"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Book vs. Movie Review: Howl's Moving Castle

I just re-read Howl's Moving Castle - by Diana Wynne Jones, which reminded me how much better it is than the movie! Here I am to review both!

Howl's Moving Castle - by Diana Wynne Jones:

The eldest of three girls, Sophie, knows that since she is the eldest nothing will ever happen to her, or if she tries to seek her fortune something terrible will happen. The best thing to do is sit in the hat shop and make hats.
"You are going to have to marry money."
One day, the Witch of the Waste storms in and turns Sophie into an old woman! And the worst part is she can't tell anybody that she is under a spell unless they already know! Sophie runs away and comes upon the Wizard Howl's Moving Castle. Where she pretends to be a cleaning lady to try to find a way to break the spell she is under.
Genre: Fantasy
Characters: 9, there are so many fun characters and they are all so complex!
My Favorites:
Sophie, it is so interesting to see how a person's view can change. She is so determined. "Out Spiders! Out of my way!"
Michael, he is so sweet and kind and does his best.
Calcifer, he has quite a trickster side.
Lettie and Martha, I love their stories through all of this!
Words: 8, a few bad words, but not too bad. "Now go downstairs and think of something else to do. Please. I hate quarreling with people."
Quotes: 9, "Help me someone! I'm dying from neglect up here!"
Storyline: 9, it is such a good story! It has a little bit of playing with another person's feelings, and some drunkenness. I definitely recommend this!
Good For: Once again, anyone can read any book, but I think these people would really like them!
Sisters, Anyone who feels different than others, anyone going through a hard time.
Overall Score: 9!


Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones.
After being turned into an old lady, Sophie goes to the Wizard Howl's Moving Castle posing as a cleaning lady. She makes a deal with the fire demon, Calcifer, that if she breaks his contract he will break her spell.
"I'm the worst kind of witch, the kind that cleans!"
Genre: Fantasy

Costumes: 9, well, we are talking about animation here, but I like this.
Script: 9, only one or two bad words. "She likes my spark!"

Crew: Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by: Toshio Suzuki. Screenplay by: Hayao Miyazaki
Based on: Howl's Moving Castle - by Diana Wynne Jones
Starring: (As this film is in both Japanese and English, I will list both country's actors.)
Chieko Baisho (Japanese) and Emily Mortimer (English) as young Sophie, √ Emily Mortimer has a bit too much of an accent.

Chieko Baisho (Japanese) and Jean Simmons (English) as old Sophie, √
Takuya Kimura (Japanese) and Christian Bale (English) as Howl, √

Tatsuya Gashūin (Japanese) and Billy Crystal (English) as Calcifer, √

Ryūnosuke Kamiki (Japanese) and Josh Hutcherson (English) as Markl, Eh

Akihiro Miwa (Japanese) and Lauren Bacall (English) as the Witch of the Waste, √

Music: 8, very nice!
Music by: Joe Hisaishi
Quotes: 9, "I don't cook. I'm a scary and powerful fire demon!"
"Nom, nom! Nom! Nom, nom!"
Notes: In one point Sophie is looking out the door and Markl asks, "Wanna lose your nose?" meaning that he is going to close the door. In another Hayao Miyazaki film, Spirited Away, one person asks another the same question!!
Storyline: 5, I'm giving it a lower score because of how different it is from the book (not that I really mind), but the content isn't bad. There are just some scary and intense scenes which may be too much for little kids. About 11 and up would be fine, but it depends on the person.
What happened! This is not the same thing as the book.
1. Who in the world is Markl!? In the book it is Michael, and he is fifteen, not nine.
2. What is with Howl turning into the creepy monster!?
3. Were they feeling sorry for the Witch of the Waste? That is not at all how her story goes!
4. They didn't do anything with Lettie and Martha!
5. The ending is all screwy!
But, it is a Hayao Miyazaki movie so it is spectacular!
Good For: 
All ages, but there are some really creepy scenes that little kids might not be able to handle.
Overall Score: 7

The book wins!

I have reviewed this for:
Meredith's Beauty and the Beast Week!
Howl's Moving Castle is really a retelling of Beauty and the Beast!

SPOILER ALERT! If you have not read or seen Howl's Moving Castle, read no further! 

1. Sophie is Belle, and Beast. She has to go off and live with this wizard, but because she is the ugly one not the beautiful one. She is under a spell and she is hoping that it will be cured.
2. Howl is Beast. He is more like Beast in the movie because of the terrible monster that he turns into. But he is still very vain.
3. Michael, or Markl, is sort of a Lumier, he is very kind and lets Sophie in though he does get tired of her.
4. The book is more like Beauty and the Beast it the way that so many things turn into other things.
5. (drum roll please)..... Calcifer is the Rose!

I hope you all liked this review!
Have you been able to see the 2017 Beauty and the Beast yet? I haven't, but I can't wait!
Thank you so much Meredith for hosting this great week!!!



  1. I just read this book and the sequel. Both are smashing!

    1. Yes! I haven't read the sequel, but I really want to!

  2. Dang, the book really is like Beauty and the Beast!

    Well, I'd heard from other sources that the movie isn't as good as the book, so I probably won't watch it, but I'm glad you wrote this to confirm my suspicions. :)

    1. Yes! I didn't even realize it until I was rereading it!

      The book is 100x better! But once again, it is a Hayao Miyazaki so it is an interesting movie. :)


To comment, or not to comment? That is the question. Whatever you decide, I would love to hear from you!! I am always open to suggestions, advice, and any other comments! Even if you don't agree with me, I would love to hear from you as long as you keep the comment respectful and on subject. And, please, no swearing. I love comments on old posts!!
My computer won't let me leave comments, so it might take a few days, but I will reply!

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles