Hauru no ugoku shiro [Howl’s Moving Castle] (2004)


When Sophie, a shy young woman, is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle. (Letterboxd)
Ramshackle in its construction but endlessly interesting. Just like its titular house, it’s a little hard to follow but there’s so much to explore and enjoy here, from the intriguing anti-nationalist themes (see the contrasting flag bookends) to the characters both nuanced (see Howl’s noble but immature hero; Sophie’s unique coming-of-age arc) and quirky (I heart Calcifer and Turnip-Head). Beautifully animated (every one of the numerous settings is stunning) and rich in both drama and humour.
8.5/10 (Amazing)


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