All parent member reviews for Howl's Moving Castle

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parents say

(out of 31 reviews)
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Parent of a 5, 6, and 9 year old Written bymama p July 18, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
beautiful and fits with the theme of most of Miyazaki's films: the portrayal of true innocent lustless love. For me this is always a refreshing break from Disney's portrayal of unrealistic cheesy romantic love and sexual innuendos...
Parent Written bymyab October 27, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Beautiful Images, Beautiful Story

A wonderful story about friendship, true love, and war. The heroine is cursed to look old, even though she's young (her outward appearance becomes what her inner self feels). The hero is a sorcerer tasked to work for the king in a war he doesn't approve of but must participate in. The intricacies and images of war (though not truly gory, just scary) is why I give it a 7+ rating. Ultimately, this movie is a love story, and not just between the h/h. It's also a story about learning to love yourself and the types of bonds that create a family (even if you aren't genetically linked). Lots of positive messages about forgiveness, acceptance, and simple human kindness. For me, this is one of my favorite stories of all time. Oh, and the kids love it, too!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written bytackyspoons April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Parent Written byStepMomSterToo January 11, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Great for Kids

There is violence and "sorcery" but nothing a younger child would really understand. No gore, and while Howl as a bird might seem a little scary, still nothing to scare younger viewers away. Just know your child. A fun story with a sweet romance to it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 year old Written byautumnfawn March 6, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 8 year old Written byMamawolf83 February 5, 2014
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Great movie for and older kid

I think 8 years old is a bit to young for this movie. Many sense in the movie can get very intence and ever scare young more sensitive children. There are a few scary images including howl bleeding and lossing feathers after a fight, a fire demon eating the girl hair and becoming a monster, and several war sence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byMattmchugh November 19, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Beautiful, but a little baffling

Like all Miyazaki's movies, this is certainly a pleasure to look at. The exquisitely detailed anime-style art and the visual inventiveness will capture anyone's interest, and spellbind children. Whether or not the convoluted story will hold them is another thing. I always feel like I'm not getting something when I watch a Miyazaki film, as if something about its Japanese-ness just doesn't translate. My kids (8 and 10) seem to care less about that then I do, and they enjoyed it just fine. There's some creepy imagery (pursuit by black-blob creatures, an obese witch who seems to melt as she ages) and a hint of nudity (a woman looks away as a man's towel falls off), but nothing really upsetting. Mostly, if your kids are like me, they'll be fascinated and bewildered by this movie. Not such a bad thing. --mm
Parent of a 10 year old Written byfriendlytoanimals May 21, 2011
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

A beautiful and fun movie that feels far from Hollywood

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie! It is beautiful, with real artwork - One of my favorite things about Miyazaki movies is how often he makes certain that by the end you cannot hate anyone - even "evil" characters are not left to be simply two dimensional evil, but have deeper stories and good inside of them. Yes, there is a war in the background of the movie, but the message is that the war is pointless and bad - it does not glorify war. Truly beautiful movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Adult Written byDaveGulliksen April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A beautiful adaptation that needs repeated watching to understand

I’ve been a long-time fan of Miyazaki films since long before they started getting translated into English. My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service are two of the best animated films ever made. To my knowledge, Howl’s Moving Castle is the first time Miyazaki has used a book as the basis for one of his films instead of writing his own story. As it turns out, there are so many changes to the plot from book to film that they have little in common. People who have read the book may be disappointed that so much of the original story is omitted. Although the result holds up well on its own, details and motivations that were well defined in the book are lost on screen. I found that having read the book beforehand helped explain many events that happen in the film that would otherwise be unclear, but it also frustrated me that many of the changes seemed unnecessary and confusing. Whereas there has often been a love element in Miyazaki’s films, this one is the first to make it the main focus of the plot, and in that is its salvation. The main characters’ feelings come through beautifully and the rich artwork and attention to detail immerse you in the story. Emotions that were treated lightly in the book are more intense in the movie, and my wife and I were often moved to tears. Conversely, there were also many charming and humorous moments. Miyazaki made many surprising plot twists and even in the most serious moments the pace never bogged down. Billy Crystal was delightful as Calcifer the fire demon, a very pleasant surprise! I just watched the movie for the second time, and it showed me that much of what seemed confusing is simply subtle, so with each watching it all makes more sense. For instance, the heroine, Sophie, has been cursed and now is an old woman even though she actually is quite young. During the course of the movie, she is constantly changing back and forth to younger versions of herself (a departure from the book). This was quite confusing, especially to younger viewers. But there is an explanation, although it takes some thought to arrive at it. In fact, this is the MAJOR POINT of the story, key to understanding it fully! In the past, Miyazaki films were renown for their wonderful background music. Unfortunately, the last several have had lackluster theme music and Howl is no exception. So I emphasize that this is a movie that you need to see several times to get the complete picture. And that also ends up being a good deal of its charm, the mark of a well-made movie that operates on many levels. The answers to these questions are key to understanding the story and need some thought: 1) Why does Sophie leave her home when she is changed into an old woman? 2) Why does Sophie accept her transformation so easily? 3) What is the pattern to when Sophie transforms to become younger? Why does she able to do so? 4) What is Calcifer and why does Howl swallow him as a boy? (hint: What happens to Calcifer’s companions?) 5) Why does Calcifer obey Sophie and why does Calcifer say he needs Sophie, specifically, to give Howl back his heart? 6) Why was the Wicked Witch of the Waste chasing Howl?
Educator Written bySaskiwi August 9, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Great anime classic

We loved this! Dreamy animation, steampunk Victorian elements, a feisty heroine and dishy hero...all this and Billy Crystal too! Still a family favourite in our house, many years after we first saw it.
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 July 6, 2012
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

howls moving castle

While keeping track of who's cursed whom and who is disguised as what can be confusing, HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE -- based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones -- pits two major forces against one another: the war-making king, aided by royal sorceress Madame Suliman (Blythe Danner), and the well-meaning but childishly petulant Howl. Sophie helps to sort out his bad behavior, in part by forgiving and looking after everyone, including the conniving Witch of the Waste. Sophie's wisdom is a function of her kindness, but her unbidden transformation is also unnerving. Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki's animation style is famously delicate and inventive (see also, Spirited Away, 1999's Princess Mononoke, and 1984's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind). These jittery-edged images conjure lovely rhythms and children's perspectives (lots of low angles and dreamlike movements), while also investigating, carefully rather than loudly and aggressively, what worries kids: Why do adults fight and go to war? How is love scary as well as thrilling and encouraging? The film's answers are complicated and incomplete, but more importantly, its questions are provocative. Families can talk about this movie's basic themes: appearances can be deceiving, inner selves are more important than what you look like, and generosity (what the movie refers to as "heart") ensures that good will, eventually, be done. How does the movie define family? What does it mean to grow old, whether magically or naturally?
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bymorgzilla June 17, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Howl's Moving Castle - Recommended that you watch! (:

Howl's Moving Castle is a magical movie that both enchants and encourages viewers. The film gives a positive message and shows a good example of life lessons, struggles, love, and war. It is, all around, a fantastic movie and is great for the whole family. (:
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Parent Written byconstaur November 21, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Very Cool Movie

Parent of a 3 and 14 year old Written byVAstuart22 December 10, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
BEST ANIME MOVIE EVER!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byMrBoo July 18, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 
no way
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great role models
Parent Written byGooberPatrol July 10, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Awesome Family Movie

Great movie for intelligent children and adventurous families.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 2, 7, and 10 year old Written bymatiasdaughter July 1, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

great family movie night pick for kids 7 and older

This was our first introduction to anime and my boys really love it. I highly suggest it, the storyline is good enough to keep parents interested and it has a different feel than other kids movies but it's refreshing and fun.
Parent of a 17 year old Written byKakarot September 27, 2009
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

extremely adorable film for all ages

Movie is too enjoyable to watch because you just cant grab what is the actual plot of the story. A beautifull movie with a beautifull ending.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Adult Written bymurasakiringo a... February 7, 2009
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

it was very funny

Howls moving castle is an anime from Studio Ghibli fro, the year 2004. The film director was Hayao Miyazaki the film based on Dianna Wynne Jones book with the same title. The film goes about Sophie a young hat-maker that was saved by Howl a wizard. After that, an envious witch transformed Sophie in a not so old 90 years woman. Sophie left her town and crosses on her way a like a kangaroo jumping besom which shows her a big moving metal castle, where she promise Calcifer, a little insolent fire that is bound on that castle, to find out how he get away from this and Howl. He accepts Sophie in his house like a cleaner .Howl is a wizard, who shall battle in a war, but he does not want because of that Madam Siliman search for him. She find him and he battle against the enemy for Sophie. In that chaos Sophie, disappear in howls days as a child to the moment as he found Calcifer. Might that help her to stop the war, or to rescue calcifer and howl? Will she ever look like herself? The film was directed by hayao Miyazaki a Japanese drawer, author and producer. After his politic studies and his work by Studio Toei, he founded with his friend Iisao Takahata in 1985 Studio Ghibli. The music is from Joe Hisaishi. He is a Japanese composer, which plays piano and makes music for Studio Ghibli. Many people mean that his music shall show you magic without words. I like that film but I would not recommend that film for someone who do not like mangas and anime because it could be boring if you don not like or fascinated of this kind if art . I read the book too, but I find the book is nothing special opposite the film.
Parent of an infant year old Written byChristianKight January 18, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

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