I love this book! I watched the movie then read the book after my former teacher, Joe, lent me it. I didn't know there was a book until he lent it to me! Once I read that book, I had to read more and so now I've read the whole series. Diana is a great author (and creates great, clever women) :D . One question I have is why would Sophie in the movie have brown hair when she really has RED hair in the book?
Mai Ke I think the brown Colour fits better with the beginning of the Book and the Film. If he made her too beautiful and special from the start, he couldn't show the progress. In the Book you read what Sophie thinks of herself, and you tend to forget she is in Reality quite pretty. In the Film you see her the whole time, so he had to show this another way.
Nat27 If you watch the rest of Miyazaki's films you will see that it's part of his style. His main character is often a young girl with short dark hair - also, its probably not surprising for a Japanese film to have a main character with dark hair. Other elements in Miyazaki's films include powerful women, older women (sometimes the same women for those 2), non-human supporting characters, war, wind, and environmental issues (5 out of 6 as I recall for his version of Howl's). I'd really recommend his other films if you like Howl, try Kiki's Delivery Service (based on a Japanese book) and Spirited Away (won Academy Award for best Animated Film) first for a similar feel. Princess Mononoke is a must, but has a darker feel.
Noradilin Oh my god! I didn't realize the book is in a series until I read your comment. I've been re-reading Howl's moving castle as my bedtime book for a while now. I first watched the movie, then found out it was based on this book. I loved the movie and loved the book even more. Realizing it has another 2 books in the series make me so happy!
Lila R. Almost all of her female main characters have red hair Charmain, Sophie, etc), but I believe it is because Sophie is a really mousey or shy, plain and simple character. She puts everyone before herself, so her hair colour is there to bring out her character.
Dylan I think that Miozaki changed the hair color in the movie to make her look more like his imagination of her or he thought she'd look better with brown hair. In all, the only reasons that the hair color would be changed is for looks.
Rain I wondered that too. I think it's probably because she is supposed to be shy and mousy in the beginning from working in the hat shop so much.
Anahit Korkotyan About Sophies' hair colour. Yeah, it bothered me too, but I just got used to it. Well, if they ever make this story into a film, Molly C. Quinn ( from the American show "Castle") is my only choice for playing Sophie. She is a good actress, a bright girl, and her natural hair color is red ( not the main point, though). Man, this So needs to happen!