Sophie is an eighteen-year-old girl who is cursed by an evil witch to inhabit the body of an old hag and, unable to continue her job in her mother's hat shop, she runs away to the mysterious moving castle of the notorious wizard Howl. There she befriends Calcifer - the fire demon - who is bound to Howl by a contract (the terms of which he can't reveal) and, seeing through the witch's spell, the two promise to help each other. But the young and handsome Howl can also see through the witch's spell; he falls in love with Sophie, who manages to bring life to the dead castle and tries to help Howl face his former tutor, madam Sulimen. A loose adaptation of the Diana Wynne Jones novel, here Miyazaki captures the richness of the characters while nailing the simultaneous charm and terror of Howl even though he's guilty of sometimes rushing the proceedings. There are some genuinely terrifying moments in Howl's Moving Castle, as you would expect from such a notoriously dark director and, unusually for a children's animation, the lines are blurred between friend and foe. This ain't Disney and this ain't Kansas, baby.