‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ lacks originality, background

A world of fantasy and adventure is explored in the first film of Studio Ponoc, “Mary and the Witch’s Flower.” 

The movie is a combination of Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation film studio known for its anime feature films, and the world of Harry Potter. The animated film follows a young girl, Mary, as she enters a new world of magic. 

Mary is a young English girl who recently moved to the countryside to live with her Great-Aunt Charlotte. School has yet to start and Mary is bored all by herself. She makes friends with two cats, Tib and Gib, and follows them into the forest where she discovers a magical plant, thus beginning a magical adventure for Mary.

The animation depicts a colorful world filled with beautiful landscapes. Tib and Gib, two mischievous cats, are ridiculously adorable and are essential characters to the plot. They are dramatic and lively. They create the perfect facial expressions if you pay close attention. There are a lot of details to the animation, immersing the audience into the world themselves.

Although the animation brings a world of magic to light for Mary, it can be hard to connect with the characters. Mary had a sad backstory as to why she moved in with her Great-Aunt Charlotte, but it is not enough to sympathize with Mary. 

Peter, the friend Mary makes throughout her adventure, is another character with a lot of potential. There wasn’t enough of Peter’s character to be able to connect with him on a personal level. The characters are fun to follow, but there isn’t enough to get that special connection the audience craves with fictional characters. 

There are new relationships portrayed throughout the film. The more Mary learns about her old Great-Aunt Charlotte, the more she sees that she’s not just a boring relative. Although Peter and Mary didn’t make the best first impression to one another, they are able to depend on each other and call each other friends by the end of the film. 

Another aspect of the film is the plot, and overall, I wish there was more to the plot. As the film follows Mary into a new world of magic, the magic is spoiled by only being concentrated on the aspect of the magic school and how the villains misuse the magic. There isn’t much to the villains either, which ends up ruining the aftermath of the climax. 

A lot more could have gone into the film, but because the film is limited to being only a standard film and not a series, “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” could not shine to its full potential. 

“Mary and the Witch’s Flower” is not a bad animation. It’s entertaining, yet lacks the originality for plot and background information. The film is enjoyable and cute, but not something I would watch again.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)