Before I begin, I just want to say that this ramble is dedicated to my dear friend, Eilidh.
Happy Birthday, fellow bookworm! I’m sorry I can’t be there to celebrate with you, but I hope you have a wonderful day!
Every Monday morning I work a four-hour voluntary shift at my local charity shop, which is quite fun and gets me out the house. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, charity shops are a treasure trove when it comes to books.
A while ago, during the weekly culling some of the older novels I found a certain book which was adapted into a very popular movie priced at just 50 pence. I had to have it.
That book was Howl’s Moving Castle.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones follows the story of Sophie, a young hat maker who gets transformed into an old woman by the Witch of the Waste. She ventures out to find a way to be turned back to normal and ends up in an adventure with the Wizard Howl.
But chances are you already know that, as this book was adapted into one of the most beloved Studio Ghibli movies of all time.
No spoilers, but I want to talk about the differences between the book. So, let’s compare the characters from the book to their movie counterparts.
Firstly, there are multiple characters who got cut out of the book or altered so much they are nearly unrecognisable.
For example, in the movie, Sophie is the eldest of two, but in the book, she had another younger sister, Martha. However, they do reference Martha a couple of times in the film in throwaway lines.
In fact, Sophie is a very different person. In the movie, she is kind and generous while in the book she is blunt and stubborn. She is shown to be a bit of a neat freak in the film, but in the movie, the only reason she cleans the castle is to try to get her mind off her situation.
Howl is more heroic in the film, while his book counterpart is a drama queen who only really cares about flirting.
Here is the biggest non-spoiler I can give, there is no war in the book.
That being said, the book and the movie are rather similar when it comes to the story and plot, but there are several key differences that define both versions.
Here’s the thing, I don’t know which version of Howl’s Moving Castle I like the best. Both have a lot of charm and funny moments. On top of that, the heart of the tale is the same, so it is just a matter of taste, yet I can’t decide. The book goes into a lot more detail about the characters and the fantasy world, but the animation and soundtrack of the film are incredible.
The book goes into a lot more detail about the characters and the fantasy world, but the animation and soundtrack of the film are incredible.
Like I said, it’s a matter of personal taste, however, I think we can all agree that both the book and the movie versions of Howl’s Moving Castle are amazing. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, I highly recommend you give them a try. They are truly magical.