In this movie, I am really interested in the way people and things get around. There are a variety of people and creatures that travel long distances. They each have creative ways of traveling.
Because this is a steam punk kind of era, most people get around on steam powered cars and trains. There is also battle ships flying around everywhere, which are ran by steam, too.
Howl (Christian Bale) actually flies. He “walks” Sophie (Emily Mortimer) over the rooftops of the city. After awhile, he “fl[ies] around like” a bird, feathers and all.
When Grandma Sophie (Jean Simmons) heads towards the mountains, she walks and rides on the back of a hay wagon. She says “I’ll never get there with these legs” because she moves so slow. But she starts to develop more strength and becomes stronger in her stature and portability as the movie progresses.
Prince Turnip (Crispin Freeman) bounces around like a pogo stick. He hops along helping Sophie and following Howl’s castle.
After Grandma Sophie starts cleaning the house, she becomes stronger and moves around easier.
The Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall) is carried around in a little box by her henchmen. She is so obese she can barely get up the stairs to the castle. She and Grandma Sophie have an interesting race up the stairs. Grandma Sophie even cheers her on.
When running back to the moving castle, Howl leaves Grandma Sophie to fly by herself. She is not familiar with the machine but figures it out quickly.
In the end, Howl’s castle flies instead of walks. It changes its mode of transportation.
Check out an interesting analysis emphasizing Sophie’s magical power in this movie. It is hinted at, but this article brings it into plain view.
Another analysis of the metamorphosis of the characters in this movie.
Thanks for reading!