A shy, introverted girl is cursed with old age by a jealous witch, so she goes on a quest to regain her youth.
Howl's Moving Castle is the latest masterpiece from Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki.
Sophie has resigned herself to a boring fate, but fate has other plans for her.
"You're crazy if you do this Grandma! There's nothing but witches and wizards out there!"
"You turnip head! That's Howl's castle! That is not what I meant when I asked for a place to stay."
"Sophie you . . you sabotaged me! Look! Look what you've done to my hair! Look!"
Sophie (Chieko Baishō/Jean Simmons & Emily Mortimer) is doing her best to live the dull, ordinary life she believes a dull and ordinary girl should have.
When local girls discuss the return of Howl's moving castle Sophie has little fear that the magician Howl (Takuya Kimura/Christian Bale) will steal and eat her heart; after all, he only takes the hearts of pretty girls.
A chance encounter with the handsome Howl gets Sophie out of some trouble, but she's exposed to the infamous Witch of The Waste (Akihiro Miwa/Lauren Bacall), whose magical minions were on Howl's trail.
Believing Sophie to be more involved with Howl than she actually is, The Witch of The Waste transforms her into a very elderly lady.
Although Sophie's wardrobe and personality are perfectly suited to her newly-aged form, she nevertheless she sets out on a dangerous quest to find a cure.
As if the escalating war, fought with both conventional means and magic, wasn't bad enough Sophie must venture into the Wilderness in search of the Witch of The Waste.
Here she meets a living Scarecrow who leads her to Howl's Castle, where she encounters a fire demon called Calcifur (Tatsuya Gashūin/Billy Crystal) and Howl's young apprentice and master of bearded disguise Markl (Ryūnosuke Kamiki/Josh Hutcherson).
Sophie, Calcifur and Howl must survive the war, The Witch and Madame Suliman (Haruko Katō/Blythe Danner), an ambitious Royal court magician who is out to control magic.