Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017) Rated PG

A strange flower grants magic to a young girl. Based on the book The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. Starring Ruby Barnhill, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner, and Kate Winslet.

This is the first film from Studio Ponoc, the company founded by a producer from Studio Ghibli. The film does have its problems, but it also has stunning animation from Ghibli. The film’s story slowly unfolds and doesn’t present the conflict until halfway through the movie.  For me, this isn’t a big deal; I’ve always found the films from Ghibli to be slow moving. The one thing that made me question the film’s consistency during the second act; Mary tours a college with thousands of students, but those students don’t appear at the end of the movie during the climax. This isn’t a big issue, but I did find it puzzling. For the most part, I thought the film was beautifully done, and the story was wonderful to watch. It’s hard not to compare the movie to Ghibli’s other films, but it still holds up to them and makes this film worth a watch.

 

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