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Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle Open in Japan 222

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the tapping-my-toes-impatiently dept.
blamanj writes ""Howl's Moving Castle" (Howl no Ugoku Shiro), is the latest animated epic from Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli. In a departure from his usual sources, this time Miyazaki has adapted a story by British author Diana Wynne Jones. The reviews look good." CT: Apparently Howl's opened a few weeks ago.
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Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle Open in Japan

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  • by Omicron32 (646469) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:12PM (#11149732)
    I'm not watching it if it's not digitally signed.
    • In Korea, only old people worry about digital signatures...

      Damn, that meme died out quickly. What about "In Soviet Russia, Memes repeat YOU!"

      hot grits?

      hello?
  • For reals this time!
  • by JossiRossi (840900) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:14PM (#11149757) Homepage
    I didn't see anything on it, but have they done any dubbing? I personally prefer subtitles, but they may try to pull a "Must appeal to a wider audience" when they pull it over to the states. Will the English speaking version suck? Who knows.
    • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:29PM (#11149966)
      I didn't see anything on it, but have they done any dubbing? I personally prefer subtitles, but they may try to pull a "Must appeal to a wider audience" when they pull it over to the states.
      Howl will almost certainly be released in the same way that Miyazaki's other movies have been here in the states: the DVDs have both english and japanese audio tracks, and English subtitles as well. As for whether the dub will suck or not -- so far, most of the dubs have been very good. The only exception, in my opinion, was Castle in the Sky, which had a pretty poor dub.
      • Totoro? (Score:3, Interesting)

        so far, most of the dubs have been very good. The only exception, in my opinion, was Castle in the Sky, which had a pretty poor dub.

        I'm guessing that either a.) you haven't seen My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari No Totoro) or 2.) you don't understand Japanese, because that was one of the worst dubs of any anime that I have ever seen.

        The quality of the English voice-acting was terrible, and the things they were saying were nowhere near the original Japanese dialogue. I guess I can understand a little bit because

    • Considering that it just openned in Japan, they probably haven't done any work on an English version yet. American distributors are annoyingly slow about signing anime, even Miyazaki's work, and it would be too much of a risk to actually do English voices without any particular plans to release it in an English version. On the other hand, I bet the English script will be relatively true to the original this time.
      • by UWC (664779) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:05PM (#11150407)
        Disney has exclusive US distribution rights to all Ghibli work (note that the Miramax label, under which Princess Mononoke was released, is owned by Disney), so there shouldn't be a problem with signing. I think Spirited Away was in US theaters within a year of its Japanese release, wasn't it? I hope this sees a similarly speedy release. Spirited Away's critical success bodes well for a fairly wide release.
    • Aint-It-Cool news reported on the 11th [aintitcool.com] that Nausicaa.net had a news item on 11/23 [nausicaa.net] that Pete Docter, the director of Monsters, Inc., would be directing the US release.

      The Nausicaa site points back to a Japanese language press release from the 20th of November [toho.co.jp].

      So this is hardly news.
    • by colmore (56499) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @07:45PM (#11154018) Journal
      I prefer dubbing in the theaters and subtitles at home.

      Reading text on a big screen takes my eyes off the visuals for a moment, and in a Ghibli movie, that's unforgivable.
  • by BillsPetMonkey (654200) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:16PM (#11149786)
    The moral in Sen to Chihiro no kamikaukushi ("Spirited Away") is basically "Don't destroy the environment" and "Children should learn manners".

    Sounds very simple, but how many Hollywood films teach kids this stuff? It's subtle. I wonder what the moral is for this one.
    • I hate movies with a moral, I watch to be entertained, not talked down to with a tone that the director needs to educate me. If you want children to grow up with some morals, talk to their parents, not Hollywood.
      • > I hate movies with a moral, I watch to be entertained, not talked
        > down to with a tone that the director needs to educate me. If you want
        > children to grow up with some morals, talk to their parents, not
        > Hollywood.

        Good grief. Most children's stories throughout history, heck most stories in general, have morals to them. That's rather the point, to entertain and educate.

        I agree that the idiocy of American cartoons, where there are 22 minutes of violence (without bloodshed, of course), 7 min
      • "I hate movies with a moral, I watch to be entertained, not talked down to with a tone that the director needs to educate me. If you want children to grow up with some morals, talk to their parents, not Hollywood."

        And the cynical little boy who said this was eaten up by a wolf, but all the little children who liked movies with morals lived happily ever after.

    • The moral in Sen to Chihiro no kamikaukushi ("Spirited Away") is basically "Don't destroy the environment" and "Children should learn manners".

      ... I wonder what the moral is for this one.

      If you'd seen any of his other movies, you'd know it's a pretty safe bet that "don't destroy the environment" is part of this one as well.
    • The moral in Sen to Chihiro no kamikaukushi ("Spirited Away") is basically "Don't destroy the environment" and "Children should learn manners".

      Er, the moral is always "good little japanese girls work hard and don't complain".

      Every, single, time.

      He'll tack on additional morals, if need be, but "work hard" is the moral of everything I've seen with Miyazaki's name attached.
      • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:15PM (#11150543) Homepage
        That's not the "moral," that's the background of Japanese culture from which it's created. It may be shocking to you, but working hard and not complaining are actual values (for both genders) that are very much embodied in Japanese child-rearing.

        From the Japanese perspective, the moral of American media is "slack off and whine a lot."
        • What do you mean? I mean with such fine movies as... umm... Clerks.

          Oh yeah.
        • That's not the "moral," that's the background of Japanese culture from which it's created. It may be shocking to you, but working hard and not complaining are actual values (for both genders) that are very much embodied in Japanese child-rearing.
          From the Japanese perspective, the moral of American media is "slack off and whine a lot."


          The moral of that family-oriented japanese movie is (gasp!) in synch with the culture that spawned it? Unfuckingbelievable!

          Main Entry [webster.com]1: moral
          Pronunciation: 'mor-&l, 'm
          • 1 a : the moral significance or practical lesson (as of a story) b : a passage pointing out usually in conclusion the lesson to be drawn from a story

            That's exactly the point! While you certainly can draw that lesson from Japanese movies, it's not the lesson to be drawn from the author's point of view.

            Since in their culture these values are nothing unusual, from their point of view, there are other, more important lessons to be drawn from the stories. So, as the grandparent said, that's not the "moral,"
            • it's not the lesson to be drawn

              Why would there be a legal limit of ONE moral per movie?

              Since in their culture these values are nothing unusual, from their point of view, there are other, more important lessons to be drawn from the stories.

              How do you think these lessons get assimilitaded? By osmosis? No! By repeating them, in stories, in life, by example.

              Miyazaki is insisting on this PRECISELY because it was an important part of japanese culture when he was growing up, and he sees the kids nowadays sl
              • No, he does not see kids slacking off and whining.

                Have you ever been to Japan? In a Japanese household? I suspect you haven't. You'll be shocked, but children do not behave identically around the world. In my experience, as early as the age 4, there are stark differences in the way that children from different cultures behave. The hard-working, not-complaining Japanese child is typical, not some sort of paragon set out as an example to emulate.
      • Your post is a little unclear on his motivation for why he would concentrate on "working hard".

        IIRC Miyazaki feels that japanese women are undervalued in modern Japanese society. Hence he always develops 'strong' female leads in his films, leads who go places because they work hard, which is the only way you'll ever go places.

        He's not perpetuating a system of exploitation for women but giving them a lesson in how to live successfully. It's also why his films are better than hollywood dreck, working hard is

      • Er, the moral is always "good little japanese girls work hard and don't complain".

        I'm trying to apply that thought to Mononoke Hime.

        We have the lady Eboshi and her ex-whores. They work hard, but don't complain. Of course, they are manufacturing firearms to fend off the emperor's army, designed to be light enough to be used by women. (The male lepers also don't complain.)

        We have San, who is still a girl who ends up attacking the forces of Eboshi alot, but doesn't otherwise complain. The war she

    • by DeadVulcan (182139) <(dead.vulcan) (at) (pobox.com)> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:42PM (#11150125)

      The moral in Sen to Chihiro no kamikaukushi ("Spirited Away") is basically "Don't destroy the environment" and "Children should learn manners".

      Chihiro, at the beginning of the film, seems somewhat spoiled and incessantly whiney.

      By the end, she has had to set her own goals, make her own decisions, accept responsibility, and carry through on a long-term plan. All without the guidance of her parents. It's the process of growing up and leaving the nest. Sorry, but "children should learn manners" just doesn't cover all that.

      • By the end of the film, Chihiro has come to an understanding that the world doesn't revolve around her; everyone basically acts in self-interest, and therein is the value of true friends who will act on your behalf even if it's not in their interest.

        She also learns independence. See, it would be one thing if Chihiro merely latched onto the Yubaba as a surrogate mother. But she doesn't. At the end of the film, she confronts even her, in order to free her parents. This is an astounding level of independ

      • Chihiro, at the beginning of the film, seems somewhat spoiled and incessantly whiney.

        By the end, she has had to set her own goals, make her own decisions, accept responsibility, and carry through on a long-term plan. All without the guidance of her parents. It's the process of growing up and leaving the nest. Sorry, but "children should learn manners" just doesn't cover all that.


        Well, you're a bit closer than the post you're replying to, but still not quite right.

        Spirited Away is about greed and glutton
        • Spirited Away is about greed and gluttony.

          Interesting. I'm not sure I completely agree with you, but then, any good film will have multiple valid interpretations. I don't think it's useful to try and argue which one is "correct." So I don't disagree with you, anyways.

          even Nausicaa ... is an allegory for the real-life Cold War that was going on at the time, and what would happen if it turned hot. The environment is used in these films as a vehicle to make a point.

          Now, this is really interesting, I

        • ... Spirited Away has nothing to do with the environment at all ...

          It certainly does. Remember the "stink spirit" that turned out to be a river god? Note the contents that spewed out when they pulled out the "thorn" in its side.

          Another one: the Kohaku river disappeared as a result of new buildings that rose around it.
        • I'm calling these films by their English names because I'm speaking English, btw - I don't really see the point in mixing languages up when there is a proper, official English title available.

          While I agree with you on using English titles if available, if the Japanese one means nothing to you, there is a point in using the original title.

          I don't speak Japanese, nevertheless, once I learned what Mononoke [solon.org] means (vengeful ghost, here probably better "spirit"), I prefer the Japanese title.

          I cannot know for
    • I got the manners part, but where was there a moral about the environment?

      (Somehow I heard that Miyazaki came out of retirement to make Spirited Away after meeting a particularly spoiled child. But I suspect he'll never retire. Not that I want him to!)

      You're right about Miyazaki always having a moral. But that might suggest to people who've never seen his work that he's preachy. Anything but. His stories are always simple, charming, and easy to enjoy.

    • What was the moral in Totoro? Travel by catbus when you visit your seriously ill mother? Don't plant seeds without doing a dance? If there is a moral there, it's so subtly hidden that I can't spot it; it just seemed like a charming children's adventure to me.
      -aiabx
      • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:20PM (#11150608) Homepage Journal
        What was the moral in Totoro?

        I believe it was "two little girls and a grown man naked in the same tub is not creepy"...

        Or, if you want to be serious, for a change ;-)
        The moral was that the japanese country side is a wonderfull place and that there is still room for spirituality and a child's innocence in this world.

        Also: Work hard. They sure had to, to clean up that old house. Didn't they?
      • Tonari-no Totoro (Score:3, Informative)

        by InThane (2300)
        My ex-girlfriend (who was Japanese) told me that he made the film to show that there are wonderful things in nature that need to be preserved - and apparently, a good chunk of the proceeds from the film went to buy up some forests near Tokyo, or something like that. It's been around 10 years, so I'm not real clear on it, but I kinda sorta remember that much...

        Once again, "don't damage the environment" is the message.
        • That's a pretty lukewarm moral then. Without any clues to guide us in the plot (the conflict between nature and technology in Mononoke, for instance), we have no way of knowing whether Miyazaki is telling us to preserve the forest, rural communities, families under stress, or late night bus service. For a story to present a moral, there needs to be a choice made, with visible consequences. Otherwise, you end up like film students - reading all kinds of crap into a story that the creator never intended.

          Do
    • by david.given (6740) <dg AT cowlark DOT com> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:25PM (#11150666) Homepage Journal
      The moral in Sen to Chihiro no kamikaukushi ("Spirited Away") is basically "Don't destroy the environment" and "Children should learn manners".

      There's more to it than that. Other themes I spotted:

      • Evil is a matter of perception. (The shadow-creature, Yubaba, and Yubaba's sister are all initially portrayed as evil until Chihiro learns more about them; and then they're not, they're just people.)
      • Law is fundamental to society. (There are laws and rules everywhere, and they can't be broken: if you don't cross the river before sunset, you're trapped. Yubaba must give you a job if you ask for it. Chihiro's boyfriend whose name I forget stole the charm, therefore it must be returned.)
      • Everything has its place. (The shadow creature doesn't belong in the bath-house; it's evil there. But it's not when it's outside. Chihiro doesn't belong in that world, where she's considered disgusting and dangerous; she belongs in the mundane world.)
      • Work is important. (There is no free ride. You have an obligation to society --- and, therefore, society has an obligation to you.)

      Hollywood tends to push the blatantly false and downright dangerous True love conquers all (and don't put up with anything less) and You can do anything if only you want it hard enough. Frankly, I find Miyazaki's themes of social responsibility and the benefits of hard work far more suitable for children.

      I love Howl's Moving Castle (and it's sequel Castle in the Air, which I think is even better). I'm eagerly awaiting seeing what he's done with it.

      • There's more to it than that. Other themes I spotted: Evil is a matter of perception.

        You betcha!
        Aku, the "name" of the character who at first says he will help her escape, but later turns out to be (deceptively) cold and mean, is a japanese homophone that can mean "to become free", or "evil" (as in Samurai Jack's intro's last line "The evil that IS... Aku!").
        : )
      • Everything has its place. (The shadow creature doesn't belong in the bath-house; it's evil there. But it's not when it's outside.

        Apparently the shadow creature was autobiographical. When Miyazaki became successful he became like the shadow creature. Everyone deferring to the man with gold, and the man with gold consuming so much it made him physically and spiritually ill.

        Evil is a matter of perception.
        Apparently that is a feature of Shinto. People are neither Good xor Evil, but Good and Evil.

  • Opens today? (Score:5, Informative)

    by delirium_9 (26055) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:17PM (#11149802) Homepage
    You're kidding right? This thing has been out for a month. Before it came out there was a lot of hype but from the people I know who've seen it the movie wasn't very good.

    But it did do well in the box office:
    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5 ?nn20041124b1.htm [japantimes.co.jp]
    • You'd think that a guy so into anime he feels it belongs on the front page (I keep lobbying for an anime section so we can push it off the front page) would know his stuff when it comes to anime.

      Really, though... is this really slashworthy (even if its on the front page)? I think its slashworthy for slashdot.co.jp or whatever. Maybe when its released in the US... but this? eh....
      • This is really a big story. Miyazaki is the idol of much of the animation world (especially Pixar for instance). His films will always be on the front page, and they always generate lots of interest on this site.

        The sorts of things that would be dumped into an anime section would be minor movies and TV series and things like that -- not from one of the most famous animation directors in history.
    • Before it came out there was a lot of hype but from the people I know who've seen it the movie wasn't very good.

      I saw the move about a week and a half ago at the Shinagawa Prince Cinema, which is actually a pretty nice theater. I'm sad to say that Howl's Moving Castle was probably the worst Miyazaki Hayao movie I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot of them). That is a long way from saying it is a bad movie (it isn't), but it really doesn't stand up to any of his others.

      The scenery was breathtaking, th

  • by relayer (104429) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:19PM (#11149827)
    http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/newspro/latest_ne ws.shtml#newsitemEEpEEFukyFuAXaDnpx

    November 22, 2004 "Howl" Breaks Japanese Weekend Box Office Record
    From Kyodo Press Flash24:
    Toho announced :
    'Howl' earned 1,400 million yen (~$13.5 million USD) at the box office in the first day of release and its next day (Nov 20, 21). This is the highest new record at a Japanese movie.

  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:21PM (#11149854) Journal
    I'll just hop over to suprnova and . . oh wait . . . NoooooOoooo! ;)
  • by Glog (303500) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:23PM (#11149884)
    I was in Japan in November and the movie was in theaters! How did you come up with "yesterday was the opening date"?
  • Trailers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Andorion (526481) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:27PM (#11149933)
    Website [onlineghibli.com]

    Quicktime 4 Trailer [onlineghibli.com]

    XviD Teaser [onlineghibli.com]

    ~Berj
  • by fizban (58094)
    You mean slashdot posts are *that* far behind???
  • Same girl? (Score:3, Funny)

    by Woogiemonger (628172) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:41PM (#11150115)
    Is this Sophie going to be the same girl that appears in his other movies? (Nausicaa, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, etc.)
    • Well, I'm pleased to be able to tell you that we'll finally be seeing a new design for a female protagonist in a Miyazaki film. Hey, it's only been about 25 years... This one's aged ninety or so throughout most of the film, so it'll be difficult for her to be yet another Nausicaa lookalike.
  • by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:50PM (#11150988)
    ...pick up the four volumes of _Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind_. It's the graphic novel's answer to _Lord of the Rings_. Miyazaki creates technologies, ecologies, empires, religions... and really, really cool villains: there's the vixen princess who lives on hatred, a bored, psychotic immortal king, and a three hundred foot tall cyborg. And I'm not a big fan of most Japanese comic art, but Miyazaki has a very organic drawing style heavily influenced by Moebius, and his art is incredible.
  • Finally! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Mr. Bad Example (31092) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:20PM (#11151420) Homepage
    It's good to see Ginsberg's work getting some recognition, although I'm not sure where the moving castle comes in, and the Japanese schoolgirls will prove problematic.

    "I saw the schoolgirls of my generation
    Assaulted by tentacles, hentai and otherwise..."
  • by echocharlie (715022) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @04:38PM (#11151701) Homepage
    You forgot to link to the Official Japanese Website for Howl's Moving Castle [ntv.co.jp] For those who are Japanese-impaired, the first 4 links along the bottom edge of the letter read thusly: Info | Story | Character | Staff&Cast | ...
  • Miyazaki's films (Score:2, Interesting)

    by asciiwhite (679872) *
    They're cartoons, and therefore for kids.

    Did you consider Nina scrolls for kids?, or how about Akira, or the many other plentiful animes out there that have adult material and story.

    If you think Miyazaki only makes child story's, i suggest you watch a film called "Grave of the fireflies", It stands as the only cartoon that has ever made me shed tears...

    Something Pixaar/Disney etc. have yet to do.

    trymaking films with *real* actors and scenes. Oh, no, that
    > would require a budget. Take a look at th

  • And in a departure from nothing, Disney has adapted Miyazaki for a new feature titled Lion King III: Simba-san's Romantic Adventure.

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