Howl no Ugoku Shiro

Howl's Moving Castle

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Alternative Titles

Japanese: ハウルの動く城
English: Howl's Moving Castle
German: Das wandelnde Schloss
Spanish: El Castillo Ambulante
French: Le Château ambulant
More titles


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Nov 20, 2004
Producers: d-rights, Tokuma Shoten
Licensors: Walt Disney Studios
Studios: Studio Ghibli
Source: Novel
Genres: AdventureAdventure, DramaDrama, FantasyFantasy, RomanceRomance
Duration: 1 hr. 59 min.
Rating: G - All Ages


Score: 8.661 (scored by 734285734,285 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #612
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #94
Members: 1,068,176
Favorites: 21,613

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Feb 11, 2008
katsup (All reviews)
I have watched this movie many many times since it is one of my favorite Miyazaki films, so why not write a review? I have also read the book, which takes a much different direction than the film does. And yes, it may seem like I rate highly but for some i was between 9 or 10, and I have explained things that I disliked that may not reflect in my number ratings.

Story: the story is about a girl named Sophie who gets turned into an old woman and ends up living with a wizard named Howl in his moving castle. The story is the read more
Jun 9, 2008
kiriska (All reviews)
I'd figured that waiting so long to see this made me a bad Miyazaki fan, but after seeing it, I wasn't much bothered by my long delay anymore.

STORY - This movie was apparently based off a book, but as I haven't read the book, I'm judging this movie as a work all on its own, for better or worse. So I suppose this was, in a way, a story about courage and facing one's fears, but it was approached in such a roundabout way that I'm really not sure, even now. The premise of the movie -- Sophie getting bewitched into an old woman -- read more
Apr 30, 2009
Venneh (All reviews)
TITLE: How's Moving Castle

NOVEL, ANIME: Howl's Moving Castle was originally a young-adult fantasy novel written by Diana Wynne Jones in 1986. It won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 1987, and was also was designated an ALA Notable Book for children and young adults.

Howl's Moving Castle was produced by Studio Ghibli (Ponyo on the Cliff, Spirited Away), and directed by Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind). Howl was released in theatres in Japan on November 20th, 2004, and showed dubbed in theatres Stateside starting on June 10th, 2005, courtesy of Disney, and is available both subbed and dubbed read more
Jun 10, 2011
jal90 (All reviews)
I love the Studio Ghibli films. So far I think it is safe to say that Miyazaki is my favourite anime author, and I doubt anyone will ever take his place because I have grown so attached to the work of this man and his ideals reflected on the way he conceives animation, that I can't think of a deeper connection with one's style in any way.

That is the reason why "Howl's moving castle" was, at my first viewing, a serious disappointment. It was the first time a movie by Miyazaki didn't transport me to the world and imagery it showed. Almost two years later, read more
Oct 25, 2008
adeadaccountlol (All reviews)
Howl's Moving Castle has to be the most overrated of all Miyazaki's films. While it produces legendary animation and a wonderful soundtrack, the story is dull with characters that are difficult to get attached to at all. There is very little character development and many of the characters seem absolutely useless to the plot. The relationships between the characters are also sloppily done with a rushed feeling to them, making them feel like nothing special. Also, not enough is learned about ANY of the characters' pasts and many of their actions seem inconsistent with the personalities you previously thought you knew, making it unpredictable in read more
Oct 19, 2008
StarfleetCpt (All reviews)
Howl's Moving Castle is, ultimately, just one example in the ever-growing pile of evidence as to why the word "miss" is never associated with Myazaki.

Story: 10 (Outstanding)

It's hard to say that Howl is original when not only does it draw very heavily from established conventions and tropes from high fantasy and nostalgic works but also happens to be the anime adaptation of the British book of the same name, but it manages to be surprisingly original nonetheless. The story begins with Sophie really just minding her business when she happens to cross paths with an ornery witch who curses her with advanced aging. Desperate to read more
Feb 26, 2018
literaturenerd (All reviews)

I'm currently on a quest to watch every Miyazaki movie and I'm almost done. Miyazaki has the highest batting average of any writer/director in anime as far as I'm concerned. I guess it was inevitable that eventually even he would swing and miss. This is the beautifully animated mess called Howl's Moving Castle.


Firstly, Miyazaki is at his very best when he writes his own material and creates his own original stories. He has shown he CAN do brilliant adaptations like Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle of Cagliostro, but the source material needs to mesh well with his own writing style, preferred themes, and tone. With read more
May 13, 2019
AnimeBW (All reviews)
It’s never a good sign when I finish a film and the first thought that pops into my head is, “What the hell was that?” Unfortunately, that’s the situation I found myself in upon completing Howl’s Moving Castle, a film which started out promising enough before proceeding to baffle and confuse me at pretty much every turn. I’m almost convinced there was some critical plot element or thematic undercurrent that I somehow missed, to the point where I wonder if I should really be writing this review without first having a second watch to make sure that my aggravated confusion is genuinely on the film’s read more
Oct 19, 2013
anime-cat (All reviews)
Howl's Moving Castle is a movie which is greatly acclaimed and loved. I wanted to see what I was missing out on so I watched it.

This movie is about a woman named Sophie who owns a hat shop. On the way to meet her sister, Sophie is saved from shifty men by a handsome, wizard named Howl. The witch of the waste then decides to intervene and casts a spell on Sophie out of jealousy. On a journey to recover her old self, she ends up on the moving castle as a cleaner. Then there's lots of magic, secrets, an adoptive family and a read more
Dec 10, 2015
red-eyed-slayer (All reviews)
Howl's moving castle, the creator seems to enjoy making his movie have many slice of life elements such as a family atmosphere. While that is nice when it gets too prolonged, it starts to become unnecessary filler and ruins pacing, which I believe you need a good in a film. There was no exciting moments, especially with a film like this we could see more glimpses of the world, rather than focusing too much on the characters.

The movie's storyline didn't seem to have been resolved properly as it conclusion was too rushed and there seems to be deus ex machina. Characters were weak and their read more
Sep 28, 2007
Belerophon (All reviews)
First off this is another great film from Hayao Miyazaki I personally loved this film the characters are bright, and vibrant with great personalities which is one of the things that makes me whatch this film over and over again.The film is also good because it can be watched by an entire family and be enjoyed on many diffrent levels,the enviroment in the film are beautifuly rendered and the range from beautiful fantasy, to early modern war periods I would reccomend this anime for anyone first off who is a Hayao Miyazaki but most importantly who is intrested in seeing a masterpiece of its own read more
Apr 10, 2009
yusuke116 (All reviews)
Hayao Miyazaki is rightfully considered one of the great artists working in the anime form. Eschewing the hard-edged violence that many American viewers (rightly or wrongly) associate with the form, Miyazaki creates painterly, pastoral visions filled with beauty and eccentric charm. And unlike much of anime, his characters are really animated: they live and breathe and move; they don’t just stand there filling up the composition while the extreme camera angles, moody lighting and striking character design strive to compensate for minimal movement. Moreover, the writer-director is not just a painter of pretty pictures; he fills his films with deeply felt themes (environment, war, etc) read more
Sep 1, 2020
NoSeances (All reviews)
I really can't say I enjoyed this film. For me, story points and character play a large role in my investment into a film, with the art and sound playing supporting roles.
With that being said, there was no coherency to the story. The first 15 minutes or so, I was following right along, but as soon as Sophie leaves her town, things just... happen, for no particular reason. The story progresses but there is no purpose driving the scenes. Sophie's curse must be broken now here's a series of events that lead up to that. I'll give a couple of examples of scenes that read more
Oct 11, 2009
Lucille_Delilah (All reviews)
I got the book this move was based off of randomly at the library one day, and really enjoyed it. When I heard this move existed I was quite happy, that is until I actually watched it. It seemed to me that a lot of the plot was cut out, and that the characters just weren't the characters I had come to love.
I even found myself confused by the end. I don't think things were explained enough. A lot of the humor was gone as well. I have never been a fan of Studio Ghibli, but I was willing to give them a chance read more
May 27, 2016
ItIsIDio (All reviews)
Previously, I've reviewed another Ghibli movie where I did explain that although it was a 5/10 and that it was mostly gonna overview the fact that I didn't like it because I was the wrong audience and give some information for some likeminded individuals. It is absolutely not the same situation here because there's plenty of things wrong and to criticize.

But before that, I'll have to get this out of the way. The world looks amazing and the atmosphere set is great. As far as visuals go Ghibli delivers again a set of stunning visuals in a world where magic exists, making everything look absolutely read more
Apr 15, 2015
murakafkami (All reviews)
This has to be the most disappointing anime movie I've ever seen. Considering people say this is much better than the book, I can only shudder to think how mind numbingly boring the book must have been. Studio Ghibli's and Miyazaki's prodigious talents are exhausted and wasted in trying to make this movie pseudo-bearable.

To summarize, it's the classic witch curses girl fantasy, but with some meaningless filler war and random side characters and just... ugh. It's a mess. And by no stretch of imagination a beautiful one, save for the visual appeal.

The brilliant art and the passable music do nothing to alleviate the intense read more
Aug 25, 2011
wherearethestars (All reviews)
Howl's Moving Castle is a revolutionary masterpiece that defies common plot structure and character development techniques. As a result, some people mistake a number of its best traits for flaws.

Story: 10

The story is a “typical” Hayao Miyazaki female coming-of-age plot (if you can call anything that Miyazaki does as typical), and has an air of magic and wonderment very like a fairytale. His extensive use of metaphors and symbolism, as is typical of much of his work, leaves the viewer feeling that the movie is extremely thought provoking. The themes he addresses, love, war, forgiveness, self-confidence and self-deprecation, are all explored multi-facetedly read more
Jun 29, 2010
Magdalen (All reviews)
A friend of mine who is a huge fan of the Studio Ghibli works recommended this to me. And thank goodness she did. This movie remains one of my favourites, even after watching most of the Studio Ghibli works and quite a few from other studios.

The movie starts with Sophie, a young girl working as a hatter at her late father's hat shop. She meets Howl by complete chance, and catches his attention, much to the irk of the Witch of the Waste who wants Howl's heart for herself. The With of the Waste then casts a curse on Sophie, transforming her to the body read more
Sep 11, 2015
Visceras (All reviews)
Howl's Moving Castle is the second biggest film from Ghibli studios .. the hype was huge, the feeling from the cover was huge .. the title was promising (a fucking moving castle !!), everything in this movie was promising because it's from Ghibli and everything from Ghibli it's piece of art..

But this wasn´t the case. When I finished this movie my mind was about to blow trying to compile everything and trying to find a way of understanding this movie because literally in the end there were so many things that I did not understand that I just gave up.

Where do I begin read more
Jun 4, 2008
viva-la-maeva (All reviews)
What made me watch this movie was a previous one called Spirited Away. This one was said to be just a good. And I agree.
I put 8 for the story, there is a nice plot through out, though I some times found it hard to understand.
I just had to put 10 for the amazing artwork. What I loved was the scenery. The artist really got creative and there are tons of wonderful things to see.
The sound was great. I don't know if this is part of sound, but actually enjoyed watching this in English, the voice actors did a fantastic job.
Like in read more