This instalment of the Dalek Game is another Diana Wynne Jones Dalek! This time it is for the very splendid Howl’s Moving Castle, because a remote-controlled Dalek is the sort of thing Howl (book-Howl, not movie-Howl) would bring home, and this is how Sophie would react if not given time to adjust.
Please note the distinction between book-Howl and movie-Howl. I adore the Studio Ghibli movie. It is gorgeous, rich, odd, unexpected, breathtaking, enchanting, hysterical – all the things the book is, but in very different ways. Characters change sides, ages and genders, old ones disappear, new ones appear, the Castle grows legs and the fire demon becomes adorable (I’m okay with that).
The movie amps up the war themes and advances the technology but loses the John Donne riddles. It catches Sophie’s strength but not her power. And it perfectly renders the troubled, vain, flamboyant Howl, but leaves out the drunk, soccer-playing, fast-driving, computer-savvy side of his character.
I love this book very much, and it is almost time to watch a course of Welsh movies and find someone to read it to again.