While this is a Disney funded production, the graphics and such aren't skimped on and does the anime world some justice. This a terrific story, even if it doesn't stick as close to the original story as some would prefer. I've learned to always try to consider books separate entities from movies, so I don't end up disappointed by what the movie leaves out of the story, or how it's changed from the original.
In today's society, there are so many people who do not read. If movies like this can give them a glimpse into what they could be missing, and encourage them to look for the book or other similar stories, then a movie has served its purpose. I just wish this had received more fanfare. In fact, I'm not even sure it was ever shown in the theaters where I live. If it was, it wasn't advertised very highly because I missed it!
All the characters seem strong and complex, even Turnip Head - though he can't speak! Calcifer - Howl's Fire Demon - is quite interesting! All the characters are so interesting that I feel it's worth watching! I watched the English version, not the Japanese version, even though this was originally produced as a Japanese Anime film.
I'll add more to this review after I've read the book by Diana Wynne Jones. I kind of what to compare the characters of each, see how they differ from each other. Are they just as complex or are they simplified for the film? I have all sorts of questions like this running through my head that I hope to answer soon enough.