‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ review: A bewitching film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Fans of the films of the famed Japanese production company Studio Ghibli or the magical world of “Harry Potter” will …

‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’

Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Voices of Kate Winslet, Ruby Barnhill, Jim Broadbent

Rated PG

Fans of the films of the famed Japanese production company Studio Ghibli or the magical world of “Harry Potter” will find joy in “Mary and the Witch’s Flower.”

The latest movie from Oscar nominated director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (in 2016 for the Ghibi film “When Marnie Was There”) follows the eponymous character, a young redheaded girl (voiced by Ruby Barnhill) who finds a flower which gives her the power of witchcraft. Along with a neighbor’s cat, she is off to the Endor School, for those with magical skills where she meets Madam Mumblechook (Kate Winslet) and Doctor Dee (Jim Broadbent). But this is no Hogwarts.

Based on the 1971 book “The Little Broomstick” by Mary Stewart, this might as well be a Ghibli film, with its gorgeous animation and charming story. Prepare to be bewitched.

Scott A. Rosenberg