February 14th: Kids Stuff

 

47. Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki, 2004)

 

The third of the big Miyazaki trilogy, Howl’s Moving Castle is the latest in a string of international successes for Studio Ghibli. It encompasses the same themes, again we have a ‘lost girl’ in Sophie the girl cursed to be an old woman, there is a green message which in this case is tied up with an ongoing war and there is a prince figure who comes to the aid of the lost girl. I didn’t enjoy this film quite as much as the brilliant Spirited Away because the story seemed a lot more confused and is eventually just abandoned. Where the other films maintained a form narrative climax Howl’s just dissipates toward the end when character motivations are just left in the air. Despite this the film retains the same sense of gentle enchantment and forthright honesty that characterises Miyazaki’s work.

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