Howl:
Fab, there’s now an approximate DVD release date for the English dub of Howl’s Moving Castle. November, in the USA only. So, ironically I could be watching Miyazaki’s latest on a Region-1 DVD even before it goes on general release in British cinemas (the UK premiere was on 16th July, at the Cambridge Film Festival). Reviews from the USA, so far, have been broadly excellent, with just a few caveats from both anime fans and mainstream reviewers, along the lines of: the dubbed English voices are either too bland or too American; a long book has to be crammed into two hours, leading to plot confusion, superficial treatment of some characters, and an abrupt ending; and a few animation nerds say that while the backdrops and main characters are good, generally the rest of the animation is not quite as smooth as in Spirited Away. No USA reviewer seems to have read the book in advance, or seen the Japanese version with English subtitles – so that might make a difference. And Miyazaki films often play to a half-puzzled audience in the USA, so reviews in Europe may take a different line.