Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004)
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Great visual style as always. However, there were too many plot points brought up that were never resolved or even addressed later. (Sophie's mother, the actual war etc.) What we end up with is a movie that's pretty to look at, but not very engaging as a cohesive story. 7.5/10
I believe I've got the consensual opinion. Miyazaki creates a gorgeous an inventive world, full of surprises and whimsy, but the film stumbles in the last minutes as everything is magically resolved in a very short time span indeed, even the stuff you didn't know what a plot thread (the missing prince). It really feels like, oops, just ran out of time, everybody be happy, yay! It doesn't undo the preceding two hours, mind you, as the oddness and visuals create plenty of memorable moments and images. The film often seems more symbolic than anything and is rife for literary and psychological analysis. The girl who believes herself an ugly "unwanted" being turned into a crone, the bipolar wizard losing his humanity, the child apprenticed forced into premature adulthood... Of course, the whiny fire demon Calcifer kind of steals the show, but what can you do? He's adorable.
Hayao Miyazaki never ceases to amaze me! His movies are so full of warmth, amazing imagination and adventure, that watching them is like being a PART of a fairytale, and not only watching it. He is truly one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
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In 16 official lists
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This movie ranks #16 in Animation
This movie ranks #18 in Family
This movie ranks #23 in Fantasy
This movie ranks #33 in 2000s
This movie ranks #34 in Adventure
This movie ranks #47 in Paste's The 100 Best Anime Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #68 in Fantasy Cinema: Impossible Worlds on Screen
This movie ranks #135 in Top 250
This movie ranks #146 in 366 Weird Movies (Certified Weird)
This movie ranks #182 in Reddit top 250
This movie ranks #230 in Empire 500
This movie ranks #259 in Asian Cinema: A Field Guide
This movie ranks #415 in The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
This movie ranks #440 in TimeOut's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
This movie ranks #622 in All-Time Worldwide Box office
This movie ranks #1052 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Films