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4.0 out of 5 stars A studio Ghibli movie meant for a more mature family audience!, March 21 2013
By 
John Thomas Anderson (Southern Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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. And like Arrietty, it's based on a western novel. But unlike the more family friendly Ghibli movies such as Arrietty, Totoro or Ponyo; this movie is a little more dark, a lot more angsty and involves war. Definitely aimed at a more mature audience as it comes with a PG rating. So I'd put it in a similar category to movies like The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Nausicaa. A family movie for kids old enough to watch the typical sci-fi movie like The Terminator without flinching. Younger than that; you'll have to check it out first and decide for yourself. Otherwise though, it's the same high quality animation and magical wonder as other Hayao Miyazaki movies!

The storyline revolves around a young shop girl by the name of Sophie who gets hit with a life altering spell and must go on a quest with a mysterious stranger in his walking castle to break the spell. Set in a Victorian style alternate world that Miyazaki always does so well; it consists of steam engines, strange villainous creatures, flying battleships and of course Howl's Moving Castle! It's quite wondrous to behold and is the best part of the picture. If you've never seen any previous Ghibli works and you think they're typical animated movies; you're going to be in for one heck of a shock! Ghibli movies are always among the best looking animated movies on the planet

Now it's not my favourite Miyazaki movie; his masterpiece Princess Mononoke and my personal favourite Kiki's Delivery Service hold those spots. But it's still a Studio Ghibli movie and that means stunning visuals, fine detail and being a newer production, a full and rich surround track with 5.1 DTS-HD audio for the English and Japanese dubs; Dolby Digital 5.1 for the French. All three tracks sound pretty much equal.

For a Disney combo pack, the extras are surprisingly sparse. There's a 9 min. piece on the English dubbing, a 7 min. piece with the English translator and a short documentary with John Lassiter welcoming Hayao Miyazaki to Pixar studios where the dub was made. That's about it. The DVD is similar.

A little too dark and angsty at times to be among my personal favourites and with a plot and ending that's a little too muddled for my tastes; I'll rate it 5 for the animation and 3-1/2 for the storyline. 4 overall.

J. A.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, Feb. 20 2013
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This movie is simply wonderful. It goes far beyond what you would expect from an Hollywood style animated movie (which it is not). The creator has used the liberty that animation allows to bring us true magic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars bon, July 15 2011
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This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
Mes frères m'ont fait connaître et sa sort des sentiers battus d'écouter cela, sa fait différent et quand même une bonne histoire
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke..., Jan. 30 2006
By 
Carmen Martin - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
--then this movie is a definite watch!
I have only seen the japanese version, but I can seriously tell that this story can be caught on quite easily by all ages. But, let's not forget the animation! Studio Ghibli's films are always world renowned for their amazing pictures and scenes in their movies. You always wonder what'll happen next in this magical film!
Anime fans, rejoice!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl's Moving Castle, Jan. 16 2006
By 
Chelsea Q (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
This is one of the greatest movies of all time. It's so rich and the animation is so good. I saw this when it first came out in theaters and i was swept away. I didn't expect it to be everything it was. This is a fabulous movie for kids as well as adults. I highly recomend it to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who can resist real magic?, Feb. 23 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Los Angeles, California) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
"Howl's Moving Castle", directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is a thoroughly delightful movie that young children will love, and adults enjoy. You don't believe that both children and adults can appreciate the same film? Well, some of Miyazaki's cartoons are simply magic, and "Howl's Moving Castle" is one of them. And who can resist real magic?

The main character is Sophie, a 19-year-old girl that leads a very boring life until the unbelievable happens: she is cursed by a spiteful witch, and turned into a very old woman. The only person who can break the spell is a wizard, so Sophie decides to leave the city and search for him. Sophie will find the wizard she was searching for, but also some unlikely friends, a moving castle and love. Things will not be easy, though, as Sophie is unable to tell her friends she is under a curse, and their country is in the middle of a war. What will happen? Well, watch this movie and you will see :)

All in all, I can tell you that I loved "Howl's Moving Castle", and that I highly recommend it to you.

Belen Alcat
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good adaptation from the novel!, Oct. 3 2008
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
I watched the movie myself, and found out that Miyazaki did a good job on adapting Howl's Moving Castle into a Movie form.

In my view, this is a good movie, expressing the kind and gentle side of human nature, which is kind of rewarding, after you have done a long day of work and sometimes need to lighten up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says that wizards have to be old?, Sept. 22 2008
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
Ok, I'll start by saying that I love this movie, like all of the other Miyazaki movies that I've watched. But let's also say that this movie is unlike the rest of them.

The story follows Sophie, a quiet girl who works in a hat shop, when she's swept off her feet by a wizard named Howl (Who, by the way, is VERY cute). The Witch of the Waste, who's jealous about Sophie and Howl's friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. Sophie, completely distressed, sets out to break the curse.

This movie is breath taking and full of fantasy and reality all rolled into one great film. Enjoy!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Howl's Moving Castle, March 27 2006
By 
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
I really did like Howl's moving castle, but I wasn't as thrilled with it as I thought I would be. Having watched many of Hayao Miyazaki's films and Spirited Away being one of my favorite movies of all time, I must admit that, although Howl was possibly one of the most gorgeous anime characters I've ever seen (I really liked Sophie too),I was a little disappointed with the plot. I like how characters like Chihiro and Sophie learn about themselves, how to make themselves better and their good qualities, and I love the characters and the animation, but it just didn't seem like Howl's Moving Castle had the same flair as his other movies, or the same plot. It seemed to drag on a little bit, but all in all, it was really great, and obviously a Hayao Miyazaki creation, and I have an immense appreciation for him and his works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hayao Miyazaki Forever!, May 15 2011
This review is from: Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) (DVD)
I love all of Mr. Miyazaki's movies, they're the only ones that make me cry every single time, no matter how many times I've seen them.
The animation, plot, characters and dubs are always rich and enchanting. Don't even ask yourself which Hayao movie to get -- get them all!
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Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual)
Howl's Moving Castle (Bilingual) by Hayao Miyazaki (DVD - 2006)
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