[DWJ] Re: Howl movie vs. book Now with SPOILERS

Otter Perry ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
Thu May 18 21:07:42 EDT 2006

Well, it finally came and I've seen most of it -- interruptions for some
urgent dishwashing.

Usually I have a very hard time watching a movie made from a book
I like, because all I can see is all the changes that were made.  This
was a big problem with LOTR, although I calmed down after a while
and was able to enjoy most of it.  [Although I'll always be deeply
peeved about the ents, who have always been favorites of mine.]

However, I had Been Warned that the Movie Is Different, so I
made a major effort to not be judgmental.




And I enjoyed it a _LOT_.

There was some what I would call Typical Miyazaki --
e.g., Howl's birdness reminded me very forcibly
of the young man/river dragon in _Spirited Away_.

And there were a bunch of things that were inspired by the
book but no longer seemed to mean the same things -- like
the dog and the scarecrow.

I found Sophie's age variations a little confusing and will have
to watch the film again [which I'm planning to do with some
frequency anyway]  to figure out if I can make sense of them.

I wasn't keen on the decision to make Howl's apprentice
so young, but it has just occurred to me that if Miyazaki
ditched the Martha romance, there was no reason for him to
be any older and several reasons to make him younger.

Billy Crystal's voice is too recognizable.  If I'd been
alone, I'd have watched it in Japanese with English subtitles,
which is the way I usually watch Miyazaki, but I was with my
stepdaughter, so I couldn't.

I _LOVED_ the dog.  I notice they didn't dub _him_ but used
the original Japanese actor for his voice.  Wheeze?

And I really, really, _really_ like the movie!


... the Bible is full of literature's two great
themes, love and death (as well as its
exciting cariacatures, sex and violence) ...

                                       - Thomas Cahill

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