Howl's Moving Castle
Howl's Moving Castle is from Studio Ghibli, the same folk who made Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. It's based on the book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, and the animators have managed to preserve her style - I've not read the book yet, so I'm not sure how well the story itself came through. Personally, seeing as it combined an anime look, a steam and magic powered mobile fortress, a door that goes to different places, and well developed characters, I thought the film was excellent.
There was one bit where I fairly literally lost the plot, but I think I must have missed some essential line of dialogue - subtitles in English over Japanese sounds are great, but if you glance away for a moment, a line can completely pass you by.
The film has a similar surreal atmosphere to Spirited Away, while still preserving a feeling of Middle Europe - I kept thinking of Prussia when I saw the uniforms of soliders and functionaries, and there's a definite World War II feeling about parts of it as well. There's no effort to set rules around the magic of the setting; it's accepted, it works, and it more or less just is.
Posted by Drew Shiel at April 18, 2006 3:49 PM