Howl’s Moving Castle is a film by Hayao Miyazaki, and it follows the life of a young girl who is a hat-maker to many learning experiences, emotional involvements, and physical (laborious) journeys. She starts off as a simple hat maker before trouble befalls her and meets a witch who makes her into an old woman. She runs off to try and reverse the spell, meeting a man and his friends, from inside a moving castle, who journeys together, overcoming all obstacles, and finding her true self again.
This movie is mainly focusing on the physical journey, but at the same time, the characters experience not only physical journeys, but also emotional and inner journeys of learning, and developing many feelings toward other people. In the main character’s perspective, the setting shows what a journey of a life she has had so far, and up to what stage of life she is in – ‘time’ being the key word in this journey, since she very soon meets a woman during a windy, stormy, dark-lighting, night, who curses her into being an old woman, with no time passing for her. And so, in this fashion, she re-meets Howl, the person who once saved her from some ‘blob men’ who were chasing her. Upon meeting him, her path on her journey changes once again – from something of no hope (grayscale), to something that gave her hope, and will eventually restore her (colourful). On the moving castle, she meets many friends. Not only that, but she also finds knobs that transport her to different places once she exits the door, but she is prohibited from going to the one black knob. Her journey does not come across that one knob until near the ending, where, once she turns to that knob and exits, she is not only transferred through space, but also time, and into someone else’s life: Howl’s past. The non-diegetic music also helps lead into the journey, and also helps to create a change of setting. By learning of his journey about how he transformed from that kid, to that present self, she finds out...
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