Howl's Moving Castle - Soundtrack
International Title
 Howl's Moving Castle
Music By: Joe Hisaishi
Record Label: Tokuma Japan Communications
Running Time: 69:05 Discs: 1
Release: November 2004 CD Number: TKCA-72775
Anthony Romero
When first watching the feature film, composer Joe Hisaishi's score ended up leaving a very little impression on me. It's because of this that I was generally surprised by how much I enjoyed the soundtrack as a standalone experience, to the point where I would even state this as being one of Hisaishi's best offerings.

Through the course of the disc, there really isn't a bad cue at all. To his further credit, Hisaishi also does a wonderful job in making this score unique from most of his previous soundtracks; something that he excels at with an every growing diverse body of work. A couple cues here do have shadows of Spirited Away (2001), like the piano sequences of "Opening: Merry-Go-Round of Life", but these are few and far between. The score as a whole is also very vivacious, particularly the numerous marches such as "The Light Cavalry's Enthusiasm" and the whimsical "A Stroll Through the Sky". The "Sulliman's Magic Square - Return to the Castle" is another theme that stands out as being particularly great, especially the rather eerie chanting part of the track. As for the song by Chieko Baisho, it's well done and pleasant, although at around seven minutes in length it is a little long and not nearly as memorable as the two vocal tracks in either Princess Mononoke (1997) or Spirited Away (2001).

Overall, the soundtrack is a very lively one from Hisaishi, and comes with a strong recommendation. It is unfortunate, though, that unlike the other recent Hayao Miyazaki films this soundtrack is not set for any kind of immediate soundtrack release in the United States or other markets outside of Japan and Korea.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Opening: Merry-Go-Round of Life
  2. The Light Cavalry's Enthusiasm
  3. A Stroll Through the Sky
  4. Palpitation
  5. The Witch of the Waste
  6. Wandering Sophie
  7. The Magical Door
  8. The Curse Remains
  9. Spring Cleaning
  10. To Star Lake
  11. A Quiet Feeling
  12. In the Rain
  13. Vanity and Friendship
  14. The 90 Year Old Young Girl
  15. Sulliman's Magic Square - Return to the Castle
  16. A Secret Cave
  17. Moving
  18. The Flower Garden
  19. Run!
  20. It's Love
  21. Family
  22. Love of War
  23. Escape
  24. Sophie's Castle
  25. The Boy who Drank Stars
  26. Ending: The World's Promise - Merry-Go-Round of Life
    By: Chieko Baisho, Composer: Youmi Kimura