How l's Moving Castle
How l's Moving Castle ★★½ Hauru no ugoku shiro 2004 (PG)
More eye-popping anime from Miyazaki. Young wizard Howl (Bale) and his moveable castle travel around the countryside to avoid his enemy, the Witch of the Waste (Bacall). When Howl rescues Sophie (Mortimer) from thugs, the jealous Witch turns her into an old woman (now voiced by Simmons). Sophie appoints herself the castle housekeeper and encounters various strange characters and many adventures. There's a lot of plot but it's the visuals that will keep attention riveted. Adapted from Diana Wynne Jones' 2000 fantasy novel. There is also a Japanese-language version. 120m/C DVD . JPD: Hayao Miyazaki; W: Hayao Miyazaki; C: Atsushi Okui; M: Joe Hisaishi; V: Emily Mortimer, Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Josh Hutcherson, Billy Crystal, Jena Malone, Liliana Mumy. L.A. Film Critics ‘05: Orig. Score; N.Y. Film Critics ‘05: Animated Film.