[DWJ] Howl's Moving Castle film

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Mon Jun 23 08:45:25 EDT 2008

Welcome, Emily and Chelsea!

On Sat, 21 Jun 2008, emily whitrod wrote:
> It's funny, Kiki's Delivery Service did actually make me think of DWJ, thought it was a more simplistic plot than you would find in her books. It had the sort of feel to it, with magic being an everyday venture, and likeable characters.

Yes, I've always described Kiki as the most dwj-like of the
Miyazaki movies, as well. More so than Howl's, ironically. I
agree with you that there is something in the feel, with a mix of
magic and everyday life and so likable characters who get into
scrapes, even though it is much more simple.

My favorite Miyazaki films are tied between Kiki and Laputa
(Castle in the Sky in America, for reasons which will be obvious
to anyone who knows any Spanish. Oh, Swift, you were such a
wiseass). If you include all Studio Ghibli films and not just
Miyazaki's, then Whisper of the Heart also gets me *right here*.
It's got these fabulous crossgenerational jam sessions and a
hilarious rendition of John Denver's "Country Roads".

On Sat, 21 Jun 2008, Elizabeth Parks wrote:
> The problem for me is that Sophie lacked Sophie-ness.  Really, the
> movie made me feel like Miyazaki had taken a chassis made by someone
> else and filled it with his own things, but I especially didn't like
> that Sophie got so passive in some parts.  Where was the endearing
> crankyness?

That's a lot of it for me. One of the things I adore about Howl's
-- and a lot of dwj -- is how incredibly crotchety the
protagonists are. Chrestomanci, Awful, Charmain, Sophie, Helen,
Gair. Miyazaki's Sophie was a Miyazaki heroine, which meant that
she seemed crotchety, but was ultimately really sweet. And
Miyazaki's Howl was a Miyazaki hero, which means his vanity was
*all* just an act for his larger-than-life awesomeness.

Ultimately, I love dwj, and I love Miyazaki. But I will take
dwj's Sophie and Howl, and Miyazaki's Pazu and Kiki, and I will
prefer them separately.

Although little orange Calcifer was adorable.

"I'm a very gentle man, not unlike Gandhi. ... I could kill them
at any moment. But that's really just if they annoy me."
 		 -- Joss Whedon

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