I see a lot of people have been confused by the story of Howl’s Moving Castle. I’m not sure why. If you pay attention then it’s very, very easy to follow.
This is a movie with some of the most interesting characters you’ll ever see. My favorites are Calcifer, Turnip Head, Sophie, Howl, the Witch of the Waste…Well, all of them are excellent.
The voice casting is great, too. Billy Crystal, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall and Jean Simmons (not the one from Kiss!) all do an excellent job.
This is a fantasy film, and with that comes a lot of mythology. I’m sure the book explains a lot of it in depth, but you only have 2 hours in a movie, so some of it is going to come at you rather quick. Mizayaki is such an incredible storyteller that you won’t question any of it. This, more than anything, is a story about relationships and growing up, anyway (as most Miyazaki films are).
If you’ve never seen any of Miyazaki’s films then it will blow you away. I think it’s his best, though most would say that Spirited Away was. I just feel like this is much more original.