This bank holiday weekend sees the release of Mary and the Witch’s Flower, the stunning family adventure from the makers of Studio Ghibli classics Arrietty and When Marnie Was There. The film features an outstanding voice cast including Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner, Louis Serkis and Ruby Barnhill as the voice of Mary, and is adapted from Mary Stewart’s beloved children’s classic, The Little Broomstick.
Last weekend I went to the preview of this film and Ruby Barnhill introduced it. Take a look and see what she said about the film and what she wants children to take away from the story.
Here’s a clip of the first 2 minutes of the film, as you can see from just this clip the animations really are quite beautiful. My 2.5 and 4 year old were not scared at any point during this film so on that basis I would say it is accessible to all ages, I was expecting them to come and have a cuddle or hide but they were just fascinated and enthralled by the animations. They loved the broomstick and the cats and the story itself. They didn’t stop talking about the story for days after. It captured their hearts and imagination completely. Now whenever they see a big stick they pretend it’s a broomstick to fly away on!
On a note for parents of girls, this film is great for inspiring confidence in girls especially if they are a bit different or feel out of place. The main character Mary is a young ginger girl who lacks self confidence and grows throughout the story into a strong smart young lady.
As an adult watching this film I found the plot a little simplistic but it made it very accessible to the younger audience so on that basis it was ideal. It kept us all entertained throughout and we would sit through it again for sure. The music was really quite beautiful and the animations were stunning, as you would expect with the history behind the new studio. The film is based on a book The Little Broomstick. I’m going to try and get hold of the book for the children as I think they would love it as a bedtime story.
Here’s a short synopsis of the film:
Mary is a young girl who arrives in the village of Redmanor to stay with her Great-Aunt Charlotte. After discovering a ‘fly-by-night’, a rare flower that blooms once every seven years, Mary is spirited away to Endor College, a college for young witches and warlocks. There, she meets Madame Mumblechook and Doctor Dee, who celebrate her arrival under the belief she is an all-powerful witch. But in a world of incantations and transformations, all is not what it seems. Mary will have to summon her inner strength if she is to understand the true power of the Witch’s Flower.
The film is out now and worth a watch if you are wondering what to do on the Bank Holiday weekend or you find yourself having a wet and dull day in the next few weeks. I think the film is also due out on BlueRay in the near future as well so if you miss it in the cinema it’s definitely one to consider for watching at home or adding to your anime collection.
Update: This film is now available on DVD and BlueRay. One for everyone’s Christmas gift list. Mum’s and dad’s I strongly recommend this film for anyone who has a daughter struggling with being different. It is inspiring and empowering. Please consider it. You have time to order online before Christmas so why not add it to the present pile.