Howl’s Moving Castle Animated film directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and distributed in the United States by Disney. Sophie Hatter, an 18-year-old girl, seems doomed to the life of a hatmaker, but when she is cursed by the Witch of the Waste with the body of a 90-year-old woman, she goes to the moving castle of the wizard Howl, who is supposed to have eaten the souls of young girls. But Howl himself has been cursed by the Witch, and is looking for the love of a young girl to help him break the curse. Sophie befriends Calcifer, the fire demon, who is under contract to Howl, and she helps him break the contract so Calcifer can help her return to her original shape. Limited release on June 10, 2005, in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in other selected cities; general release on June 17, 2005. Original release in Japan on November 20, 2004, after a showing in September at the Venice Film Festival. U.S. production directed by Pete Docter and Rick Dempsey. Voices include Jean Simmons (Grandma Sophie), Christian Bale (Howl), Lauren Bacall (Witch of the Waste), Blythe Danner (Madame Suliman), Emily Mortimer (Young Sophie), Josh Hutcherson (Markl), Billy Crystal (Calcifer). 119 min. Based on the book by Diana Wynne Jones. Released on DVD in 2006.