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Mansion: Howl's Moving Castle film (Hauru no Ugoku Shiro)

Book: Howl's Moving Castle.

Japanese title: Hauru no Ugoku Shiro
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Writer: Reiko Yoshida
Supervising animator: Katsuya Kondou (Kiki's Delivery Service)
Release Date: 20 November 2004 in Japan. U.S. release date: June 10 2005.
Production Company: Studio Ghibli (English) (Japanese, official)
Producer of English Language Version: Pete Docter
English-language release: Disney (website of English-language release, with trailers, etc.)

Media: Trailer, song snippents, MIDIs.

Studio Ghibli has released an animated version [Japanese] of Howl's Moving Castle. The film was directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was also released dubbed into English, with an adapted screenplay by DWJ's friend Neil Gaiman.

The best collections of resources about the film (besides here!) in English are at and Anime News Network. There's a page at Pathea, too.



[US Paperback Cover Thumbnail] [UK Cover Thumbnail] [US Hardcover Cover
 Thumbnail] [UK HD Thumbnail]


(Also see Anime News Network news page)
DWJ discusses the movie in the most recent Ansible.

Diana Wynne Jones is ecstatic after a secret première of Howl's Moving Castle, practically on her doorstep in Bristol: `Miyazaki came in person, carrying with him a tape of the film, an interpreter and sundry other shadowy figures (all this was supposed to be secret for fear of the Japanese media, who then descended on me afterwards, so I couldn't mention it beforehand) and we had a private showing at the Watershed cinema. The film is goluptuously splendid with breathtaking animation. I had grown used to young ladies regularly writing to me to say that they wanted to marry Howl. Now, Howl in the film is so plain stunning and sexy that I think I have joined them. And after the showing and the scamper through Bristol I had a long talk with Mr Miyazaki and it began to seem that we were soulmates.' Some writers have all the luck.

Studio Ghibli has built a "sequel" in a museum display which takes place in a circus.


Starting in Golden Week (April 29th to May 5th), for a period of 100 days an exhibition entitled "Howl's Moving Castle - Big Circus Unfolds" will be displayed at the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition was planned as a method to not only allow people to remember the film's beauty, but also imagine what happens to the characters after the movie's ending.

The exhibition focuses on what happens to the character's of the movie, including the heroine Sophie, after the end of movie, when they have formed the circus group.

The characters, Sophie, Howl, the Witch, Markl and even the dog Heen, are displayed in the form of mechanical puppets performing circus stunts. The exhibition's surrounding area has been set-up with a circus theme, with an old-style circus tend, a courtyard and other "surprises."

This is the first time that the museum is occupied by the same [anime] exhibition for a period as long as 100 days.

The official webpage for the exhibition is [in Japanese].

The Studio Ghibli 2004 Calendar

Features an image from the film. With airships, because it's Ghibli!

an interview with DWJ about the movie

in the Guardian, 17 September 2003.

from, 10 January 2004

Yahoo News Japan reports that Miyazaki's next movie, Howl's Moving Castle, has been delayed from its planned July release until November. The delay is said to be caused because they are substancially behind in the production. Source: Y! Japan

from, 25 December 2002

Toshio Suzuki recently discussed Miyazaki's new film (Howl's Moving Castle) as well as Oshii's (Innocence: Ghost in the Shell) with Shigesato Itoi. The original article can be read (in Japanese) at

Translated Excertps:

Suzuki: I'm currently discussing the next film with Miyazaki, Howl's Moving Castle, to be released in 2004. It is based on a British children's novel, however Miyazaki usually alters the story for his movies. First of all, he wondered what period the story should be set in. One day, he said to me, 'How about the end of 19th century?' He knows a lot of artists drew "illusion art" in Europe back then.

Suzuki: They drew many pictures imagining what the 20th century would be like. They were illusions and were never realized after all. Nowadays, we look back at these pictures and see a world in which science exists as well as magic, since they are illusion.

Suzuki: "That's the world the story is to be set in," he said to me. While talking with me, his judgement waverered on one item whether or not automobiles should appear. That's currently the most important question for him. In a world where planes already exist, are automobiles necessary?

Suzuki: If you create such a world, it means that it's rather hard thing to fall in love in the world. 'That's what I'd like to depict,' he said to me. Another important point in the film is that a war is occurring in this world. The war affect the personal lives of the characters. When someone is put in such circumstances, it makes it very hard to be in love.

Suzuki: In such hard situation, the protagonist faces more hard question; 'Which side should I stand for in the war?' Miyazaki and I discuss such things these days. I came to think that the 'condition' is an important thing to depict pure love.

from, 17 December 2002

New Hayao Miyazaki film heads Toho line-up

Mark Schilling in Tokyo -- 17 December 2002 04:05

Three new works by Japanese animation powerhouses head Toho's line-up for 2003-2004.

Leading the line-up is Howl's Moving Castle, the latest film by Hayao Miyazaki, whose Spirited Away set an all-time Japanese box office record last year and is being tipped for an Academy Award nomination.

Based on a 1986 children's novel by Diana Wynne Jones about a girl who is transformed into an old woman by a wizard's spell, the film was originally set to be directed by Mamoru Hosoda for a summer 2003 release.

A director for Toei Animation, Hosoda was the first outsider chosen to helm a film for Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, but Hosoda quit the project several months ago, after failing to come up with a concept satisfactory to his Studio Ghibli bosses. The film then remained in limbo, until Miyazaki decided to direct it himself. The official start of production is February 1, with completion scheduled for the spring of 2004 and release for the summer of the same year...

from, 14 December 2002

Miyazaki To Direct Another Film

Howl's Moving Castle Set for Spring 04

Hayao Miyazaki, the leading director of anime whose films have njoyed not just artistic acclaim but also tremendous box office success (in Japan, Spirited Away has broken all the attendance records), will direct another film. Miyazaki, who is in his early 60s, had mentioned in some interviews that he was unlikely to direct again, but his name has been released as the director of Howl's Moving Castle by the Japanese film distributor Toho, confirming earlier reports that he would assume the directorial reins on this project.

Miyazaki's newest film is based on a popular fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones, which tells the story of an 18 year-old girl who has been transmuted into the body of an old woman and has to overcome great obstacles to help the powers of good overcome the Wicked Witch of the Waste. Originally Mamoru Hosoda was attached to this project as director, but he left Studio Ghibli last summer. So far only one characteristically brilliant Miyazaki sketch for the film has been released.

from, June 21, 2002

Mamoru HOSODA Rumor

A rumor has been raging in the Japanese net community for a month or so about HOSODA quitting the Howl's Moving Castle project and/or quitting Studio Ghibli. Anime News Network has reported it as well ("Hosoda Leaves Ghibli" is the title of the article), but it is purely rumor (or a translation-caused misunderstanding) at this point.

We know the following for facts:

He has never been a regular employee of Studio Ghibli.

He was brought in to direct this one film only (similar to the director of Neko no Ongaeshi and Umi ga Kikoeru)

There is no official word from either Studio Ghibli or HOSODA as to whether he has quit the Howl project.

Until such time as things can be confirmed or refuted by actual facts, we feel it's best to keep the rumors down.


Miyazaki to replace Hosoda

...Naohisa Inoue, the artist best known for his impressive pictures for Whisper of the Heart, has said on his web diary that Miyazaki will direct _Howl's Moving Castle_.

Excerpted from his web diary: "On the 30th, I had a talk with Miyazaki at the Ghibli Museum. He told me that he would direct Howl, and he asked me to draw imageboards by the coming fall for the next short cartoon film to be screened at the museum."

In June we reported that it seemed that Mamoru Hosoda, who was supposed to direct Howl's Moving Castle, was no longer working on the project.

Studio Ghibli recently closed it's doors for several months. According to Toshio Suzuki, studio manager and producer, the closure was to allow Ghibli employees a chance to relax and return to work in February 2003 to start work on Miyazaki's next project.