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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November, 2004, 10:25 GMT
Global release for Japan hit film
Howl's Moving Castle
Howl's Magic Castle is based on a UK author's story
Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, Howl's Moving Castle, is to be released in 50 countries around the world, its distributor has said.

Howl's Moving Castle set a Japanese box office record last week, taking 1.5bn yen (7.7m) in its first two days.

Miyazaki won an Oscar earlier this year for Spirited Away, Japan's first Academy Award for nearly 50 years.

Howl's Moving Castle is based on a children's fantasy novel by UK author Diana Wynne Jones.

It tells the story of an 18-year-old woman who ages dramatically after falling under a witch's spell.

She heads to a moving castle kept by Howl, a wizard, and searches for a way to become normal again.

A spokesman for distributor Toho said the film "has received strong interest from domestic audiences and foreign media and viewers alike".

"We have a good feeling about this film. We saw very good viewer response," he added.

The film's worldwide release will start in South Korea on 24 December, and France on 12 January.

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