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Howl's Moving Castle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (2004)

Jean Simmons , Christian Bale , Hayao Miyazaki  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (696 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.99
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Howl's Moving Castle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) + My Neighbor Totoro (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) + Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Billy Crystal
  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writers: From The Novel By Diana Wynne Jones, Screenplay By Hayao Miyazaki
  • Format: AC-3, Animated, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Multiple Formats
  • Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French, Japanese
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment Presents A Studio Ghibli Film
  • DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (696 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BEYYEIK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,127 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Howl's Moving Castle (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)" on IMDb

Special Features

Blu-Ray(TM) Feature Film + Bonus

Editorial Reviews

For the first time on Blu-ray, Disney proudly presents a remarkable Studio Ghibli film from Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (best animated feature, 2001, Spirited Away). Howl’s Moving Castle soars like never before with a new HD digital transfer, and perfect picture and sound!

Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Christian Bale and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki’s artistry comes to life with inventive characters, unique storytelling, and richly detailed animation. Your whole family will love this epic fantasy on Disney Blu-ray!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
290 of 306 people found the following review helpful
(In fact 4.5 Stars) Though 'Howl's Moving Castle' ('Hauru-no Ugoku Shiro') may not be Miyazaki's best film, it is still far more enjoyable than many other films, Japanese or American, animated or not. I for one very much enjoyed watching it, and I love the film for its interesting characters and the rich textures of the designs, especially the fantasy world itself where witchcraft and humans' mundane works can be seen side by side. And the titular six-legged castle that really walks among the wilderness is something you never see except in his films.

Miyazaki's new film is based on a book of the same title written by Diana Wynne Jones. The film's story is told from the viewpoint of a 18-year-old girl Sophie, who is working at a milliner's shop every day. But she can hear the sound of bloody battles from the distance, and it is clear that this beautiful country, where witches and wizards live among humans, is going to see another war sooner or later.

But apparently Sophie is still leading an ordianary life until her uneventful routine days are suddenly broken by one accidental meeting with wicked 'Witch of the Waste,' who turns her into an old woman with a curse. Seeking for her place to live, Sophie goes to the wilderness where, the townspeople say, a young wizard named Howl wanders. In fact, Sophie encounters Howl's Moving Castle in the foggy moutainside, and she decides to hop in. There, forbidden to talk about her curse, she starts a new life with young and handsome Howl, who speaks to her kindly like a prince, but at times acts like a spoiled child.

[MIYAZAKI'S LOVE STORY] You will be impressed with many fantastic and colorful images created by Miyazaki.
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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trying to decode the story ... February 5, 2006
By Ken
Format:DVD
Probably many people find the story confusing. I felt the same thing when I saw it in the theater for the first time! The story seemed arbitrary and I couldn't connect the pieces together. But when I watch it again on the DVD, I realize the movie is probably about one thing: personal freedom.

Howl is a free person. He doesn't has a heart and even his home (which is usually characterized as a stable point in one's life) can move :-) He is disguised as different wizards in different counties, and when Sophie asks him how many identities he has, he said "Enough to guarantee my freedom". When Sophie confronts Suliman, she comments Howl as "selfish and cowardly and unpredictable, but he's straight as an arrow. He only wants to be free." But in Miyazaki's world, nothing is black and white. According to Suliman, Howl's power is too great for a person without heart, and he will eventually becomes a monster (some political figures come to my mind).

Sophie, on the other hand, is bounded by responsibilities. She is young, but her heart is old. She refuses the invitation from her friends and keep working at the hat shop. When her sister asks her "Are you going to spend your life in that shop?" She replies "It meant so much to papa. Besides, I'm the eldest.". Even her sister asks her to "look out for yourself".

When Sophie is turned to an old lady, it actually set her free because the good thing of being old is that one has "so little to lose" She becomes more adventurous and takes control of her life. She is very assertive as being the cleaning lady in Howl's castle and even tames Calcifer to cook her food. For Howl, his turning point comes when he refuses to move his castle anymore (I'll leave it to the reader as why he does that) By the end of movie, he regains his heart.
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198 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real "Howl" July 9, 2005
Verified Purchase
Not a lot of directors would be brave enough to take on a love story between a girl-turned-old-lady and a wizard missing a vital organ. But Oscar-winning Hayao Miyazaki tackles a new fantasy realm in in "Howl's Moving Castle" -- namely, that of fantasy dowager Diana Wynne Jones.

Sophie (Emily Mortimer) is a plain, unhappy young woman working in a milliner's shop -- lightened only slightly by a mysterious wizard who rescues her one day. But then the evil Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall) comes into the shop, and casts a spell on her, turning her into an ancient old lady (Jean Simmons). Sophie ends up wandering into the Moving Castle, a chicken-legged chaos machine, and encountering the sexy if childish wizard Howl (Christian Bale), smart-aleck fire demon Calcifur (Billy Crystal), and preteen apprentice Markl (Josh Hutcherson).

Sophie appoints herself the cleaning lady and starts whipping the castle into shape, trying to deal with Howl's temper tantrums and the war brewing all around them, and trying to cure her peculiar curse. But when she runs an errand to a castle in Howl's place, she finds that her new boss has some sinister problems of his own -- including his missing heart, and impending transformation into a monster.

Don't expect much fidelity to the novel; Miyazaki takes plenty of liberties with the story. As a result, it feels more like his story than Jones', with all the earmarks he usually has -- blobby monsters, colorful rural settings, intense anti-war messages, strange machines, and a Jules-Verne atmosphere of Victorian technology. But "Howl's Moving Castle" is very different from the others Miyazaki has done, since he kept the British flavour of the original book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Miyazaki is Amazing
I love Miyazaki's films and I think that they are a work of art. Howl's Moving Castle was one of my favorites of his which ties for first in my opinion with a very close Spirited... Read more
Published 23 hours ago by Laura Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl is amazing!
I love this film, but it seemed like my package came on a rough ride or it had been like that from it's first warehouse production, haha. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Sammie
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not the Book
We love this movie, but I will recommend that you read the marvelous book by Diana Wynne Jones before you view this wonderful movie.
Published 2 days ago by Robin Hobb
5.0 out of 5 stars its me juan
well like to say that i like or i really like movies made by Hayao Miyazaki because he is creative and totallly awsome making movies& i love to forever
Published 5 days ago by juan-carlos Buker
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG...best movie too buy
It came early and when i let my mom watch it she didn't want to give it back i had to fight her over it....but its a great movie
Published 9 days ago by KittyCat
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
Great Movie. Truly one of the best Studio Ghibli's films.
I would reccommend to all the love story fans by far
Published 10 days ago by AGSanchez
5.0 out of 5 stars <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3...
This movie may be animated but it's DEFINITELY for all ages!!!!!! Love it, love it, LOVE IT!!!!!! There aren't enough stars in the universe for the rating this film... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Antonia Mele
5.0 out of 5 stars Howl moves my heart
This movie is amazing. I only saw it once before I purchased it. You don't have to be an anima fan to enjoy this movie.
Published 14 days ago by Jessica Sisk
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Win for Miyazaki!
I thought that I could never like an anime as much as Spirited Away, but I was oh so wrong. This is a wonderful film that takes you on a complex journey completely different from... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies
I love this movie and owned the dvd but wanted the blu ray. It is a fantastic film and if you enjoy anime or any other of studio ghibli films then this is a must see. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jordan Miller
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