Mary and the Witch's Flower

Alt title: Mary to Majo no Hana

Movie (1 ep x 102 min)
3.812 out of 5 from 5,007 votes
Rank #2,140

When ten year-old Mary Smith comes to live with her Aunt Charlotte, she finds her new home rather dull. Then one day a search for a missing cat leads Mary to discover a magical flower growing deep in the woods, along with a little broomstick. The broomstick whisks her above the clouds to Endor College, a secret training school for witches. The headmistress, Miss Mumblechook, thinks Mary would make an excellent pupil, but Mary soon learns the school - and its headmistress - are not all they appear to be.

An adaptation of "The Little Broomstick" by Mary Stewart

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The opening scene was fantastic to watch, too bad Mary's adventure wasn't as wonderful as the first scene. She starts off as a bored, lonely kid who appears to have depression. She has no friends, no parents at the moment, no games, no T.V., nothing to entertain her so she offers to help out around the house instead but she messes everything up. Are these people poor or something? Why doesn't Mary have games or toys to play with?The characters seem pretty inconsistent and I'll tell you why here. Mary is a petulant and dishonest character. She despises Peter and shows no respect to him after he mocked her red hair. I understand that she is a young girl who is desperate to have friends and when she found herself in conflict with a boy around her age who isn't very nice to her, she lashes out at him, but I still think she could've been written to be a little more nicer. Also, she told Tib she would feed him milk. If I'm correct, milk isn't good for cats. Since Mary is naive, maybe she doesn't know how to take care of one.She even lies about how great her day is when she gets home and then has to go save Peter. I feel that this is filler, maybe there could've been another reason for why she had to go back to college or they could've just shortened the film. But due to the film's fast pace, the film does feel shorter.Mary's relationship with Peter was pretty shallow. How did Mary start off hating Peter and holding a grudge against him, then the minute she hears he's in trouble, she starts caring for him as a friend? This sort of relationship has been done many times in animated films, with a character starting off hating and whining about someone they don't like, then they become the best of friends.And did Mary steal Peter's cats at the end? Did she ask to keep them? Because she drew a picture about her family and even the cats were included. I hope not.At least the dub was pretty good, the characters actually sounded British instead of Americans.There were too many rehashes to other Ghibli movies, in certain parts, the movie has scenes that recall Spirited and Howl's Moving Castle for example. I think it's time to do something new. I know it's by Ghibli animators but they shouldn't be making recalls to their older films. It just makes an already cliched film feel repetitive.I couldn't find many positive things about this movie. I did like the fantastical elements and the action but that was about it. The film was silly and predictable, I feel that a younger audience would appreciate it but adults would probably feel it's childish.


This is the first movie from Studio Ponoc, who shamelessly is trying to be the next Studio Ghibli. The company was founded by former Studio Ghibli lead film producer Yoshiaki Nishimura in April 2015, due to the dissolution of the Ghibli's Production Department. The story is based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. In terms of visuals and audio, the movie is there, it really looks and sounds like a Ghibli movie, the animation is superb and there is no shortage of creativity. You will recognize the characters with the same look as other Ghibli works. Everything says "this is a Ghibli movie". Unfortunately, the story is where everything breaks apart with problems with pacing, parts that are really boring (I ended up watching in 2 seatings as it was not engaging enough), there are plot inconsistencies, predictable outcomes, not enough thrills or tense moments, the characters are not developed and have inconsistent personalities, the antagonists are quite bland. Overall, this is a good first attempt, if they can get their storytelling right we can expect some great works from this studio, at least on regards animation and sound they did an excellent work that is a worthy successor to Ghibli, however, I still think they should try to develop their own style instead of limiting themselves with the past and the storytelling really needs to be worthy of their animation quality. In a way, is sad to see so much effort put into the animation alone, for a story that will be quickly forgettable. The dub was excellent too.

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