Howl’s Moving Castle

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Most humans do the reverse, inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Hayao Miyazaki breathes in ink and breathes out story.

I enjoyed Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, but Howl’s Moving Castle is the most enchanting of his works I’ve seen to date. To watch it is to quickly find oneself lost in a world where wonder lurks behind every corner and magic may hide in the most mundane of objects. That’s all I’m going to say about the movie itself, aside from “See it.”

I have a fantasy. In it, the major studios, having razed their hand-drawn animation divisions to the ground in the foolish belief that technology trumps the ability to tell an engaging story regardless of medium, realize the depth of their mistake and approach Miyazaki, cap in hand, to plead for his help in reaquainting themselves with the arts they so shortsightedly threw away. In the fantasy, he makes them crawl for it — although from everything I’ve heard about the man, he’s far too kind to engage in such vengefulness, even when it’s deserved.

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