I just reread the book and then rewatched the Miyazaki animated movie, and they both made me so happy I just had to sit down to analyze what is so wonderful about them. (Illustrations (other than the one from the movie below) are taken from the finalists in the Folio Society's competition to illustrate their edition of Howl's Moving Castle. Aren't they all gorgeous?! (Bigger versions at the link.) The winner is Marie-Alice Harel, and I am putting her illustrated edition on my Christmas wishlist now!)
|Alejo and Vivian de los Rios|
This post will get far too long if I talk about Calcifer, the fire demon, who was brilliantly voiced by Billy Crystal in the movie, or about Sophie's sisters and the brief but warm glimpses of sisterhood, or about all the layers of themes like illusion and deception and identity and what it means to have a heart. The movie makes some significant changes to the plot, but it gets the essence, and it's beautiful and colorful and a lot of fun.
I'm off to experiment with ginger lemon oatmeal cookies, which if they turn out to be as delicious and bright and different as I'm hoping will be the perfect food metaphor.