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Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Hauru no ugoku shiro (original title)
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)
1,199 ( 72)

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Top Rated Movies #137 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 18 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:

steampunk | anime | castle | witch | demon | See All (85) »

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


$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$4,710,455 (USA) (30 September 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mamoru Hosoda was selected to direct the film but he abruptly left the project. Hayao Miyazaki then took up the director's role. 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: Calcifer.
Calcifer: Sophie, I'm so tired.
Young Sophie: If I give Howl back his heart, what will happen to you?
Calcifer: I'll be okay if you do it, I think. I mean, you dumped water on me and Howl and we both survived.
Young Sophie: I'd better try then.
See more »


Referenced in AniMat's Reviews: The Wind Rises (2014) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I really enjoyed this film!
23 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's hard to make any movie that follow after 'Spirited Away' So, when you watch, you have to try and keep an open mind....which is hard to do since the characters, and the whole feel of the film seems so much like his previous works.

But what fun this film is! And interestingly beautiful. I could watch most any of his movies, just to look at the beautiful scenery. I love some of the incredible imagination that goes into his works.

I could easily recommend this film. No, it's not the better than the rest, but I feel it's definitely worth your time.

I look forward to seeing the film again, maybe I will understand some things a bit better.

74 of 110 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Several things I didn't understand: EricCartmanBrah
Why did they cast Christian Bale? LoveCBCF
Sophie's Hair?!? tarantinolover12
Is Calcifer a reference to Lucifer? joao_dz6
3/4 of the movie was excellent but the last 30 min was a mess. jrme577
Is this movie better dubbed in English?? Goranjake
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