Yo. not much differs from my profile to anyone else's. i love to draw and write, like so many. hopefully i'll have my web site up soon so you can come visit. toodles!
Flash animation/writing/good ol' drawing
Secondly, let's mention the book. The title sounds awesome, and the back cover read interestingly enough, but the book itself was bland. There were so many 'GOOD,' if not awesome ways the story could have gone, but (I'm reminded of The Black Cauldron,) it spun out in every way to make it sound like a fanfic that stops dead at every point for something potentially interesting. This was the first indication that the film made me shrug uncomfortably whenever I heard of it. Fortunately, the movie's different, and actually better, BUT there would have to be little to no similarities between the book, aside from the castle's magic and the characters, to make the movie great. One more thing, his name's Howl-- I was sort of hoping he could turn into a black wolf or something, but alas! dissapointed once again!
With that said, it really feels like this movie was trying to--I'll say, accomplish, too many things. It was very much a discreet riot, with all the ways the plot--I won't say twisted, that sounds too aggressive... okay, meandered along. For some reason this flick reminds me of mowing a lawn, and I can't quite figure out why. Maybe it's the loud, redundant noises, along with a required slow pace.
Ahem- anyway, it almost seems like Miyazaki lost ten points in his filming experience. In fact, his presence is disturbingly absent throughout the movie. I read a review that said, 'breathtaking animation.' He should have said, breathtaking backgrounds, because that's all that was really eye candy. The typical Ghibli style appeared recycled, and at times, out dated. I can actually picture a tired Miyazaki handing a few written and spoken ideas to some animators, and then sort of being a ghost around the rest of the studio. I don't say this to be insulting, but that's just what I'm saying. It felt like Miyazaki was hardly there. Speaking of recycling, am I the only one that notices that the young Howl very much resembles Haku, seemingly 'spirited away' himself into another era?
*Sigh* I guess I will say it's worth a rent...
Now I gave a small list of cons, or semi-cons. Is there a pro? Of course, the animation and use of some real-life footage and techniques can't be ignored. And during so, we clearly see that this isn't a normal Disney film. Fluff and happy songs don't exist, only violence and darkness. An interesting change right? Perhaps...if it were pulled off decently. I mean, the movie FELT like it took twelve years to create. Only the main characters are halfway likable. Because of their appearence and status, you WANT to like them...but you'd have to do a pretty good job of convincing yourself of that. And now that I've reached the end of this little summery, I must at least mention the end of the movie. *Ack!* man, just thinking about it makes me wonder, "What the heck? Wait...did that just happen? Now what?--oh...it's the end...the end?" There was potential in certain strains of the scenes that you hoped the movie would follow, but a 180 degree turn was taken on every oppotunity to make the storytelling, and the characters better, and even superior to previous disney films. In my worthless opinion, if it was going to look this bad on screen, I think they should have taken those twelve years writing and drawing the storyboard alone, before touching any key frames.
After knowing I watched several other films by Disney well before I entered the two-digit age, I realized more than ever that the films more or less were purposed to entertain kids. 'It isn't accurate to the actual book' well, what disney film is even remotely accurate to it's original source? Complain about Pocahontas if you're 20+ years old, whining about a kid's film.I watched the film (now) with great empathy and wonderful memories of when I was little and watched it then. 'Memories' is also a common word used in Disney statements and catch phrases, but it seems true.
As for the film (about time) I loved it then, I love it now, simply because I can see my little shadow laughing and being a happy child watching it, and now observing how time really improved on animation, plus the different, sometimes funnier sense of humor displaced( I still laugh hysterically when they were squirrels) the voices that acutally fit, and the wonderfully, fun, over-exagerated realism in the characters and animation. Did my 6 year old self know this movie was completely inaccurate to the book? No. Does your 6 year old kid know? Probably not. It was meant for fun for kids, but potent enough to entertain adults, and that's just what it did, 'nuff said.