We went to see Howl’s Moving Castle last weekend. Actually, Liesl and I went the weekend before that, to make sure it was okay for Miranda; we decided that it probably was, though we checked first with Miranda to make sure.

We all enjoyed it, though I don’t think it will end up as one of my favorite Miyazaki movies. One thing that struck me: while I have nothing against love stories, they’re all about falling in love instead of loving people. I don’t have any plans to ever do the former again. while the latter is a huge aspect of my life. And while the move had its love story aspects, they were muted, and even explicitly questioned at the end. Instead, the relationship aspects of the movie focused on building a family, something very dear to my heart. And quite a family it was, too: I really like the “collection of misfits banding together” trope, families as a group of people who have made an active choice to stay together. (This was something I really liked about the third volume of the Kushiel trilogy, too.)

On a related note, we watched Shrek 2 on DVD this weekend. It has a little bit of the “actively chosen family” theme in it. But it’s also about two people reaffirming that they are very much in love; I for one cried at the end of it. Again, Kushiel does this, in the second volume instead.

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