Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Movie Review: Howl's Moving Castle

I don't think anyone watches a Miyazaki film without knowing what they're in for: a quirky, unique view of the world, a well-defined message telling you what the film is about, and gorgeous animation.

Howl's Moving Castle definitely delivers on all three, but where does it rank in the pantheon of Miyazaki's movies? While it's much better than the over-bearing Princess Momonoke, and more comprehensible than the enigmatic Spirited Away, it's nowhere close to the top 3 of his great works:

1. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
2. Kiki's Delivery Service
3. Tonari no Totoro

In terms of the quality of the English translation, it's quite obvious that Cindy & Donald Hewitt aren't Neil Gaiman. The language is stilted and stiff, and lacks the flow and lyricis of Gaiman's adaptation. (Or the Burgess translation of Cyrano de Bergerac)

It's worth watching, but probably worth finding the original Japanese version with English subtitles.
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