Ghibli Riffs - Howl's Moving Castle
Now here is an interesting question. Howl's Moving Castle features a couple of riffs that point back to Horus, Prince of the Sun. Why is that? Why did Miyazaki make reference to the revolutionary 1968 film he famously worked on? What are the parallels between these two movies, Horus and Howl? How does our awareness of Horus influence our understanding of Howl?
These are always crucial questions to ask, especially from highly intelligent filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Their works are not simple escapism. They've always had an agenda. And that agenda has been there since the very beginning, 40 years ago.
It was Miyazaki who conceived of the rock creature from Horus; legend has it that he created the character as a college student, when he harbored dreams of becoming a manga writer. Interesting, then, that he recreates this particular shot in Howl's Moving Castle, a massive object that is a character in itself.
To be honest, there's probably a better shot of Howl's castle in another scene, a nighttime scene that more closely quotes that shot from Horus. I just haven't been able to find a good screenshot anywhere, and my computer is no longer cooperating, so I can't snap pics from my DVD. But I think this works just as well.