Released on the 20th of November 2004 and with a length of 118 minutes, Hauru no Ugoku Shiro (better known in the west as Howl’s Moving Castle) enhances director Hayao Miyazaki’s reputation as one of the world's most visionary filmmakers with this new animated adventure brimming with imagination, humor, action and romance.
Sophie, an average teenage 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, and is subsequently transformed into a 90-year old woman by the wicked Witch of the Waste. Journeying into the unknown on a quest to lift the curse, she finds refuge in Howl's magical moving castle, where she becomes acquainted with Howl's apprentice Markl and a hotheaded fire demon named Calcifer. Extraordinary characters and inventive imagery make this movie an unforgettable experience. This of course results in the fact that there are quite some nice Howl’s Moving Castle items for sale. For this moment, GhibliWorld.com would like you to know about the following:
- Howl's Moving Castle: Flying Kayak
- Howl’s Moving Castle Ekonte
- Howl’s Moving Castle Image Model Collection
- Howl's Moving Castle: Sophie's Castle
- Howl’s Moving Castle Special Edition
- Howl’s Moving Castle and Ghibli ga Ippai Short Short box
- The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle
- Howl's Moving Castle Papercraft
Howl's Moving Castle: Flying Kayak
This nice Flying Kayak was released the 10th of December 2004 as part of Cominica's Excellent Model Collection. As always Cominica made a product that aggregates all the efforts and was created faithfully to the film! The base is made of wood and the flying kayak, Howl, Sophie and Witch & Heen are made of ATBC and ABS.
Howl’s Moving Castle Ekonte
The Howl’s Moving Castle Ekonte (ISBN 4-19-861954-9) is a storyboard book consisting out of 648 pages. It was released on November 23, 2004 and is something for the true collector as most of the Howl’s Moving Castle DVD releases already have a storyboard feature. It can be bought for 2,993 Yen at Amazon.
Howl’s Moving Castle Image Model Collection
Over the years Japan’s master Ghibli merchandise producer Cominica has made several Image Model Collections and Howl’s Moving Castle has received the honor of four lovely dedicated Image Model Collections. Below a compilation photo of all of them together. Lovely!
Howl's Moving Castle: Sophie's Castle
This marvelous flying castle - Sophie's Castle from Howl's Moving Castle - was released the 10th of February 2005 as part of the Cominica Premium Collection! Lovingly replicated from the castle in the movie, and featuring fine details, this is a must for Howl and Ghibli fans. Here are three close-ups, showing each side of this beauty!
Even the down side of this Cominica masterpiece is faithful to the movie. Look hard and you will see Sophie looking down from inside, just like in the film itself!
Howl’s Moving Castle Special Edition
This DVD release of Howl’s Moving Castle is a special 4-disc release. It was released November 16, 2005 and can be bought at Amazon for 6,694 Yen over here.
The first disc contains the movie in DTS-ES 6, but without English subs. Luckilly, the second disc which also features the film with more audio and subtitle tracks (Japanese, English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese), but only in Dolby Digital 2.0. Disc 3 has some nice extra's: complete storyboards, original Japanese theatrical trailers, worldwide openings of the film, an interview with the author Diana Wynne Jones and an interview with Pete Docter (director of the English-dubbed version). Disc 4 also has some nice extra's: a conversation between Moebius and Miyazaki - Hayao Miyazaki talks about Howl, U.S. premiere preview screening at MoMA - Interviews with Hayao Miyazaki and the cast of the English version, Hello Mr. Lasseter - Hayao Miyazaki and his close friend John Lasseter meet again and finally How Howl's castle moves - CG explanation by Mitsunori Kataama, Digital Animation Director.
Please note that all of the extra's aren't subbed, but this isn't completely necessary > some of the parts are spoken in English.
Howl’s Moving Castle and Ghibli ga Ippai Short Short box
Another Japanese DVD option is the Howl’s Moving Castle and Ghibli ga Ippai Short Short box. It contains the regular DVD edition of Howl's which consists out of two discs. Now the first disc (the movie) does have English subs and it has Dolby Digital EX 6.1 Surround. The second disc is the disc with all the extra's, which is the same as disc 3 of the special edition. It can be bought for 7,140 Yen at Amazon.
Besides the Howl's DVD, you also get the Ghibli ga Ippai Short Short. Studio Ghibli completists will definitely be interested in this. It's a complete collection of all the odds and ends (commercials, music videos) that Ghibli has created over the years, from 1992 to 2005. Included in this 42 minute collection are shorts directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Yoshifumi Kondou, Yoshiyuki Momose, Osamu Tanabe, Shinji Hashimoto, and Takeshi Inamura, and feature not only new characters, but familiar characters from Totoro, Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies, and more. The styles of the shorts vary as well, sometimes simple, sometimes rich, and sometimes experiemental, these 42 minutes are fascinating animation from start to finish. Presented in chronological order and presented in full frame or letterbox where appropriate, we'll see commercials for Lawsons (a convenience store chain), their advertisement for the the Ghibli Museum, and the excellent House Curry commercials, which capture the feeling of Japan during the Showa era. Of particular interest to Ghibli fans are the music videos - the very rare "On Your Mark" video by Chage & Aska presented here on DVD for the first time directed by Miyazaki himself. Other music videos are the futuristic trio of stories by Yasutaka Nakada ("Portable Airport" "Space Station No.9" and "Floating City Planning") and the singalong by Meiko Haigou, "The 'Which? Which?" Song". A special bonus is the accompanying booklet that describes all the pieces along with storyboards and other information. Finally all the odds and ends of the Ghibli world are available on one convenient DVD. Region 2, 2.0 & 5.1ch Dolby (where applicable), full frame and letterbox where applicable.
As you'll have noticed both of the Howl's DVD editions aren't the best solution in terms of a good audio track with English subs. Also if you'd like to have a lot of extra's WITH english subs it isn't the best solution as well, but as purist I'm still very happy I own both Japanese DVD versions. And of course for those who want or need English subbed extra's and a good audio track which is subbed as well, the R2UK and R1US editions are great to buy as well.
The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle
The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle is part of the Studio Ghibli “The Art of...” book collection. It’s published by Tokuma Shoten and was first released in November 2004. The book is paperbound, but printed on high quality glossy paper. With a total of 252 pages, it contains a variety of sketches, storyboards, background information, and cel reproductions (with backgrounds). It can be bought for price around 2900 yen, for example at Amazon (ISBN: 4-198-10010-1). Following are some nice pictures from the book.
Howl's Moving Castle Papercraft
If you’re really a creative Ghibli fan, then the Howl’s Moving Castle Papercraft book is something you should get. It was released November 19, 2004 and was available at Amazon. It'll take a very long time to built and... well, I could tell you more, but the pictures below should say enough! ^_^