Well, I just watched the latest Miyazaki film, “Howl’s Moving Castle” (“Das Wandernde Schloss”) and I have a few early observations…
(I am not going to review the film in the usual sense. If you have not seen this film and other Miyzaki films this will make little sense. And there are spoilers.)
I was a bit disappointed. I don’t think that “Howl’s Moving Castle” is one of Miyazaki’s best films. But even as a mediocre Miyazaki film it kicks ass on almost all other feature-length animation films.
OK, that needs some clarification. The story is just not up to what I have come to expect from Ghilbi Studios. Wait, that’s not it, really. I mean my favorite Ghilbi film is “Totoro” and that has almost no story at all. No, I think it is that the story is too disjointed. It really is difficult to follow the narrative here. Which is something of a shame because the film has beautiful imagery and well defined characers. The castle itself as well as the towns and villages in the story even have character status. And particularly in the case of Sophie as an old woman, we get character development. But I didn’t always get a clear sense of what drove her development.
But again, this has to be taken in a relative context. “Howl’s Moving Castle” IS a Miyazaki film. Maybe I just didn’t allow myself to be completely lost in his world. I’ll let you know what I think after a while, when I watch it again.