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Howl’s Moving Castle

Japanese Title: Hauru no Ugoku Shiro movie

Released Date: 2004

This movie was suggested to me by my former professor, Ms. Shenna (tnx mam ^^,). *sigh* I remember Hime-chan and Daichi (from Hime-chan No Ribbon) the first time I caught a glimpse of this movie.. Anyways, it’s a nice movie ^^,

Howl’s Moving Castle

(Not a typical castle for a wizard, It’s made up of pile of trash joint by Calcifer’s fire.. Though the castle’s exterior looks awfully bad, the castle’s interior seems pretty good when Sophie moved in.. ^^,)

Here’s the Plot from wiki:

Young Sophie Hatter, who runs her late father’s hat shop, encounters the mysterious wizard Howl by chance. He takes a liking to her. This attracts the attention of the Witch of the Waste, who has been seeking Howl’s heart for herself. She curses Sophie, turning her into a crone. As the curse prevents her from telling anyone of her true form, Sophie decides to run away. Along the way, she befriends a scarecrow that she names Turnip Head, and they come across Howl’s castle. Once inside, Sophie meets the fire demon Calcifer who powers the castle and recognizes that Sophie has been cursed. Calcifer offers to break the curse in exchange for Sophie’s help in breaking the pact between him and Howl. When Howl appears, Sophie announces that she is the castle’s new cleaning lady. As she adjusts to life in the castle, she discovers that the front door is a magic portal leading to several places.

Howl receives summons from the King, who orders his various assumed identities to fight in the war started by the disappearance of Crown Prince Justin. Howl sends Sophie as his mother to decline. At the palace, Sophie runs into the Witch of the Waste, who reveals that she cannot reverse the spell she cast on Sophie. Madame Suliman punishes the Witch by draining all of her power. Losing her youthful facade, the Witch returns to her true age, and becomes a senile old woman. Suliman tells Sophie that Howl will meet the same fate if he does not contribute to the war. Howl then arrives to rescue Sophie, with the Witch and Suliman’s asthmatic lapdog Heen tagging along. He gives Sophie a magical ring that would guide her to Calcifer. Suliman begins tracking her to get to Howl.

Sophie learns that Howl transforms into a bird-like creature to interfere in the war, but each transformation makes it more difficult for him to return to human form. Howl shows his appreciation for her by transforming the castle so that it can lead to Sophie’s old home as well as Howl’s childhood residence, which he gives to Sophie as a gift.

Soon after, Sophie’s mother visits the house, and somehow recognizes Sophie despite her old appearance. They then have a happy reunion. However, Sophie’s mother is actually under Suliman’s threats, and leaves behind a bag containing a “spying bug” and cigar under her orders. The former Witch of the Waste discovers them and promptly begins smoking the cigar after feeding the bug to Calcifer. Unfortunately, Calcifer gets sick after eating the bug, rendering him unable to protect the castle from being discovered when Sophie opens the windows to air out the cigar smoke.

Shortly, the city is attacked by enemy planes as Suliman’s henchmen invade the hat shop. After protecting the hat shop from the bombing, Howl transforms and draws the guards away, while Sophie and Calcifer bring the castle to the Wastes. So that Howl would not be continuously forced to defend them, Sophie pulls Calcifer out of the castle to destroy the magic and cut off all ties to the city, then moves him back in to create a smaller version of the moving machine so they can rescue Howl. Unfortunately, the Witch of the Waste discoveres Howl’s heart in Calcifer’s diminishing flames, and grabs it. To save her from burning, Sophie douses her and Calcifer with water. The castle breaks apart, and Sophie and Heen are thrown over a cliff.

Sophie recovers in tears, believing that she has killed both Calcifer and Howl, as their lives are interconnected. As she is sobbing, Howl’s ring points to the remains of Howl’s castle door; she walks through it. She finds herself in Howl’s past, where she sees Calcifer being caught by a young Howl as a falling star. Howl catches Calcifer falling from the sky, and makes a pact with the demon that he will give him his heart if he serves him. Sophie is pulled back into present time: before leaving she tells Howl to find her in the future.

Back in the present, Sophie finds Howl and realizes that he has been waiting for her all along. He carries her to the others and then collapses. She takes Howl’s heart from the Witch and puts it back in his chest. Calcifer returns to his original form and flies away. The remains of the castle slide down the cliffs. Turnip Head stops the fall and saves everyone, but is damaged. Sophie gives him a kiss, and he transforms (back) into the missing Prince Justin. By now, Sophie has fully transformed back to her youthful self but in hair color, which remains gray. Prince Justin leaves to put an end to the war. Later, Howl, Sophie, and the others are seen aboard a new, flying castle powered by Calcifer of his free will. The final scene is when Howl and Sophie are on a balcony and they share a kiss.


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