YMMV: Howl's Moving Castle

The books

The anime

  • Adaptation Displacement: Some fans of the films have never heard of Diana Wynne Jones, or think she wrote a book adaptation. Diane Wynne Jones actually liked the adaptation although she was well aware that it was going to be different.
  • Award Snub: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit beat it to the Best Animated Feature Oscar.
  • Broken Base: The fans of the original book, in regards to the movie. Some enjoy the movie as well as the book, while others are not a fan of its admittedly extreme liberties with the source material. Some fans have found a compromise between the two, combining elements of the original book (such as the John Donne poem that serves as a focal point in the book) with the movie's designs in their fan-works.
    • Counts as a Broken Base for Miyazaki/Ghibli fans in general. About half think of it as a brilliant piece of art, while the other half sees it as a convoluted, messy and dramatically cryptic failure. Critical opinion is less divided (apart from Roger Ebert's disappointment with it), and Howl has a solid 86% approval rate at Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Canon Fodder: How did Prince Justin get cursed, anyway?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The movie's theme "The Merry-Go-Round of Life".
  • Ending Fatigue: The city is bombed, Suliman's henchmen make their final assault! What will the protagonists do? Howl leaves to battle, Sophie takes everyone with her to a safe place and destroys the castle. The Witch of the Wast grabs Howl's heart from inside Calcifer, Sophie pours water over them, breaking Califer's power! She and Heen fall down a chasm. She enters a door into Howl's past, sees him giving away his heart, returns to the present and saves Howl. And saves the turnip, who turns out to be a cursed prince. It's not that it doesn't work, but it does drag on and on.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Christian Bale's infamous Batman voice from the The Dark Knight Saga movies originally appeared in this film.
  • Hollywood Homely: Young Sophie. She seems to pretty much be the only one who considers herself homely. It's more of a self-esteem problem. It seems she turns old and ugly when she thinks of herself as ugly.
  • The Woobie: Sophie, particularly when she's first cursed and constantly tells herself not to overreact, when it's clear she's overwhelmed. Then she leaves home because she doesn't want to be a burden. Then her mother sells her out without Sophie even knowing. Life is rough for Sophie.