Howl's Moving Castle (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Howl's Moving Castle2005

Howl's Moving Castle (2005)



Critic Consensus: Exquisitely illustrated by master animator Miyazaki, Howl's Moving Castle will delight children with its fantastical story and touch the hearts and minds of older viewers as well.

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Movie Info

Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director who wowed audiences worldwide with his award-winning film Spirited Away, brings another visually spectacular tale of imagination to the screen. Sophie is an 18-year-old girl who toils in the hat shop opened years ago by her late father. Often harassed by local boys, one day Sophie is unexpectedly befriended by Howl, a strange but flamboyant wizard whose large home can travel under its own power. However, the Witch of the Waste is displeased with Sophie and Howl's budding friendship, and turns the pretty young woman into an ugly and aged hag. Sophie takes shelter in Howl's castle, and attempts to find a way to reverse the witch's spell with the help of Calcifer, a subdued but powerful demon who exists in the form of fire, and Markl, who protects the four-way door which can instantly take visitors to other lands and dimensions. Howl's Moving Castle was released in North America by Walt Disney Pictures, who distributed the film both in its original Japanese and in a dubbed English version; the English-speaking voice cast includes Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall, and Billy Crystal. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Chieko Baisho
as Young Sophie/Grandma Sophie
Akihiro Miwa
as Witch of the Waste
Haruko Kato
as Madame Suliman
Yo Oizumi
as Prince Turnip
Akio Ôtsuka
as King of Ingary
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Critic Reviews for Howl's Moving Castle

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (60)

Howl's Moving Castle has the logic of a dream: behind every door lie multiple realities, one more astonishing than the next.

March 13, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[Miyazaki] may have made better films than Howl's Moving Castle, but it still exhibits his amazing imagination and astonishing detail.

December 8, 2014 | Full Review…

Howl's Moving Castle is Japanese and anime, and therefore automatically more artistic than its US counterparts. The right cultural cachet gives you a lot of leeway.

December 8, 2014 | Full Review…

A floatingly delightful fairytale with its heart set on repealing the law of gravity.

December 8, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Miyazaki's vision is an extraordinary one, and Howl's Moving Castle confirms his fascination for transformations, for dangerous journeys and strange adventures.

December 8, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5

Miyazaki isn't interested in the jolts of surrealism so much as imbuing his audience with the idea that reality can change at any moment, and change back just as quickly.

December 8, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Howl's Moving Castle

More imaginative than a barrel of monkeys, the story here is secondary to the execution, and the story is better than most by far. A fairytale, yes, but for young and old. Don't allow naysayers to put you off.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

While the plot may seem a bit derivative (as well as the score and the characterizations) when compared to Miyazaki's greater works, this captivating animation is nevertheless an entertaining adventure of enchanting visuals and an always delicious sense of humor.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

the film is wonderful. the characters are engaging, the animation stunning, and the story so unique. i loved the castle, although i would have loved to see more of it, and the scarecrow. the war planes were unique, and the subplots that we hear little about, such as the war, add some very interesting background noise. howl has so many layers that my only criticism would be a desire to see more of howl's background as he evolves into maturity, but we receive enough to dive in. the film has only improved upon multiple viewings. very good film.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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