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Director: Hayao Miyazaki     Starring: Christian Bale Emily Mortimer
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Howls Moving Castle DVD 1 of 1
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Learn more about Howl's Moving Castle:

Format: DVD
Sku: 202109051
UPC: 786936296662
UPC 14: 00786936296662
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Family & Kids
A Hayao Miyazaki Film.
In Hayao Miyazaki's latest animated masterpiece, journey beyond imagination and enter a fantasy world filled with adventure, humor and heart. Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl's magnificent flying castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki's artistry comes to life on DVD with inventive characters, unique storytelling and richly detailed animation.

"...breathtaking fantasy world...  Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

Editor's Note
Acclaimed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki adapts British writer Diana Wynne Jones's popular fantasy tale for this animated feature, adding his own unique and celebrated dreamlike spin. A young hat-maker named Sophie (voiced by Emily Mortimer) is turned into an old woman by the dreaded Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall) when she attracts the notice of Howl (Christian Bale), a young wizard whom the witch desires for herself. As the old woman, (voiced by Jean Simmons), Sophie finds refuge as a cleaning lady in Howl's magical castle, an impressively realized mishmash of anthropomorphic shafts and gears, where she meets, among other wonders, a cantankerous fire demon named Calcifer (Billy Crystal). Howl's courage inspires her to seek a cure for her curse, and vice versa, and the two work together to prevent a major war as the castle roams the countryside on its mechanical legs. There's lots of magic afoot as well, including travel through barriers of space and time, and shape-shifting, requiring full viewer attention to keep track of who, where, and when, but this how dreams really are and the film engages on that same subconscious level. As with Miyazaki's previous work (SPIRITED AWAY, KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE), the emphasis here is on creating a beautiful alternate reality, where anything can happen, and every frame is a breathtaking work of art. See it on the big screen if the chance presents itself; the elaborate intricacies and patiently realized alternate realities of Miyazaki's work makes him a true treasure.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1); Dolby Surround Sound, Interview, TV Spots, Trailers, Storyboards

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Video Release Date Release Date: 5/17/2015
Video Play Time Running Time: 119 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2005
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 4139903
Video UPC UPC: 00786936296662
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 2

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: Japanese
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English Dubbed, Japanese
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Billy Crystal
Video Cast Info Christian Bale
Video Cast Info Jean Simmons
Video Cast Info Lauren Bacall
Video Cast Info Atsushi Okui - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Cindy Davis Hewitt - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Diana Wynne Jones - Based On Novel By
Video Cast Info Donald H. Hewitt - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Hayao Miyazaki - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Hayao Miyazaki - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Hayao Miyazaki - Director
Video Cast Info Joe Hisaishi - Original Music By
Video Cast Info John Lasseter - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Takeshi Seyama - Editor
Video Cast Info Youmi Kimura - Original Music By

Professional Reviews

"[S]tunningly beautiful and strangely moving....Miyazaki has a very good handle on it and lavishes his customary heart, humor, and inventiveness on every situation he depicts." 06/01/2005 p.52-54

New York Times
"Admirers of his work, which is wildly imaginative, emotionally intense and surpassingly gentle, will find much to appreciate in this film because it demonstrates, once again, his visual ingenuity and his sensitivity as a storyteller." 06/10/2005 p.E13

USA Today
"Clever and often enchanting....This movie often soars, blending a childlike sense of wonder with sophisticated emotions and motives." 06/10/2005 p.4E

Los Angeles Times
"[Miyazaki has a] gift for wonder, an ease with fantasy that makes enchantment second nature..." 06/10/2005 p.E4

Entertainment Weekly
"As HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE makes ravishingly clear, coming into one's own is the most heroic -- and magical -- experience of all." 06/17/2005 p.57-58

"[T]his is subtle, profound and ravishing; once again, Miyazaki brings an original sense of wonder to cinema." 10/01/2005 p.140

Sight and Sound
"The riches of nature are present, correct and ravishing....HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE serves as an index of Miyazaki motifs..." 10/01/2005 p.66

Rolling Stone
3 stars out of 4 -- "[T]his Oscar-nominated Japanese animation wanders into seriously trippy territory....Relentlessly imaginative..." 03/23/2006 p.76

4 stars out of 5 -- "Tremendously imaginative and charming." 05/01/2006 p.150

Chicago Sun-Times 7 of 10
Almost the first sight we see in "Howl's Moving Castle" is the castle itself, which looks as if it were hammered together in shop class by wizards inspired by the lumbering, elephantine war machines in "The Empire Strikes Back." The castle is an amazing visual invention, a vast collection of turrets and annexes, protuberances and afterthoughts, which makes its way across the landscape like a turtle in search of a rumble. I settled back in my seat, confident that Japan's Hayao Miyazaki had once again created his particular kind of animated magic, and that the movie would deserve comparison with "Spirited Away," "Princess Mononoke," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Kiki's Delivery Service" and the other treasures of the most creative animator in the history of the art form. But it was not to be. While the movie contains delights and inventions without pause and has undeniable charm, while it is always wonderful to watch, while it has the Miyazaki visual wonderment, it's a disappointment, compared to his recent work. - Roger Ebert

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Bale,Christian
Product attributeLabel:   Buena Vista Home Video
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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