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

Mary and The Witch's Flower (2018)

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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 (53) | Top Critics (13)

The animators invoke worlds upon worlds in Mary and the Witch's Flower.

January 20, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

With Mary and the Witch's Flower, [Studio Ponoc has] come both too close and not close enough, resulting in an adventure that can never climb out of the uncanny valley it digs for itself.

January 18, 2018 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

It shows tremendous promise, even if the movie exists so obviously at the mercy of its influences, and Yonebayashi at his.

January 18, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A gentle, sweet story, told with painterly artistry.

January 18, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

What Mary and the Witch's Flower lacks in dimensionality, it makes up for in wonderment.

January 18, 2018 | Full Review…

The spell Mr. Yonebayashi casts is effective, but also ephemeral. It's minor magic.

January 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mary and The Witch's Flower

½

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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