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Howl's Moving Castle(ハウルの動く城)

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Japan · 2004
Rated PG · 1h 59m
Director Hayao Miyazaki
Starring Chieko Baisho, Takuya Kimura, Akihiro Miwa, Tatsuya Gashūin
Genre Fantasy, Animation, Adventure

18-year-old Sophie is cursed by a hateful witch, who traps her in an elderly body. In order to reverse the curse, Sophie seeks the help of an insecure young magician named Howl, who lives in a moving castle, the secrets of which have a part to play in Sophie's quest.

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What are people saying?

Melanie Greenberg Profile picture for Melanie Greenberg

I've seen this more times than I can count but am consistently transfixed all the way through! The world building is absolutely incredible.

Minh Bui Profile picture for Minh Bui

This film is one of my childhood favorites, and even as an adult, I still enjoy it. I admire Hayao Miyazaki's attention to detail in his animation style, and Howl's Moving Castle is visually stunning. The soundtrack of the film is gorgeous and so nostalgic, I listen to it all the time!

Summer Goldstein Profile picture for Summer Goldstein

Absolutely a film that rewards multiple devoted viewings – each time you watch this, your eyes will catch on some little background detail or line of dialogue that brings the story to life all over again.

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by Dana Stevens

Sophie, in both her incarnations, joins an impressive sisterhood of Miyazaki heroines, whose version of girl power presents a potent alternative to the mini-machismo that dominates American juvenile entertainment. Not that children are the only viewers likely to be haunted and beguiled by Howl's Moving Castle - all that is needed are open eyes and an open heart.


Variety by David Rooney

The tireless volley of ideas and inventions make this a delight that should connect with kids and adults in both dubbed and original-language versions.


Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

The worldview, the sense of childlike fun shaded with adult melancholy, and the joyful, serene attention to visual oddity and wordless beauty could only be made in Japan. And, specifically, made by Hayao Miyazaki.


Time by Richard Corliss

The perfect e-ticket for a flight of fancy into a world far more gorgeous than our own. The film doesn't halve itself to appeal to two generations. At its best, it turns all moviegoers into innocent kids, slack-jawed with wonder.

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