Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director who wowed audiences worldwide with his award-winning film Spirited Away, brings another visually spectacular tale of imagination to the screen. Sophie is an 18-year-old girl who toils in the hat shop opened years ago by her late father. Often harassed by local boys, one day Sophie is unexpectedly befriended by Howl, a strange but flamboyant wizard whose large home can travel under its own power. However, the Witch of the Waste is displeased with Sophie and Howl's budding friendship, and turns the pretty young woman into an ugly and aged hag. Sophie takes shelter in Howl's castle, and attempts to find a way to reverse the witch's spell with the help of Calcifer, a subdued but powerful demon who exists in the form of fire, and Markl, who protects the four-way door which can instantly take visitors to other lands and dimensions. Howl's Moving Castle was released in North America by Walt Disney Pictures, who distributed the film both in its original Japanese and in a dubbed English version; the English-speaking voice cast includes Christian Bale, Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Lauren Bacall, and Billy Crystal.~Mark Deming
I have been waiting for this steelbook released in US long time back. The only version you can get is triple price on Marketplace. No thanks to BestBuy made my dream come true. The steelbook alone is so pretty, included booklet from Studio Gibil. I am happy customer
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
GKIDS Honors Studio Ghibli
Many of you may be wondering the same thing I was when these releases hit stores. Are these Blu-rays an upgrade over the Disney releases? They are, in my opinion. However, are they worth purchasing again? Probably not. But, for hardcore fans, maybe. Here's why.
First, picture quality. GKIDS has completed new 4K scans for these Blu-rays. In my opinion, it shows. The image is a bit cleaner. The details and colors do differ in some respects from the Disney releases. In comparing some scenes from Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke, I prefer the GKIDS releases. Is it a huge difference? No. But it is there. The reds are more intense and look red, not orange. And in Nausicaaa, the colors differ in scenes from the Disney Blu-rays. Actual color grading differences. Plus, the GIDS releases have more shadow details.
The packaging and presentation on these releases tops Disney's with ease. The slipcovers are beautiful, with many of the releases using the same artwork as previous releases, with some exceptions, like Princess Mononoke. I also prefer the Nausicaa art here over Disney's. Each release is in a quality keepcase (not eco case) with art inside the back cover, so that when you open the case, you see a beautiful image from the film. The discs have art on them as well. I prefer the design on the GKIDS discs over Disney's, although, the Disney DVDs sometimes had very nice art as well. Lastly, the GKIDS releases also come with a small booklet that has some art and words from the creators behind the films.
The menus on the GKIDS releases fall short of the Disney releases. They are not animated. There is no music. But, they are clean and simple. It would have been nice to have at least had music playing in the background like the Disney releases. Some releases include new extras. Many, if not all, extras from the Disney releases are ported over, but some may not be HD, as is the case on Nausicaa. As you can see from the descriptions, the Disney dubs are ported over to these releases as well. Plus, you get Japanese audio tracks, although, I have not confirmed if these are the original Japanese audio tracks, as I know that was a problem on some previous releases.
Overall, I prefer the GKIDS Blu-rays, but if you have the Disney releases, you probably should save your money. However, if you're like me and you love the films and want the best presentation possible (video and packaging) and you find them on good sale, like they were on release at Best Buy, then it may be worth it to you.
If you've seen HMC on regular DVD or streaming, you'll love this Blu-Ray edition. I have been on the fence about getting BR versions of the Ghibli films until now. The BR version looks and sounds amazing, The movie is awesome too, if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it.
Maybe not as strong as other Miyazaki works such as Totoro, Spirited Away, and Nausicaa, this is still a solidly entertaining animated feature.
The original Disney release was good. This has more extras, but does drop the Pete Doctor interview.
Shout! Factory/GKids has been doing a great job re-releasing Studio Ghibli's fantastic catalog of work.