving Castle is available
on Blu-ray and Double Play and is released on 25 June 2012. Certificate: U |
Feature Running Time: 119 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number: OPTBD0837
| RRP: £24.99.
Alternative Angle Storyboards | Interview With Author Diana Wynne Jones | Interview
With Pixar's Peter Doctor (Monsters Inc) | Hello Mr Lasseter Featurette:
Hayao Miyazaki Visits Pixar | Explanation of CG Featurette | The Sounds of Howl's
Moving Castle Featurette (Brand New) | Behind The Microphone Featurette
| Japanese Trailers and Television Spots | Studio Ghibli Trailer Reel.