I first watched Howl’s Moving Castle right after it came out on DVD. I was a fan of the book and in the middle stages of my Christian Bale crush (which is long since over). Sadly, my first time through I wasn’t impressed with the changes made to the story and I found the film boring overall. Of course, back then, I didn’t have any experience with foreign films and didn’t realize that non-American movies could move slower and be stranger than what I was used to.
This month, I decided to give Howl’s Moving Castle another chance. I’ve been trying to catch up on animation I’ve missed (whether it’s from TV like Legend of Korra or from movies from other countries), and I’ve pushed Studio Ghibli movies to the top of my list. I feel like I should love these movies because they’re beautiful and are full of cute creatures, but I just haven’t given them the chance they deserve.
So I rewatched Howl’s Moving Castle, and I was surprised just how much I loved it this time around. It is certainly different from the book by Dianne Wynne Jones, but the movie isn’t worse because of the changes it makes. The film’s story is unique and weirder than the book’s, and I kind of like that. The tone and feel of the book are the same, however, and that’s what matters most to me in an adaptation.
As always with animated films, I loved the animals Howl’s Moving Castle–particularly the little dog who reminded me a lot of Gertie.
I’m definitely looking forward to working my way through Studio Ghibli’s films. My Neighbor Totoro is next on my to-watch list, but I’d gladly take recommendations for what to watch after that one. I’ve seen Ponyo, but I’ll be new to everything else.
Since the art of the film was so beautiful, I decided to make a few outfits inspired by the characters.