Howl’s Moving Castle is a love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sophie, cursed by a witch into an old woman’s body, and a magician named Howl. Under the curse, Sophie sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Howl’s strange moving castle. In the castle, Sophie meets Howl’s fire demon, named Calcifer. Seeing that she is under a curse, the demon makes a deal with Sophie–if she breaks the contract he is under with Howl, then Calcifer will lift the curse that Sophie is under, and she will return to her 18-year-old shape.
After many recommendations from friends, I finally gathered the courage (and snacks) to sit down and actually watch this film. At first, the whole plot seemed kind of weird. But I was easily captivated by the art style and the elements that the creators provided, especially where Howl’s castle was concerned.
Even after watching this a couple of times, I still haven’t been able to form an opinion of Sophie. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I can’t really relate to her situation. However, I can say that I don’t dislike her. Her courage and strong will is extremely endearing and I can’t picture a better heroine to this story.
When Howl was introduced into the story, I was immediately drawn in by his looks and character. I could never expect what appearance he was going to take the next time he showed up on screen. This (and the fact that he was basically the only semi-human-looking male character in the whole movie) made it IMPOSSIBLE for me to ship him with anyone other than Sophie. I felt like they absolutely had to be together, despite the fact that Sophie was an old lady at the time.
My absolute favorite character in this film was Calcifer. Although he seemed, scary and intimidating at first, I quickly learned that this wan’t the case. His desire to be free was very relateable. In reality Calcifer, was vulnerable, sympathetic, and ironically to me, the most human out of the main characters.
What suprised me the most about this film was that NONE of the major characters turned out to be exactly as they appeared. I guess in this case, you really shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover! But even though their true faces were eventually revealed, I still cannot bring myself to hate any of the characters in this film. And yes, that includes the Witch of the Waste too.
For those of you that are interested in mystery and fantasy, with a touch of romance, I definitely recommend this film.