I will try to make this as short as I can:
To give context, I've watched all of studio Ghibli's movies (because this is what people are comparing this movie to) and enough hours of anime / animated movies and series to have several PhDs... That's probably not a good thing. Moving on...
The art is beautiful and the animations are amazing, sometimes reminding me of the old Disney style of animation.
The story and music are kind of where this movie falls short. The story is pretty predictable and the music is kind of generic but I still loved watching this.
This movie definitely doesn't deserve a grade under 7. If you loved the stuff by studio Ghibli, then you'll love this. It's as simple as that so go watch it.
Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017) 720p YIFY Movie
Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017)
Based on "The Little Broomstick" by Mary Stewart, a strange flower grants a girl magic powers.
IMDB: 6.83 Likes
The Synopsis for Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017) 720p
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 ...
The Director and Players for Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017) 720p
The Reviews for Mary and the Witch's Flower (2017) 720p
Pretty damn goodReviewed bystindereVote: 8/10
I will try to make this as short as I can:
Based on the 1971 children's novel The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, this anime fantasy adventure is a satisfying debut from Studio Ponoc that manages to carry on the glorious legacy of Studio Ghibli.
Founded back in 2015 by producer Yoshiaki Nishimura in the aftermath of Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya) and Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle) announcing retirement and Ghibli moving away from feature film animation; MATWF crew members consists of the director behind The Secret World of Arriety and the wonderful When Marnie Was There Hiromasa Yonebayashi along with several ex-Studio Ghibli animators.
So if you saw the trailer and wondered to yourself "This looks really Ghibli-ish?", that is because MATWF is essentially another Studio Ghibli release in all but name.
Everything that was great about Ghibli is still present from the colorful crisp animation, to the gorgeous spacious shots of countryside landscape, the magical castle serenely floating in the sky, it's well-developed and relatable young female protagonist and technology vs. environmentalism themes, although this time magic is used as a metaphorical substitute for technology.
One criticism that could be leveled at this film is that it almost echoes Ghibli too much. Longtime fans will easily be able to spot elements from Kiki's Delivery Service (focus on magic and witchcrafts, Mary's black cat), Castle in the Sky, Howl's Moving Castle (Madame Mumblechook office) and Spirited Away along with other films such as Harry Potter (magic school setting) and even Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Although given this is Ponoc's first movie and thus their initial flagship title (their logo consists of an image of the title character), I can understand why the filmmakers felt compelled to play things close to the chest this time. Hopefully for the their next set of feature films we will start to see more experimentation in the vein of Only Yesterday, My Neighbor the Yamata's, Whisper of the Heart, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.
In the meantime, MATWF is a fantasy action adventure of the highest order that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages.
From the opening sequence alone portraying a young witch making a high-flying escape from an exploding castle in the sky while dodging shape-shifting henchman, the movie does a really good job of hooking the audience in with awe-inspiring spectacle and unique visuals. Admittedly the film does slow down a bit during the first twenty minutes when it's introducing Mary and her ordinary country-side living; but once she discovers her flying broom and is transported to Cloud City Hogwarts, it's a delightful adventure that features unique interpretations of old Ghibli themes.
The pacing is gentle but brisk and there is a great sense of danger amidst the wonderment, which is further enhanced by some splendid comedy gags such as the mishaps pertaining to Mary's magic powers and a certain running joke involving a monkey.
Takatsugu Muramatsu returns from Yonebayashi's previous film When Marnie was There to provide another fantastic melodic score. It complements the graceful visuals like bread on butter and has a great neoclassical European vibe with it's use of string instruments and flutes that perfectly goes along with the film's more adventure movie tone.
It's certainly far from the level of Ghibli's masterpieces (Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away), I personally did wish for more world building and Peter, Mary's male companion, sadly goes under-developed with the "sick mother" plot point never having a payoff.
However, as a longtime admire of the work done by Ghibli and it's crew, seeing this movie for it's one-night only showing at my local Marcus Cinema was a great experience, especially when seeing it in a theater packed with moviegoers both young and old.
I look forward to what Studio Ponoc will release next!
Studio Ponoc, heir apparent to Studio Ghibli, makes a decent start with Mary & the Witch's Flower.
Animation is lush and gorgeous to look at, and is very reminiscent of the work we're used to from Studio Ghibli - and as anyone who's familiar with Ghibli's work can tell you, that is a pretty high bar to meet. I saw the English dubbed version, and the voice acting was excellent as well - especially Ruby Barnhill as Mary. Background score was quite good too.
Story, however, was a bit disappointing. Not saying that it was bad, it just felt a bit devoid of heart and there were quite a few plot holes which were hard to overlook. Character motivations were hard to explain, and the wizarding world Mary stumbles into feels empty, though it is supposed to be a thriving world. Then again, I complain because I was expecting something of Ghibli standards.
It was a fun movie to experience, and I'm glad Studio Ponoc exists - not only because I expect bigger and better things from them in the future, but also because something as beautiful as the tradition of Ghibli animated movies needs be kept alive.