Mary and The Witch's Flower Reviews
The movie is beautiful, it's wonderfully scored, but there's not something about Mary. The film takes a while to fire but when it does it's fun, unfortunately it's short lived. It was very unclear what the villains were attempting to accomplish. Mary was not written as a hero, but rather just someone who was there. The animation is glorious, but next time around let us hope we have a script to match. This is an on the fence recommendation. Final Score: 6.8/10
Truth be told, it's only quote as awful as I'm making it out to be if you compare it to a Studio Ghibli movie. If you think of it as just a kids movie - with no depth or greater meaning to anything that goes on - then it's probably just fine. It has beautiful animation, after all. And if you're showing it to your child, they're not likely to pick apart the characters motives or the plausability of the world itself, and will likely enjoy it simply for the pretty effects and mildly wholesome story aspects.
But I've got to say, my brother and I have been lifelong Ghibli fans, and we couldn't stop finding aspects to criticize for a single minute out of the nearly 2hr long movie.
My favourite part - without a shadow of a doubt - was the epilogue. There was a whole minute or two of wholesome animation undercut by a beautiful song, in which there was no diologue, followed by credits in which the song continued.
In summation, it was a complete and utter waste of nearly two hours.
The performances were good I suppose, the cinema I saw this movie at played the English dubbed version and so there were well known western actors filling in the roles, Kate Winslet was easily the standout and Jim Broadbent was fun as usual, other than that the movie felt really stale. The main character was really unlikeable, the plot was at times super predictable and at times super confusing, and not in a good way. Some of the plot threads don‚(TM)t even make any sense; so we‚(TM)re supposed to believe that inside a book of spells there is listed a spell that can remove all magic spells (notice I said ‚removes‚? and not ‚undoes‚?) and they say it and all the magic is removed, except the magic taxi people still move, and the Headmistress can still fly, and Mary can still fly on her broomstick. Also if you‚(TM)re going to use a spell that removes magic then doesn‚(TM)t that in itself cancel itself out thereby creating a paradox? There are so many inconsistencies that arise when you write a script that doesn‚(TM)t explain the rules of your universe.
This had the potential to be a really amazing start to the studio‚(TM)s pantheon, but instead this was a beautiful looking disappointment, I only hope that they improve their products in the future‚¶ and I‚(TM)m giving this one a 5/10.
The story attempts to take the audience on an emotional journey by making the main protagonist young and clumsy so that you may sympathize with her, however, due to the film being targeted at children it made it hard to feel any connection to the characters at all which lead to me getting bored of the characters. I can't help but compare this to other films of a similar theme such as Harry Potter which achieved pulling the theme off really well that they were able to create 8 movies from the theme.
The iconic hand-drawn art direction is a breath of fresh air and the cinematography emphasizes this by having lots of sweeping drone like shots to show the of the environment.
The story tries to take us as the audience on an emotional roller coaster by getting you to try to sympathise with the main protagonist however this film is targeted for children so i didnt feel any connection to the characters witch lead me to get bored of the film and make connections to other and more famous magical films such as the Harry Potter films, which at the time of me watching those films I was the age of the characters in the film which lead me to relate to them more.
When we first get introduced to the magical world through a flying broomstick and we hear the music pick up to come to a rousing score which climaxes with the revival of the magical world. However at this point, I have already lost interest as the film has failed to make me care for the characters so I feel no obligation to care about what happens with the story.
In terms of Mise on scene, the images and animation like scenery, was very pleasing to see as this type of style is not commonly seen by people my age, since we assume cartoons are for kids. However, this cartoon like imagery, made me feel as if I was in my perfect Utopian world, making me feel at ease and relaxed. Expanding on this further, the high key lighting used throughout the film, really added to this friendly and magical vibe.
At times the fast paced edits worked very well, for example when Mary was riding her broom for the very first time, the accompanied soundtrack and fast transitions, really emphasizes this thrilling atmosphere, ultimately gripping the audience.
The camera angles and shots were very diverse. The film used a lot of drone like shots, which captures the amazing surroundings like trees and houses. Not to mention the glorious close up shots, which allow us to get an insight on how the character is feeling.
Finally, the soundtrack used commonly throughout the film, sounded very mystical and magical, enchanting the audience, hence making them feel happy and engaged. On the other hand, when it came to moments of sadness, the music was very monotone to set this mood, triggering an empathetic response from the audience.