Actors: Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Billy Crystal
Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 119 minutes
Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars
You have no idea how excited I am for this Blu-ray! This is one of my all-time favorite Studio Ghibli films form the amazing Hayao Miyazaki. I don’t even know where to start with this film. The story. The music. The characters. everything about “Howl’s Moving Castle” is just amazing. It is one of those films that you can just watch over and over and never get bored. The film gets better and better with each viewing. Thanks to Disney this film has also never looked better with a stunning new HD digital transfer, and perfect picture and sound! Perfect, that is a great word to describe this film. If you are a Ghibli fan, this is a must have for your collection.
Official Premise: Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Christian Bale and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki’s artistry comes to life with inventive characters, unique storytelling, and richly detailed animation. Your whole family will love this epic fantasy on Disney Blu-ray!
Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray and also a DVD of the film. The 1080p transfer is gorgeous and really well done. The colors jump right off the screen and if you’ve seen this film it is very colorful! There are two audio tracks included, both which are DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. I have to go with the original Japanese track, which has always been my favorite. Although, the English dub does have Christian Bale and he does give Howl some great life. Also Billy Crystal brings the funny while voice Calcifer. So I guess they are both good in their own way. The action is captured well with the audio tracks as is the amazing Joe Hisaishi and his wonderful and beautiful score.
The special features are good but not as stunning as I would have hoped but I will take what I can get. There is a featurette called “Behind the Microphone”, which shows our cast behind-the-scenes who gave these great characters life. There is an interview with Pixar Animation Studios Director, Pete Docter, who worked on the US release for this film. There is a fun feature “Hello Mr. Lasseter”, which shows us Hayao Miyazaki visits to Pixar Animation Studios. Lastly there are the original Japanese TV Spots and Trailers, as well as the original Japanese Storyboards. ”My Neighbor Totoro” had a great collection of short extras “Behind the Studio”, I would have loved to see that for this release.