The story meanders a fair amount, but is sustained throughout by the visuals, the characters and the surprising twists and turns in the plot. No character, except perhaps the main one, Sophie, is clear-cut, and you lose yourself in the film as you try to get a fix on them. Sadly, Howl's Moving Castle does not have the perfection of Spirited Away, Miyazaki's last big release for western cinemas. The resolve is too sudden, too easy, and storylines are despatched with a couple of sentences in a scene at the end that produced a cringe on almost every line (for a film that so far had me completely lost in its world). Blink and you'll miss an earlier reference to the lost prince, until the end. I was also disappointed that we had the dubbed version rather than subtitled, but then this screening was timed for half-term. Having said that, adults outnumbered the children, and I wonder how well children as young as 7 or 8 would follow it. Maybe they don't have to in order to enjoy what is, in the end, a great piece of cinema fantasy.