What kid (or adult who is obsessed with fantastical things) hasn’t wanted to live in a castle at least once in their life?
Some want to be the kings and queens plotting their next move against the enemy in something straight out of Game of Thrones. Some daydream about fairy princess castles sparkling with an unnatural amount of glitter. Then there are people like me who, more than anything else, want to live in a mobile chicken-legged steampunk thing.
Howl’s Moving Castle is in a dead heat with Spirited Away for my favorite Studio Ghibli movie ever. And while I’d rather not encounter certain things that creep around in Yubaba’s bathhouse, I find that living in a hodgepodge of houses and chambers and gadgetry — and even cannons that look like some unclassified deep-sea creature — that get around on some really creepy chicken feet strangely appeals to me.
The appeal of this uncommon mobile home doesn’t stop at its bizarre appendages. When you’ve opened the right door — the one in the back, because the other two doors are spelled to stay shut — you enter the front door of a house that doesn’t appear to be for royalty.
What it lacks in riches it makes up for in a mouthy fire-demon who keeps burning coal so the castle can walk on. Calcifer will even (reluctantly) fry your bacon. Who wouldn’t want to hand off anything that involves hot grease to a fire-demon? Since the castle is an extension of buildings that are firmly grounded, if you need to buy more bacon, all you need to do is open the door.
Besides Howl’s room, which is a treasure trove of magic detectors and magical objects, I haven’t even gotten to the coolest part: That knob next to the front door may look unassuming, but turn it, and you could end up in a breathtaking field of flowers Howl takes Sophie to when he wants to show her visions from his childhood.
Unfortunately, not only does this castle not exist in this world, but also it doesn’t exist anymore in Howl’s either, which may have something to do with those cannons.
I still don’t care. If I had an unlimited amount of money, I would freak out the neighbors by building the most astonishing replica ever, chicken legs and all. Too bad it wouldn’t come with the fire demon.