Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

Movie Genre: Anime

Grade: A- (because it is a Cult Classic), by Matthew Felsted

Until now, my exposure to Anime has been limited. While I have many friends that praise the popular form that originated in Japan. Anime tends to be computer-animated or hand-drawn and are cartoon like, yet have intellectual appeal. You can learn something about a movie by looking at it's box office gross. According to Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com), Howl's Floating Castle, originally titled Hauru no ugoku shiro (IMDB), pulled in $4.7 million domestically, and amassed nearly $230.4 million in other countries. This tells us that this movie is exceptionally popular outside of the USA, with nearly 98% of it's revenue coming outside of the country. Out of 62,776 votes given by online users, the film scored a rating of 8.1 out of 10, (IMDB). The film was released in 2004.

The story is about a young women that is cursed by a bitter witch. To deal with her problems she turns to a wizard. Like the title suggests, the wizard's home does indeed travel. It has a magical door that can open into any one of four different locations. One location the door leads to a kingdom with the door being connected to a house on the outside, but on the inside it’s still the moving castle. In the other locations, the door opens to the wilderness were the castle is moving at the moment, and another to a mysterious and dark realm. The last door is unknown. Her name is Sophie and the wizard's name is Howl. She is a young girl, just 18 years old when she embarks on her journey.


  • Sophie
  • Howl
  • The young child (apprentice)
  • The talking flame
  • The magical hopping post scarecrow with a turnip for a head
  • The evil witch

Some vague references:
  • Symbolism
  • Religious Elements
  • Philosophical Appeal

Weak connections to concepts in philosophy: 

  • Taoism - 5 parts and principles
  • Ghandi - Peaceful opposition
  • Existentialism - Existence before essence
  • The Grand Inquisitor- The inquisitor: class of mages that rule over kingdom?
  • Siddartha- Life struggles, aims, and lifestylesTouch the Earth- Nature and God
  • Animus: Individuation and social relationship

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