Out of all of Miyazaki's films, the one that everyone keeps talking about other than Spirited Away is Howl's Moving Castle. It's not hard to see why. Just like all of Miyazaki's films it's really visually appealing. There is also a huge sense of suspense and action in it as well.
In my opinion it's like a mixture of " Wizard of Oz" meets "Spirited Away" with a dash of " Nausica Of The Valley of the Wind", "Kiki's Delivery Service", and " Anne of Green Gables". All wrapped up in a Steampunk/ Victorian England fantasy package. The setting of the film is in Europe (more specifically in the UK) between 1900 and 1917 which in the movie a war takes place which is alluding to World War 1.
There is a lot of stunning visuals and action scenes to be found in this movie. The voice cast is also top notch with Christian Bale as Howl, Billy Crystal as Calcifer (who by the way is one of the best parts of the film), Josh Hutcherson as Markl, Lauren Bacall, and Blythe Danner.
I'm not big on spoilers so I'm just gonna give my thoughts. I thought it was really well done. It was one of Miazayki's best masterpieces next to Spirited Away. The musical score " Merry go Round of Life" really suits the film. It's one of Joe Hisaishi's best pieces along with " Town with an Ocean View", "Always With Me" , and " Path of the Wind". Like I previously stated there is a lot of connections to Western works like "Wizard of Oz" and "Anne of Green Gables" along with other Miyazaki's other works like "Nausica", "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Spirited Away".
There's only one thing minor I thought the movie could have done better. I think it could have had a little bit more comic relief. I mean Calcifer really was the comic relief in this movie. But I get this is a more action packed work than " My Neighbor Totoro" or "Kiki's Delivery Service".
Overall I give the movie 4 out of 5 stars. It's two hours of immersion like Spirited Away and Wizard of Oz. On my rank of favorite Studio Ghibli films it would be in my top 5. It's definitely a must watch for a anime fan or even a non anime fan that like fantasy and action/adventure films.