English Title: Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Starring: Hana Sugisaki, Ryûnosuke Kamiki
Directed by: Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Giles New
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!
Synopsis: Mary (voiced by Hana Sugisaki) is a young girl who discovers a little broomstick that takes her to Endor, a college for witches, where she discovers something terrible.
Cartoon Cats: Mary has recently moved to her Great Aunt Charlotte’s house and is feeling bored. She is having a picnic when a black cat appears.
The little cat starts to lead her into the woods. Much to her surprise, the cat changes from black to gray!
When they reach a dead clearing, Mary realizes there are actually two cats, one male black named Tib and one female gray named Gib. The cats do not speak in this film other than to make normal cat sounds.
While in the clearing the cats react nervously to a lovely flower. Mary picks a portion of the flower and takes it home. She is later told it is known as The Witch’s Flower.
The two cats turn out to belong to a local boy named Peter (voiced by Ryûnosuke Kamiki). But one night Tib shows up at Mary’s room in a panicked state. Gib is nowhere to be found.
Tib leads Mary into the misty woods where she finds a little broomstick. Tib then throws one of the blossoms of the Witch’s Flower on Mary’s hands and the broom comes to life, whisking them away into the sky.
They arrive at a large beautiful facility known as Endor which Mary finds out is a witches’ college. She is told that anyone entering the facility who doesn’t belong will be transformed. She lies and enters the college with Tib, who is forced to wear a collar.
Mary is greeted by the headmistress Madam Mumblechook (voiced by Yûki Amami) and introduced to a strange magical science instructor named Doctor Dee (voiced by Fumiyo Kohinata).
It turns out the Witch’s Flower has endowed Mary with magical powers and so she is embraced as a potential star pupil. But when Doctor Dee enters a secret cave area Tib tries desperately to get inside. It is only indicated that some kind of dreadful transformation experiments on animals is taking place inside.
Mary ends up accidentally stealing a book from Madam Mumblechook and revealing the existence of the Witch’s Flower before she leaves for home. Tib does not want to go but finally consents.
Mary has no intention of returning to the school but Madam Mumblechook kidnaps Peter in order to convince Mary to bring her The Witch’s Flower. She and Tib return to the school, this time gaining access to the secret lab. We then learn that poor Gib was captured and transformed into a strange beast.
Using the book, Mary is able to free all the animals from their spells and Gib is restored, making Tib very happy.
But there are still many obstacles to overcome when Mary realizes that Madam Mumblechook and Doctor Dee are experimenting with forces they can’t control, using The Witch’s Flower to their advantage. Tib and Gib stay fast by her side as they end up having to rescue Peter and set things right.
A very charming film and two more adorable cat characters to add to the anime cat-alogue.
Final Mewsings: Cats will lead you to places you never dreamed you’d go.