In town, 18-year-old Sophie is walking, keeping apart from the crowd. Born and raised in the town lying at the edge of the Wasteland, she works at the hat shop of her deceased father. One day in town Sophie encounters the mysterious and dashing young Howl, who is trying to escape an unwanted pursuer. Suddenly the Witch of the Waste appears and, seeing Howl and Sophie together, appears uninvited to Sophie’s home later that evening and casts a spell on young Sophie, which turns her into a 90-year old woman overnight. Unable to stay in her town unless her curse is discovered, Sophie packs up and heads toward the desolate Wasteland, where she eventually slips into Howl’s Moving Castle...
Hiding her true identity, Sophie becomes Howl’s live-in cleaning lady, shaking his home and unusual house-mates up with a feisty young attitude that defies her aged looks. As the true power of Howl’s wizardry is revealed, and his relationship with Sophie deepens, our young grey heroine finds herself fighting to protect them both from a dangerous war of sorcery that threatens their world.
I went to see this film the first evening it was released on cinemas around Sweden (in Stockholm),Friday the 21st of October 2005. The film is good, but far from the best films of Miyazaki. You recognize all typical "Miyazaki" things, such as flying-theme, fantasy, rich of colour. The film is a little too long. around 90 minutes had been good.The story jumps to many times between the war,"the Castle time", and Sophies living world,without any good reasons.It takes a little to long to come up the ending. As always, the end of the story is vague. I didn't 100% like the voices behind the characters (watched the film with Japanese language, Swedish subtitle). I think the voice of Sophie good have been a little more childish, and also her sister's voice. A Swedish writer said: Watch Howl's moving castle before Spirited Away, then you will not be disappointed on either Howl's... or Spirited. I fully agree to his recommendation.