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Howl's Moving Castle finally arrives in Chinese theaters

By Xu Fan | | Updated: 2024-04-22 11:09
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Actors Yu Shi and Tian Xiwei, who has lent their voices to the characters Howl and Sophie respectively, promote Hayao Miyazaki's movie Howl's Moving Castle during its premiere in Beijing on April 19. [Photo provided to China Daily]

After two decades since its original release, the beloved animated masterpiece Howl's Moving Castle by iconic Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki will make its debut in domestic theaters across the Chinese mainland on April 30, marking its first-ever screening in the region.

Loosely based on British author Diana Wynne Jones's novel of the same title, the film will be presented in two versions: the original Japanese and a Mandarin-dubbed edition. The Chinese version features the voices of Yu Shi as the wizard Howl and Tian Xiwei as the young milliner Sophie.

A premiere event was hosted in Beijing on April 19, graced by the presence of Yu, renowned for his role in the fantasy epic Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms, and Tian, celebrated for her performances in romance dramas such as The Song of Glory.

Chinese poster of Howl's Moving Castle. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Yu, who gained fame for lending his voice to the character Valentino in Disney's Wish, described the challenge of embodying Howl, emphasizing the character's duality as both powerful and endearing yet also displaying a hint of childishness due to his portrayal as a character in his 20s.

Tian, reflecting on her experience, shared that she first watched Howl's Moving Castle as a middle school student. Now 26, she expressed the pressure she felt when invited to voice the female protagonist Sophie, who undergoes a transformation into a 90-year-old woman at the beginning of the story.

Distributors revealed that the film has garnered significant anticipation, with over 1.14 million subscribers on the country's major movie information platforms, including Maoyan, Taopiaopiao, and Douban, adding the movie to their want-to-watch lists, indicating a strong interest from the audience.

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