What is it?
The 2017 Japanese anime (animated) fantasy movie Mary And The Witch’s Flower by Studio Ponoc.
What is it about?
This is how Rotten Tomatoes describes this anime movie:
From Academy Award (R)-nominee Hiromasa Yonebayashi – animator on Studio Ghibli masterpieces Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo, and director of When Marnie Was There and The Secret World of Arrietty – comes a dazzling new adventure about a young girl named Mary, who discovers a flower that grants magical powers, but only for one night.
Mary is an ordinary young girl stuck in the country with her Great-Aunt Charlotte and seemingly no adventures or friends in sight.
She follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest, where she discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms only once every seven years and only in that forest.
Together the flower and the broomstick whisk Mary above the clouds, and far away to Endor College – a school of magic run by headmistress Madam Mumblechook and the brilliant Doctor Dee.
But there are terrible things happening at the school, and when Mary tells a lie, she must risk her life to try to set things right.
Based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 classic children’s book The Little Broomstick, Mary and The Witch’s Flower is an action-packed film full of jaw-dropping imaginative worlds, ingenious characters, and the stirring, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to find a place in the world.
Featuring the voices of Ruby Barnhill and Academy Award-winners Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent.
What do I like about it and what would other people like about it?
I like the animation, that they surprised me by using British accents which is rare for anime to not have the English dub in American accents, that it was pretty consistent, that it was family friendly, and that it reminded me of several other animes; and I think that other people will like that as well.
This anime movie was probably a bit better than I had expected but it was not as good as it could have been, maybe because it was a bit too kiddy at times and the main villains were pretty much a joke when they should have looked and been more serious, and I think that more of the world should have been explained and that maybe they should have explored the great aunt’s story instead.
This movie will definitely remind you of a Studio Ghibli movie, and Studio Ponoc has the potential to have a bright future if they can improve their storytelling and the tone of their movies a bit; I would probably give this movie a 3.5 out of 5.