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Mary and The Witch's Flower

PG Released Jan 19, 2018 1h 43m Adventure Fantasy Anime List
89% Tomatometer 92 Reviews 71% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings
Young Mary follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest and discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms once every seven years. 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 and set things right. Read More Read Less
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Mary and The Witch's Flower

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Mary and The Witch's Flower

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Critics Consensus

Mary and the Witch's Flower honors its creator's Studio Ghibli roots with a gentle, beautifully animated story whose simplicity is rounded out by its entrancing visuals.

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Critics Reviews

View All (92) Critics Reviews
Tara Brady Irish Times Gorgeously detailed pastel interiors, watercolour landscapes and imaginative grotesquery make for suitably magical spectacle. As transporting as any witch's broomstick. Rated: 4/5 May 11, 2018 Full Review Wendy Ide Observer (UK) It may lack the originality of the best Miyazaki films, but with its heart-swelling score and exquisitely realised worlds, this is a must for Ghibli fans. Rated: 4/5 May 7, 2018 Full Review Robbie Collin Daily Telegraph (UK) This art-form has long been thought to have reached its twilight years, but Yonebayashi's film brims over with the bounce and spark of childhood. Rated: 5/5 May 5, 2018 Full Review Caroline Cao Vague Visages While it doesn’t pop with philosophical resonance like Ghibli pictures, it has enough fairy dust in its sleeves to keep you transfixed and rooting for the heroine. Dec 14, 2023 Full Review Sean Axmaker Stream on Demand [Director Hiromasa] Yonebayashi was an animator for Hayao Miyazaki at Studio Ghibli and he honors the master’s work with his sweet, playful film (adapted from a children’s novel by British author Mary Stewart) and his young heroine. Apr 14, 2023 Full Review Charlotte Harrison Charlotte Sometimes Goes to the Movies A really charming coming-of-age fantasy story that will linger with you long after watching. Jan 5, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (155) audience reviews
David F A charming little anime about a young girl on a quest. With cats. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 07/07/24 Full Review Mohamed S The movie, while having an intriguing storyline, falls short in several aspects, particularly in character development, animation, and direction. The character designs and focus could be significantly improved, much like those found in Studio Ghibli films. However, the movie lacks its own unique charm, making it feel like an imitation rather than an authentic work. The animation is another area that requires substantial improvement. While some scenes in the second half are visually stunning, the overall quality is subpar. The story, although interesting, is not effectively conveyed through the use of music, direction, and character designs. This lack of cohesion results in a movie that fails to connect with the main character on an emotional level, instead feeling like a third-person perspective until the second half. To elevate the movie, the creators should focus on developing the characters, refining the animation, and using music and direction to create a distinct charm. By doing so, the film could potentially become a memorable and engaging experience for viewers. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 06/21/24 Full Review Marten L When grounded, the film is quite charming. But when Mary takes flight the plot is quickly lost in the hodgepodge of needless story tropes, homages to other (better) ideas, and weird contrivances (what happened to all of the students of this knockoff Hogwarts when the animals run amok?? and why is our villain so easily forgiven for abducting a little boy?) The films brisk pace allows this nonsense to be tolerable but my goodwill ended during the broom stable scene. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 05/27/24 Full Review Bionic I The movie isn't exceptional in any way but it also has no parts that are distinctly bad. There were not any parts that I think the movie stood out but that does not make it bad. Would recommend. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/13/24 Full Review Adam E From Studio Ponoc, founded by ex-Studio Ghibli animator and director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, comes Mary And The Witch's Flower, the story of a little girl who discovers a mysterious flower in the woods before being whisked away by a magic broomstick to another world. You might think that after Kiki's Delivery Service, it might have been a bit too close to home for Yonebayashi to take on a similar theme for his first fully solo effort but this new film manages to both evoke the best aspects of the aforementioned Studio Ghibli classic as a loving homage and also deliver something fresh and new. Mary is no prodigy, in fact, quite the opposite: although she's always very keen to help the people around her, she tends to clumsily make a mess of things. When she is apparently selected to become a witch by a black cat, she initially doesn't fare much better but gradually learns to accept who she is and prove that, with a little more determination, she can achieve the impossible. The magical land that she discovers over and through the clouds owes a bit to Harry Potter but it is also reminiscent of the spirit world in Spirited Away as it is peopled by strange, occasionally cute beings and is ruled by a witch who might not be the most trustworthy but might not be all bad either. This is a gorgeous-looking film from the get-go: its slick animation, vibrant colours and surreal character design alone make it a must-see. Furthermore, the story itself is well worth sticking around for since it only gets more and more interesting as it goes on. When Mary is shown the college campus for witches that she might get enrolled to, you expect the film to settle down into a Worst Witch type of scenario where you see Mary being revealed to be not so apt with magic and learn on the go while nearly accidentally saving the day in the end. But some darker twists are quickly revealed and the adventure becomes increasingly challenging for our main character as she deals with potentially losing her powers prematurely and, by extension, losing a friend. The villains are pretty good in that they're not the typical one-dimensional baddies you'd expect an older Disney animated feature to conjure up and there's something refreshing about a character not necessarily embracing a cool new power they've acquired just because it's cool in the end. Everyone has praised Mary And The Witch's Flower for its pretty visuals, and rightly so, but one can't help but feel that this is an underrated effort overall. It's a bit derivative, granted, but it's every bit as sweet and emotional, not to mention well written, as some of Studio Ghibli's best. Very good. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/07/23 Full Review Collin R Stunning visuals, adorable art, I wish I could live in this movie! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/05/22 Full Review Read all reviews
Mary and The Witch's Flower

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis Young Mary follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest and discovers an old broomstick and the strange Fly-by-Night flower, a rare plant that blossoms once every seven years. 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 and set things right.
Director
Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Producer
Yoshiaki Nishimura, Geoffrey Wexler
Screenwriter
Riko Sakaguchi, Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Distributor
GKIDS
Production Co
Sapporo Television Broadcasting Company, Toho Company, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Lawson Entertainment, Kadokawa Contents Gate Co., Ltd., Chukyo TV, Kadokawa, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, Hiroshima Telecasting, Amuse, Shizuoka Daiichi Television, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Fukuoka Broadcasting System, Walt Disney Company, Studio Ponoc, Miyagi Television Broadcasting, D.N. Dream Partners
Rating
PG (Thematic Elements|Some Action)
Genre
Adventure, Fantasy, Anime
Original Language
Japanese
Release Date (Theaters)
Jan 19, 2018, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Apr 13, 2018
Box Office (Gross USA)
$2.0M
Runtime
1h 43m
Sound Mix
Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio
Flat (1.85:1)
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