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Howl's Moving Castle Import, Soundtrack


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 29 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Soundtrack
  • Label: Tokuma
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • ASIN: B0002U0UKS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description

The soundtrack to the original Japanese animation film that is the third highest grossing film in Japanese history. The music is by Joe Hisaishi with songs by Yumi Kimura and Shuntaro Tanigawa.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie Freund on June 13 2006
Format: Audio CD
An excellent creation by Miyazaki's long-time collaborator, Joe Hisaishi. He makes an excellent use of various European styles, including military marches and waltzes, to really bring to life the European-esque fantasy world of the film (after all, it is based on a British children's novel). The major difference between this soundtrack and his previous works is that in this case, Hisaishi recorded using the Czech Philharmonic, a highly skilled world class orchestra. I'm not trying to be negative towards the Japanese studio orchestras in Tokyo that he has used in the past (I'm a big fan of many of his previous works), but I think in this case using a European orchestra gave this soundtrack that "something extra" to make it just that much better.

The only drawback I can think of is that it is a bit repetitive, using the same few themes many times, but this is the case with almost any soundtrack, including some of the best (like David Arnold's Stargate, or even Shore's Lord of the Rings to an extent).

But don't let that deter you from purchasing this excellent companion to Miyazaki's best film yet, hands down.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
English Track listing Dec 28 2005
By J-Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
1. Opening: The Merry-go-round of Life

2. The Courageous Cavalry

3. Stroll Through the Sky

4. Heart Aflutter

5. The Witch of the Waste

6. Wandering Sophie

7. The Magical Door

8. The Indelible Curse

9. Spring Cleaning

10. To the Lake of Stars

11. Quiet Feelings

12. Vanity and Friendship

13. A 90-Year-Old Young Girl

14. Sulliman's Magic Square: Return to the Castle

15. Sulliman's Magic Square: Return to the Castle

16. The Secret Cave

17. Moving

18. The Flower Garden

19. Run!

20. Now That's Love

21. Family

22. Love of War

23. Escape

24. Sophie's Castle

25. The Boy Who Drank Stars

26. Ending: The Promise of the World: The Merry-go-round of Life
65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Magnificent Oct. 11 2005
By Liam F. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Joe Hisaishi has worked with Hayao Miyazaki for most of this cult director's award winning animations. It's almost like a John Williams-Steven Spielberg or Danny Elfman-Tim Burton partnership. And the good thing is this merge of geniuses really works. The original score to HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE is a gem.

The original score to SPIRITED AWAY was treasure; it was a complete misfortune that it was not nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score. Never mind that. But just note that if you've somehow wanted to buy either SPIRITED AWAY or HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, then buy both, because you're sure to like them.

The original score to HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE revolves around one main key theme. Watch the movie, or test the CD, you're sure to catch it. It appears on almost every track. But that's not necessarily a bad thing (just in case you're wondering that if every track sounds the same, it must be dead boring). Joe Hisaishi has crafted a very memorable and instantly likeable tune, and milked it for what it's worth. But he uses the main theme in different variations and tempo. There is your typical minor key to signify danger or that something mysterious, but in general there are two standard variations.

The first is the 'merry-go-round' type music. Some may think that it is (also) similar to some grand ball during the 17th or 18th century. Indeed, this piece of fast paced, light hearted music evokes a certain grandeur, yet manages to transport the listener to a far-away magical, fantasy kingdom. There are even hints of accordion, meaning that you might hear some Parisian sidewalk cafe-type music. This piece gives the listener a very warm and cosy feeling too, as if sitting in front of a fireplace, on a winter's night, snow falling outside, wrapped in a nice woolly blanket. It's amazing how much this theme captures.

The second is a much slower, piano-heavy variation. It reminds me of John Williams in The Reunion on the ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE soundtrack and Rachel Portman in the Main Theme on THE CIDER HOUSE RULES soundtrack. It's very thoughtful, very emotional but such a pleasure to listen to.

Joe Hisaishi has generally sprinkled this masterpiece with the main two variations as described above here and there, with some other lively instrumentation and orchestra playing throughout. The style does not depart greatly from that found in SPIRITED AWAY. If you had to compare Joe Hisaishi to a Western composer, perhaps you would find great likeness in John Williams. A maestro in telling the story with his music, Joe Hisaishi's music sends images and scenes from the film into your head starting from Track 1. Joe Hisaishi's music, like John Williams, is occassionally grand, loud, lush and rich and at times quiet and serene - but just as powerful.

I'd recommend that you get this soundtrack. It's not your average cartoon music. It easily stands as one of the best soundtracks released this year (and perhaps years to come).

Liam Foo
54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
Japanese/EnglishTrack Listings for Howl's Moving Castle Aug. 30 2005
By Somnia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here are the track listings of the cd found at Nausicaa.net:

1 Opening- Jinsei no Merry-go-round
[Opening: The Merry-go-round of Life] 2:34

2 Youki na Keikihei
[The Courageous Cavalry] 0:51

3 Kuuchuu Sanpo
[Stroll Through the Sky] 2:15

4 Tokimeki
[Heart Aflutter] 0:20

5 Arechi no Majo
[The Witch of the Waste] 0:59

6 Sasurai no Sophie
[Wandering Sophie] 4:20

7 Mahou no Tobira
[The Magical Door] 5:27

8 Kienai Noroi
[The Indelible Curse] 0:45

9 Oosouji
[Spring Cleaning] 1:22

10 Hoshi no Umi he
[To the Lake of Stars] 4:13

11 Shizuka na Omoi
[Quiet Feelings] 0:28

12 Ame no Naka de
[In the Rain] 1:28

13 Kyoei to Yuujou
[Vanity and Friendship] 3:58

14 90-sai no Shoujo
[A 90 Year Old Young Girl] 1:01

15 Sulliman no Mahoujin ~Shiro he no Kikan
[Sulliman's Magic Square: Return to the Castle] 5:23

16 Himitsu no Doukutsu
[The Secret Cave] 2:34

17 Hikkoshi
[Moving] 3:05

18 Hanazono
[The Flower Garden] 2:58

19 Hashire!
[Run!] 0:57

20 Koi da ne
[Now That's Love] 1:12

21 Family 1:24

22 Senka no Koi
[Love of War] 2:56

23 Dasshutsu
[Escape] 1:33

24 Sophie no Shiro
[Sophie's Castle] 2:39

25 Hoshi wo Nonda Shounen
[The Boy Who Swallowed the Star] 7:30

26 -Ending- Sekai no Yakusoku ~Jinsei no Merry-go-round
[Ending: The Promise of the World: The Merry-go-round of Life] 6:51
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant and magical Jan. 17 2006
By Mr. Villeo Y. Soon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Once more, Joe Hisaishi has come up with another winner and with the excellent and imaginative visions of Hayao Miyazaki combined, the score compliments the film beautifully. This tie, Joe use elements from the many musical flavours from Europe especially French music as clearly depicted in 'A Stroll In the Sky' and 'Wondering Sophie' where waltzes are use to illustrate the action and emotions in the film. The end song entitled 'Promise Of The World' is very poignant and wraps up the proceedings nicely and rounds up with 'The Merry Go Round of Life' and ends up with a Viennese waltz. Excellent. The entire score is memorable and it stands on its own and with the piano solo, it certainly a musical gem. A soundtrack worth an award for music contribution to a beautifully animated film. Worth owning! A must have.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful work by Hisaishi July 15 2005
By terran.exe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is yet another wonderful OST done by Joe Hisaishi. However, you *must* keep in mind that this was written for a movie, so some things are shorter/longer depending on how they correlate with the scenes in the film. ..Don't let this discourage you from buying it! The soundtrack is worth getting, and is in my opinion one of the best from Hisaishi (Probably matched only by the Princess Monoke OST or the Spirited Away OST). This soundtrack does have a definite European influence, but at the same time is still classic Hisaishi (It is still very similar to his earlier works, take Spirited Away for example). You will not be sorry to have obtained this wonderful piece of work. (:

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