Cross stitch pattern of Grandma Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. Download the PDF here: Grandma Sophie Pattern
Grid Size: 61W x 98H
Design Area: 4.21″ x 6.86″ (59 x 96 stitches)
My Patron, Christy, is an enormous rock titan who meticulously polishes and shines their body to a mirror like luster. Christy is one of the natural wonders of their world and performs at sunset and sunrise each day, reflecting light in gorgeous patterns across the valley below.
My Patrons have been helping me get back into things. This is a special Will-o-Wisp pattern.
I rewatched Howl’s Moving Castle recently and I can definitely see why people call it a masterpiece. It’s so colorful and unique in a way that isn’t just a product of the source material. I’ve read the book and it’s fantastic, but the care and creativity that went into the adaptation really makes it it’s own thing.
I love how little details pop out at you when you watch it more than once like, in every shot where you can see all of Calcifer’s body, there is always that dark lump of Howl’s heart inside of him. To a first timer, it just looks like part of his design, but on a second watch, you know what it is.
I also absolutely adore the set design too! Everything from the magical trinkets in Howl’s room to the tiles around his sink gives me the feeling of a lived in space. It really sells the idea that the castle is alive from the interior alone. The rooms look like they have been added to and customized over the years just like the outside has, and that sort of cozy visual language is no small part of why I like Howl’s character despite him not actually being in most of the scenes. The house is there even when he is not.
It’s clear that I love How’s Moving Castle, but I can also see why people don’t really like the movie since the whimsy can be a little hard to follow. There are times when it felt less like I’ve learned a new thing about an unusual world and more like the author pulled something weird out of nowhere.
Even when I watched it again, the connection between the royal family and Howl giving away his heart is not really clear. Why is the same very specific magic used in both places when Howl didn’t even meet Calcifer until after he left? It’s as if they were building up to a reveal that Howl was a royal or Suliman also had a fire demon, but they never followed through. They changed a lot from the book for the better and I think it would have been fun if Howl turned out to be the missing prince instead of Turnip Head.
I also see why they didn’t do that. The main plot of the film was never about Howl or the king or even the war. It started with Sophie’s struggles and ended with her overcoming that and growing as a person. Howl was the prize at the end, and I can accept the odd plot contrivance in an otherwise fantastic movie.