I'm back! Sorry about yesterday, had some things to clear up. But moving on to our next review, Howl's Moving Castle!
All the good points that I said about My Neighbor Totoro are even better in this movie. The voice acting, the animation, the real emotion you have with the characters, all that. So this story takes place in a world filled with magic and sorcery, where a young woman named Sophie has a curse put on her and she has to seek the help of a reclusive wizard to help her break the spell, and she falls in love with him and has to even save him from himself. The story is the greatest part of this movie, for several reasons. One big reason is just the world that our characters live in, like I said it's a world of magic and sorcery which means the movie can do so many creative things and do so much and it greatly succeeds! And the only real shame about it is, you want to know so much more about the world and you're only given glimpses of it. And that is not a bad thing. Now I know the movie is based off a book so it probably delves deeper into the world, so I can't complain much. Second is the characters, very much like in My Neighbor Totoro the characters act very real even though the film is set in a fantasy realm. They have conflict, they have backstory, they have wants and desires and the situations they are put in, although very mystical and impractical they treat it very real and very seriously. And I just love how everything is designed, not just the characters but everything! This animation far exceeds the animation of My Neighbor Totoro, the colors are bright and bountiful but can still be very dark when needed, every main setting has a distinct and beautiful look to it, even the run down castle in it's own way, everything is just so much bigger and deeper and more articulate than before. So if you thought the animation in My Neighbor Totoro was really damn good, you're going to be awestruck at the immense attention to detail and color in this movie. The characters are original, I mean I dare you to compare them to other characters because I can't. They are just so different from what you normally see in movies. The music is a beautiful composition by Joe Hisaishi, especially the main theme which is very much like a waltz, and it is emotional and beautiful music. You know how I said in my last review that Miyazaki's work is very difficult to explain? Well I think I figured out an accurate description for this movie: it's a movie where nothing is as you expect it. Because whenever you think of magic in movies, it's pretty simple compared to this movie in how it uses magic, it's unlike anything you have grown accustomed to. Howl's Moving Castle is a spectacular animated film, with tons of emotion in the story, and should really be given a chance even if fantasy and films with magic are not your thing. Give it a watch, and see it for yourself.
So tune in next time where we cap off spring with yet another Miyazaki classic.