Howl's Moving Castle is an animated film directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. It was released in 2004 in both Japan and North America, where it was nominated for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards. Though the screenplay was penned by Miyazaki-san, it is based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones.
The story is about a young woman named Sophie, who is cursed by the Witch of the Waste to become much older. She journeys out in search of help, and that's when she happens upon a fantastic moving castle, whose inhabitants are just as magical as the building in which they reside.
Although this is not my favourite Studio Ghibli film, it's impossible to negate its breathtaking visuals. This is perhaps the film most heavily reliant on computer graphics, as Howl's castle is incredibly complex to animate. It truly is something wonderful to behold.
The story itself touches upon themes such as love and compassion, as well as the effects of warfare. Hayao Miyazaki is strongly anti-war, and it shows in a number of his films.
This film is rated PG and has a running time of 118 minutes. Although filled with plenty of colour, humour, and magic, I personally wouldn't recommend it for very young children due to some of the more violent, war-related scenes.
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