[National Review Online, June 9, 2005]
Every child's cartoon needs a villain, or better yet a villainess. Her colors are dark purple and black, she is of an uncertain age, and she wears a great deal of makeup. She may be statuesque and austere (Cinderella's wicked stepmother), or gorgeous and malevolent (Snow White's Evil Queen) or gross and malevolent (the Little Mermaid's sea witch), but one thing's for sure - she's gonna get hers in the end. We are encouraged to fear and hate her, and to relish her destruction.
In "Howl's Moving Castle," the latest feature by beloved Japanese anime (animation) director Hayao Miyazaki,