This is my favorite movie from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Adapted from a novel by Diana Wynne Jones, the movie is so beautifully animated that it will make you wish you could live in such a perfect world. The characters are so complex and fun, you'll feel like you know them and the story will stick with you for a long time. A wonderful and non-traditional love story sits in the background, while you watch our young (old?) protagonist, Sophie, learn who she is and what she wants in life. All the while she overcomes all the obstacles in her way. Wrap that up in a magical and whimsical world, with a snarky yet lovable fire demon, and you have the perfect movie for all ages.
A young hat-maker named Sophie (Mortimer) is turned into an old woman by the dreaded Witch of the Waste (Bacall) when she attracts the notice of Howl (Bale), a young wizard whom the witch desires for herself. As the old woman, (Simmons), Sophie finds refuge as a cleaning lady in Howl's magical castle, an impressively realized mishmash of anthropomorphic shafts and gears, where she meets, among other wonders, a cantankerous fire demon named Calcifer (Billy Crystal). Howl's courage inspires her to seek a cure for her curse, and vice versa, and the two work together to prevent a major war as the castle roams the countryside on its mechanical legs.