ハウルの動く城 - Howl's Moving Castle
Miyazaki has done it again! His newest film Howl's Moving Castle, or Hauru no Ugoku Shiro, has attracted 1.1. million viewers and made 1.5 billion yen in two days! I think 1.5 billion yen is about 15 million US dollars. I advise everyone to see the preview. There is something so magical and wonderful about all of the Ghibli films. Even the ones that Miyazaki himself didn't do (like 猫の恩返し (The Cat Returns).
Every single part of the movie is thought through with a great deal of effort. THe character designs are so often flawless, the voices are perfectly matched, the sountrack is always spectacular, and the creativity that the Ghibli guys put into the scenery and animation is unmatched. Yet all of the films retain a distinctly Japanese quality. Even Howl's (although I have not yet watched it of course) seems to have something so Japanese about it even though it is based off of a children's book (that I read in 5th grade!)
I just can't seem to put my finger on it. Is it the apparently Japanese soundtrack? Or is it the style in which the film is drawn? Or is it the pacing of the movies? Whatever it is, it always gets me in a place deep down and opens part of me back up.
As you can probably tell, I am very excited for the new movie.
Also, while I was in Japan, I was lucky enough to be able to go to the Ghibli museum in Mitaka. It was fantastic. Simply overflowing with the creativity of Miyazaki & Co. He has original sketches just thumb tacked to the wall! There were real models for the movies there, a shop, a restaurant, a beautiful garden, a movie theatre, the most beautiful lobby, and a fantastic animation room. It was spectacular and I would love to return to it.