Mary and the Witch’s Flower follows a young girl named Mary (voiced in the English dub by Ruby Barnhill) while she stays with her great aunt in an old cottage.

Wandering through the nearby forest one day, she discovers a flower known as the Fly By Night – or the Witch’s Flower, as it is said to bestow magical powers. Mary comes into contact with the flower and finds the rumours to be true – she is bestowed a powerful magical energy, but only for a short period of time.

Her adventures with the flower bring her – by way of a magical flying broomstick – to Endor College, where her powers appear to be stronger than anyone could have imagined, and she is brought to the attention of staff. Headmistress Madam Mumblechook (Kate Winslet) and scientist Doctor Dee (Jim Broadbent) come to Mary’s aid to help her become accustomed to and fine-tune her powers, but their intentions may not be as pure as they seem…

From Studio Ponoc – a studio comprised of ex-Studio Ghibli members – Mary and the Witch’s Flower will stun you from beginning to end. The breathtaking animation and exquisite English voice acting allows the anime to appeal to everyone, with love and wonder at the centre of its entrancing story. It reveals that with great power, comes great responsibility, and does a remarkable job of showing Mary dealing with her newfound powers as she makes morally dubious decisions.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower is blessed with all the magic of a Studio Ghibli film, and is a great entry-level anime for those who are perhaps new to the genre; not to mention a must-see for any who are already fans of Ghibli.

In cinemas: January 18, 2018
Starring: The voices of Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent
Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

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