Went to see Howl’s Moving Castle today - I enjoyed it, but I was continually struck by things that seemed to call back to the other Miyazaki movies I’ve seen, Spirited Away and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds (though admittedly I’ve only seen the heavily-edited late 80s American release of the latter).
A couple of points of similarity:
- The feel of the various flying machines reminded me of Nausicaa (though they don’t look that similar)
- The heroine, at times, looked exceptionally like the Nausicaa herself - particularly at the end of the movie.
- Turnip played a role somewhat similar to No-Face, from Spirited Away
- Some of the minions chasing Howl looked like they could’ve been No-Face’s brothers and sisters.
One other thing - I haven’t read the book this was based on (despite my fondness of Dianna Wynne Jones in general), but I was surprised at how Japanese the movie felt in some ways (the way the threads of the plot wove together, in particular). I’d be interested to know if the source material had the same feeling, or if that was just a product of Miyazaki’s interpretation.