Mary and The Witch's Flower (2018)
Critic Consensus: Mary and the Witch's Flower honors its creator's Studio Ghibli roots with a gentle, beautifully animated story whose simplicity is rounded out by its entrancing visuals.
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Critic Reviews for Mary and The Witch's Flower
This art-form has long been thought to have reached its twilight years, but Yonebayashi's film brims over with the bounce and spark of childhood.
Harry Potter meets Spirited Away in this richly inventive Japanese animation about an English girl.
It is another example of that remarkable way in which Japanese animation is reviving the memory of classic English children's literature from the 1960s and 70s - otherwise forgotten in its native land.
As in all the best Studio Ghibli films that inspired it, the film also offers a sensitive and nuanced portrayal of its troubled young protagonist as she learns how to transcend her own insecurities.
Still working the Miyazaki playbook, if not quite with the maestro's level of expertise.
Audience Reviews for Mary and The Witch's Flower
It looks like a Studio Ghibli film, it feels like one and it even sounds like one. Yet... Hiromasa Yonebyashi's latest effort is the first film of a subsequent studio; 'Studio Ponoc' founded from his former employers at Ghibli hence the character designs look so similar honoring their past legacies in this latest animated offering from the Japanese. Funnily enough I saw this film in it's English dub, featuring a cast of talented well known names and adopting a unique audible focus on it's English Countryside setting, which actually fits really well. However, despite the animation being as every bit flawless as you might expect from the Ghibli films of the past, I couldn't help but notice this film taking incidentally taking queues or beats other Ghibli films had done before. Nonetheless, despite this being an adaption of Mary Stewart's 'The Little Broomstick', it's visual palette makes up for more than enough of a satisfying viewing experience, even if it's story makes less of an emotional impact than one might think. While this film might be the lesser of Hiromasa Yonebyashi's films, it still show he's one of the brightest minds working in anime in this day and age. Here's to hoping Ponoc will continue the legacy Ghibli left behind even if the former studio itself won't surface.
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