Last night I saw Howl’s Moving Castle. Today I have the song “I Should Be Allowed To Think” by They Might Be Giants going through my head. This tells you something about how my brain works. (Bonus points if you can trace the references.) I recommend this movie. It was lush, exciting, and emotional, with warm and believable characters and gorgeous, gorgeous animation. I haven’t read the source book, but we went with a friend who is a huge Diana Wynne Jones fan, and it sounds like Miyazaki changed it almost completely (for example, the book has none of the movie’s steam-powered automobiles or flying machines, and the scarecrow in the movie is friendly and helpful instead of being terrifying as in the book). But if you like Miyazaki you’ll love this movie. It’s even more visually sophisticated than Princess Mononoke, but there’s much less ooze and violence, and the plot makes more sense. Mind you, the plot is still rather tenuous and indistinct, at times incomprehensible, but that’s Miyazaki for you. I’d like to see it again with subtitles. Most of the voices in this dub are fine (I particularly liked Billy Crystal as the fire demon, others disagreed) but I didn’t care for the voice of Howl and I bet the original Japanese voice suited the character-as-drawn better.
David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Nebula Award winning novel Arabella of Mars, sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus and Arabella the Traitor of Mars, and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Tor.com, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.