I remember as I was growing up, that I would often find myself glued to the television screen on the weekends watching cartoons. This memory of watching cartoons on the weekend gave me the idea to do a cartoon review feature over the weekend! These are any type of cartoons, as I deem appropriate. This could be a cartoon special, an animated movie, or a review of some episodes of a cartoon series!
“Mary and the Witch’s Flower”
Screenplay by Riko Sakaguchi & Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Starring the Voices of (American): Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, and more
Based on “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart, a strange flower grants a girl magic powers.
As mentioned yesterday, I watched this film on Netflix. I had wanted to watch it since I had seen the trailer and I was shocked to see it on Netflix. I had thought it was still going to be coming out, but it was sitting there. I was ecstatic and put it on immediately. Boy, was I glad I did.
This film takes much of the plot of the book and keeps true to it, but there are subtle differences. Such as the fact that in this film you get the sense that the two cats are “together”, whereas they are brothers in the book. After the halfway point some of these changes become much more glaring. I won’t spoil the differences, but one that was included here made me enjoy the film a little more than the book (which is why it got 4 magic balls, instead of the 3 that the book received). These differences made it stronger, in my opinion. I love when a company that is adapting a book recognizes that the source material is a great foundation to utilize, but that sometimes things need to be either amped up or changed slightly for film to make it more intense or enjoyable for audiences. It is more enjoyable when they do this, but remember not to change it so much that it becomes so drastically different that you can’t recognize anything from the source material. This changes just enough to create a solid story for movie-goers.
I applaud the artwork utilized in this film. It was well-thought out. The stylization is very much Studio Ghibli, but since most of these people actually came from there I ain’t mad about it. The characters look correct for the story and they are stylized uniquely. There is no moment where you are confused on who is who or what part they are within the story. The way they are drawn lets you know “this is the antagonist” or this is the “side friend character”. I appreciate that.
Overall, the film is wonderfully done and worth the time to watch. I have noticed that I often find it hard to watch full-length films these days because I don’t want to sit there that long through them. I forgot I was watching something that was over a hour with this. I was immersed for the entire film, wanting to know what was going to happen to Mary next. I loved having that level of immersion for this film. I definitely would watch it again at some other point and probably enjoy it just as much as I did this first time around. Kudos to this newer studio for making this film. I can’t wait to see your next one.
This film is based on the book “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart, which I reviewed yesterday.