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Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual)

Jean Simmons , Christian Bale , Hayao Miyazaki    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 32.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) + Spirited Away (Bilingual) + Princess Mononoke (Bilingual)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 62.94

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  • Spirited Away (Bilingual) CDN$ 29.97

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  • Princess Mononoke (Bilingual) CDN$ 8.00

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Product Description


Like a dream, Howl's Moving Castle carries audiences to vistas beyond their imaginations where they experience excitement, adventure, terror, humor, and romance. With domestic box office receipts of over $210 million, Howl passed Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke to become the #3 film in Japanese history, behind his Spirited Away and James Cameron's Titanic. Based on a juvenile novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle marks the first time Miyazaki has adapted another writer's work since Kiki's Delivery Service (1989). Sophie, a 19-year-old girl who believes she is plain, has resigned herself to a drab life in her family's hat shop--until the Witch of the Waste transforms her into a 90-year-old woman. In her aged guise, Sophie searches for a way to break the Witch's spell and finds unexpected adventures. Like Chihiro, the heroine of Spirited Away, Sophie discovers her hidden potential in a magical environment--the castle of the title. Using CG, Miyazaki creates a ramshackle structure that looks like it might disintegrate at any moment. Sophie's honesty and determination win her some valuable new friends: Markl, Howl's young apprentice; a jaunty scarecrow; Calcifer, a temperamental fire demon; and Heen, a hilarious, wheezing dog. She wins the heart of the dashing, irresponsible wizard Howl, and brings an end an unnecessary and destructive war. The film overflows with eclipsing visuals that range from frightening aerial battles to serene landscapes, and few recent features--animated or live action--offer as much magic as Howl's Moving Castle. --Charles Solomon

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It may sound funny, but "BUY IT NOW" March 16 2006
By Leah
I may write my review like a teenage - I like to scream: "Buy it now!"
1) The anime storyline is a 4-star story. It is classic, romantic, lucid and beautiful, but lacking of fancy modern twists. However, this is the reason that I like the story. In my personal opinion, the story is more catching than the "Spirited Away" although all major works of Miyazaki are quite interesting. The only setback is that young viewers may not be able to catch the subtlety of the story.
2) The interpretation, translation and adaptation worthies 5 stars. I watched two versions in both English and Japanese. The English voice-dub is as good as original Japanese if it were not better than. The voice-dub is professionally done and has raised the bar for future voice works. What I really like is the translation and adaptation. The I-T-A of this movie is excellent.
3) Both animations and colors are superb. It is an old fashioned 2D anime. But, all those beautiful details like waving flowers in the wind, the clear blue-sky, the background mountains, the buzzing cities, the grand palace and more make me very fond of the whole theme of 2D animations. The entire color theme of this anime is well designed and well matches the storyline with vivid, bright, but not overly sharp colors.
Overall, it is a 5-star DVD set for a 5 star anime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real howl June 12 2005
Not a lot of directors would be brave enough to take on a love story between a girl-turned-old-lady and a wizard missing a vital organ.

But Oscar-winning director/writer Hayao Miyazaki tackles a new fantasy realm in in "Howl's Moving Castle." In this case, it's the world of fantasy dowager Diana Wynne Jones, and he wraps the storyline in humor, romance and genuine flair. No, it's not faithful. But it is fantastic.

Sophie (Emily Mortimer) is a plain, unhappy young woman working in a milliner's shop. But then the evil Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall) comes into the shop, and turns her into a hobbled old lady (Jean Simmons). Sophie ends up wandering into the Moving Castle, a chicken-legged chaos machine, and encountering the sexy, immature wizard Howl (Christian Bale), smart-aleck fire demon Calcifur (Billy Crystal), and preteen apprentice Markl (Josh Hutcherson).

Sophie appoints herself the cleaning lady and starts whipping the castle into shape, trying to deal with Howl's temper tantrums and the rapidly deepening war. And, of course, trying to de-curse herself. But when she runs an errand that Howl is too scared to deal with, she finds that her new boss has some sinister problems of his own -- including a missing heart.

Don't expect much fidelity to the humorous fantasy novel. Miyazaki takes plenty of liberties with the story, leaving out characters and adjusting others. As a result, it feels more like his story than Jones', with the earmarks of his style -- blobby monsters, colorful rural settings, intense anti-war messages, strange machines, and a Jules-Verne atmosphere of Victorian technology. But "Howl's Moving Castle" is very different from the others Miyazaki has done, since he kept the British flavour of the original book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Miyazaki Hayao film yet. March 7 2006
For the longest time Princess Mononoke has been my favorite Miyazaki film but now I find it being quickly replaced by this latest masterpiece (plot holes and all).
I have just started reading the novel from which it is based and while the two are drastically different I have found the book helpful in setting up the backstory that the film missed.
Even with this in mind I am still giving it a 5 out of 5 for the sheer amazingly brilliant entertainment value this has. It's a must see for Anime fans and animation fans (adult and child) alike.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl's Supernatural Castle Nov. 12 2011
By Stella Carrier TOP 100 REVIEWER
"Howl's Moving Castle" is a great movie that implies the powerful message of how things are not always as they seem. Sophie plays a spirit who is reliable, down-to-earth, and is doing the best she can with the hand dealt to her in life. Her life is forever changed when she encounters a man named Howl. Howl met her when she was accosted by a couple of men. From their first meeting clues are given to how the movie is going to unfold. This is because Howl commands Sophie to act natural within moments of their initial meeting. Howl feels at ease with her, and even engages in some magic within minutes of meeting her. Another female is interested in him, and is a character foil to Sophia. The following are some of the other characters that play a pivotal role in this film: Howl's apprentice Markl, Calcifer, and Madame Suliman. Howl's Moving Castle is highly recommended for anyone who enjoyed any of the Harry Potter Movies. This is because "Howl's Moving Castle" contains various magical and supernatural themes that are related to many of the metaphorical "Harry Potter" messages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical June 11 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Another fabulous movie from Studio Ghilbli - the colours, the graphics, the story itself all lend to the viewing experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic film, fascinating and amusing story June 2 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Christian Bale is great as Howl, love Billy Crystal as Calcifer the Fire Demon is so entertaining, in fact it's a top notch voice cast, with an interesting story to say the least and as I get older the comments Sophie makes as an old woman really resonate. It's an affectionate version of the book and definitely worth many repeat viewings.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another five-star movie.
Miyazaki is part of the top four greatest animators of all time (Walt Disney, Frédéric Back and Norman McLaren being the three others). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jean-François
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift !
I don't know yet because I have wrap it and it is a suprise for my daughter at Christmas. SO HOPE she'll enjoy it !
Published 8 months ago by Harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Best kids movie I have ever seen
This is the most original, beautiful movies we have seen. Beats all Disney and all Studio Ghibli movies thus far. A sweet love story with a twist.
Published 10 months ago by Teena Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic movie
Seen this movie so many times. I'm an avid Miyazaki fan & have to own all his movies. Recommend this movie highly.
Published 11 months ago by bozo
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is simply magical!
This is by far one of my favorite movies. It is beautifully written and the visuals are perfect. I just received my bluray copy in the mail the other day and the quality couldn't... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alexandy
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsy With Depth
Howl's Moving Castle works beautifully as a pure flight of fantasy, and one that even fairly young children ought to be able to enjoy on that level. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Theo
4.0 out of 5 stars A studio Ghibli movie meant for a more mature family audience!
Howl's Moving Castle is yet another in a long line of Studio Ghibli animated adventures that Disney has now re-issued in a Bluray/DVD combo edition. Read more
Published 16 months ago by John Thomas Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This movie is simply wonderful. It goes far beyond what you would expect from an Hollywood style animated movie (which it is not). Read more
Published 17 months ago by Pierre Boucher
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy from this company
Who said there is no such thing as Christmas elves? This company sure did prove it! They have the best prices for DVDs and the selection too! Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2012 by Geoffrey Kidder
5.0 out of 5 stars bon
Mes frères m'ont fait connaître et sa sort des sentiers battus d'écouter cela, sa fait différent et quand même une bonne histoire
Published on July 15 2011 by LiLy
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