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Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
"Hauru no ugoku shiro" (original title)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Family  |  17 June 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 192,688 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 325 user | 206 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.



(screenplay), (novel) (as Daiana Win Jônzu)
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Top Rated Movies #140 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chieko Baishô ...
Sofî (voice)
Takuya Kimura ...
Hauru (voice)
Akihiro Miwa ...
Arechi no Majo (voice)
Tatsuya Gashûin ...
Karushifâ (voice)
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ...
Marukuru (voice)
Mitsunori Isaki ...
Koshô (voice)
Yô Ôizumi ...
Kakashi no Kabu (voice)
Akio Ôtsuka ...
Kokuô (voice)
Daijirô Harada ...
Hin (voice)
Haruko Katô ...
Sariman (voice)
Grandma Sophie (voice)
Howl (voice)
Witch of the Waste (voice)
Madame Suliman (voice)
Young Sophie (voice)


A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sophie, cursed by a witch into an old woman's body, and a magician named Howl. Under the curse, Sophie sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Howl's strange moving castle. In the castle, Sophie meets Howl's fire demon, named Karishifâ. Seeing that she is under a curse, the demon makes a deal with Sophie--if she breaks the contract he is under with Howl, then Karushifâ will lift the curse that Sophie is under, and she will return to her 18-year-old shape. Written by Sophie Ball

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

castle | witch | demon | spell | fire | See All (84) »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for frightening images and brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

17 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howl's Moving Castle  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,474,751 (Japan) (19 November 2004)


$82,187 (Chile) (2 June 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hayao Miyazaki:  [gorging on food]  Markl gorges his breakfast. See more »


When Sophie leaves her bedroom, her dress has turned from green to blue. However, she couldn't have changed dresses because none of them would fit her after she was transformed (wider, much shorter, etc.). See more »


Young Sophie: It's... you're scaring me. I have this weird feeling you're going to leave. Howl, tell me what's going on! Please. I don't care if you're a monster.
Howl: I'm just setting things up so all of you can live a comfortable life, Sophie.
See more »


Referenced in Filmselskabet: Episode #4.1 (2013) See more »


Sekai no Yakusoku
Written by Yumi Kimura
Performed by Chieko Baisho
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A poetic anti-war cartoon.
14 September 2004 | by (Brescia, Italy) – See all my reviews

In a time of war and falsity here it is a dancing poetry from Japan against all the cruelty and pain. The moving castle leads us to a magic place where life has a strong value and elderly people have an important role to play. Also in an apparent hostility or in a scarecrow, Hayao Miyazaki gives us the chance of finding a friend and not letting the dream go down. The perfect technique and the emotional stream are in complete harmony. If the jury of the Venice Film Festival had been more far-seeing, it would have given a more prestigious prize to this masterpiece.

93 of 145 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sophie's Hair?!? tarantinolover12
Why did they cast Christian Bale? LoveCBCF
3/4 of the movie was excellent but the last 30 min was a mess. jrme577
Disappointing Budismydog
Kinda confused.. green-corinne8
Does anyone know what time period this film is set in? CossetteMarie
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