Howls Moving Castle

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: +2 1/2

While new to screens in the U.S., this animated adventure has already earned more than $200 million at the international box office. Based on the popular novel by Diana Wynne Jones, this cooperative effort with the Japanese tells the story of 18-year-old Sophie (voice of Emily Mortimer) who works in a hat shop.After a busy day, she goes to visit her sister but finds herself swept off her feet by a handsome man who turns out to be the wizard Howl (Christian Bale).His interest in her puts her at odds with the Wicked Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall).The witch visits Sophies hat shop after hours and turns her into an old woman.Unable to remain at the shop, Sophie begins an amazing journey to find a way to lift the curse.With the help of a scarecrow, she finds refuge in Howls castle, which moves around on mechanical legs. There she meets the youngMarkl (Josh Hutcherson) and a flame named Calcifer (Billy Crystal).In the midst of a war, Sophies love and support for Howl leads him to finally take a stand for peace in the kingdom.

The movie is a delightful tale of adventure by Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki.Sophie is a wonderful character who exhibits many Christian virtues.As a young woman, she is a hard worker committed to excellence in her work.After she turns into an old woman, we see her kindness in the midst of this trial towards a scarecrow and the residents of Howls castle.When given the opportunity to move in with her materialistic, wealthy mother,Sophie quickly declines to remain with her friends.Most importantly, we see the impact of her love on the wizard Howl.The witches and wizards may trouble some parents, but it is clearly fantasy.Children and adults alike may have difficulty at times following the story.With one witch, it is difficult to tell whose side she is on.Preview recommends Howls Moving Castle as anenjoyable movie for the whole family.

Preview Reviewer: Henry J. Rogers
Walt Disney Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once mild (G 1)

Violence: Mild (bombs dropping on towns in war time, intense scenes of impending doom with witches)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Witches and wizards are main characters

Running Time: 119 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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