Mary and The Witch's Flower (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mary and The Witch's Flower2018

Mary and The Witch's Flower (2018)



Critic 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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Movie Info

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

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Critic Reviews for Mary and The Witch's Flower

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (29)

Gorgeously detailed pastel interiors, watercolour landscapes and imaginative grotesquery make for suitably magical spectacle. As transporting as any witch's broomstick.

May 11, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

May 6, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

May 5, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Harry Potter meets Spirited Away in this richly inventive Japanese animation about an English girl.

May 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent fill out the impressive voice cast but it's the fantastical visuals that'll wow you - try to picture Hogwarts meets The Yellow Submarine. The hand-drawn imagination is truly eye-popping.

May 3, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

It is another example of that remarkable way in which Japanese animation is reviving the memory of classic English children's literature from the 1960s and 70s - otherwise forgotten in its native land.

May 3, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mary and The Witch's Flower


It looks like a Studio Ghibli film, it feels like one and it even sounds like one. Yet... Hiromasa Yonebyashi's latest effort is the first film of a subsequent studio; 'Studio Ponoc' founded from his former employers at Ghibli hence the character designs look so similar honoring their past legacies in this latest animated offering from the Japanese. Funnily enough I saw this film in it's English dub, featuring a cast of talented well known names and adopting a unique audible focus on it's English Countryside setting, which actually fits really well. However, despite the animation being as every bit flawless as you might expect from the Ghibli films of the past, I couldn't help but notice this film taking incidentally taking queues or beats other Ghibli films had done before. Nonetheless, despite this being an adaption of Mary Stewart's 'The Little Broomstick', it's visual palette makes up for more than enough of a satisfying viewing experience, even if it's story makes less of an emotional impact than one might think. While this film might be the lesser of Hiromasa Yonebyashi's films, it still show he's one of the brightest minds working in anime in this day and age. Here's to hoping Ponoc will continue the legacy Ghibli left behind even if the former studio itself won't surface.

Luke Eberhardt
Luke Eberhardt

Super Reviewer

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