Out of the many award-winning films from famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, this movie in particular has been quoted by him as his favorite creation.

“I wanted to convey the message that life is worth living, and I don’t think that’s changed.” – Hayao Miyazaki

What many might not know is that the film itself is loosely based off of a novel by British author – Diana Wynne Jones also called ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’. While the book focuses on challenging class and gender norms, Miyazaki’s focus was mainly on love, loyalty and the destructive nature of war which can be clearly seen throughout iconic scenes in the movie. 

The animated movie is set in a fictional kingdom where the protagonist ‘Sophie’ works as a hatter. She encounters the wizard ‘Howl’ by chance and discovers the wonders of magic. As all fantastical magical stories go, she’s shortly cursed by an envious witch which turns her into an old lady. The story then proceeds onwards to how she breaks this curse. – not giving spoilers to anyone.

What really caught our eyes was of course the sheer amount of attention to details when it came to the animation. Not a strand of hair is left unaccounted for. The colour palette throughout is to die for, the tones in each frame unfolding concurrently with your emotions as you watch. This movie sheds light on topics such as acceptance and forgiveness, while framing aging in a positively delightful manner.

“ Well, the nice thing about being old is you’ve got nothing much to lose.” – Sophie Hatter

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