Anime / Mary and The Witch's Flower

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For just one night
A mysterious power is yours
What will you do?

Mary and The Witch's Flower is a 2017 anime film by Studio Ponoc, an anime studio composed of former employees of Studio Ghibli (and it really shows). It was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who wrote the screenplay with Riko Sakaguchi with music by Takatsugu Muramatsu and is based on the novel The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart. Studio Ponoc founder Yoshiaki Nishimura served as the film's producer.


Mary and The Witch's Flower provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: Madam Mumblechook is a friendly and reasonable mistress. Too bad about her plans to reenact the experiments that destroyed Endor's old laboratory.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Mary always calls her flying broom "Little Broomstick!" (The film is, in fact, based on a book called The Little Broomstick.)
  • Amplifier Artifact: What Mumblechook and Dee want to use the flower for.
  • Artificial Limbs: Doctor Dee wears a prosthetic right arm to replace the one he lost in the previous laboratory's explosion.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Mary discovers that Doctor Dee's transformation experiments have created dozens of horrible animal mishmashes, one of which is Peter's cat Gip, who has become almost frog-like in appearance.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Madam Mumblechook and Doctor Dee wanted to use the fly-by-night to give Endor's students unlimited magical power. Unfortunately for them, they got more than what they bargained for.
  • Big Bad: Madam Mumblechook, who is determined to recreate the experiment whose failure was depicted at the start of the movie and cares not a whit if anyone gets hurt in the process.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Mary's eyebrows are pretty prominent.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Madam Mumblechook's spellbook. In particular the undo magic spell. Used first by Mary to undo the transformation spells done on the animals that Doctor Dee tested on and then used again by her and Peter to undo the effects of Mumblechook and Dee's experiment with the flower that's nearly enveloped Peter and is destroying the lab.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Inverted when Madame Mumblechook says the school's elevators are powered by electricity and explains that electricity is actually a type of magic.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Mary wants to help others, but is a bit too overeager and tends to do badly when she tries, which she laments to Tib when she first meets him.
  • Cute Witch: Both Mary and the red-headed witch from the start of the movie.
  • Cyborg: Doctor Dee's right arm is an extendable prosthetic with a clamp for a hand.
  • Determinator: The "red-headed witch" in the beginning. Mary becomes one over the course of the movie.
  • Dispel Magic: The magic cancelling spell in Mumblechook's spell book.
  • The Dragon: Doctor Dee serves as Madam Mumblechook's right-hand man.
  • Familiar: Flanagan mistakes Tib for Mary's. They're implied to be common enough at the school.
  • Fantastic Flora: The fly-by-night flower. It glows, blooms only once every seven years, and when its blossoms are crushed, they give off a blue liquid that imparts magical ability, allowing Mary to use spells and bringing the broomstick to life.
  • Fish People: A weird example. Some of the Witch's goons are evidently large fish that can walk around with special yellow suits, but can fly out of them to give chase to things...like a certain broom-flying little red-haired girl.
  • Flying Broomstick: Mary finds one while walking through a forest.
  • Generation Xerox: There's a very strong resemblance between Mary and the red-headed witch, who is eventually revealed to be a young Charlotte when she was a student at Endor College.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Madam Mumblechook and Doctor Dee frequently wear glasses, but that doesn't mean they're willing to carry on their transformation experiments.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Mary frequently wears her hair in twin tails throughout the day.
  • Gold Fever: While the fly-by-night isn't gold, its magical power has the same effect on Madam Mumblechook and Doctor Dee when they learn of its existence. Their obsession drove them to the initial experiment that destroyed the school, and time has not diminished their drive to obtain the flower and try again.
  • Here There Were Dragons: Flanagan says the school has been around since the time of dragons, implying they're extinct. A flashback to a field trip shows a load of students standing in what appears to be a huge dragon skull.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Mary has a version of this, in that she hates her bushy red hair. This relaxes after Madame Mumblechook tells her that red hair is a sign of being an exceptional witch.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: After being trapped by Madam Mumblechook's magic, Peter tells Mary to leave him behind. It doesn't last.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Dee is willing to use the fly-by-night flower to carry on his experiments to animals and humans for evil purposes.
  • Magic Mirror: Mary's great-aunt Charlotte has one in her old house, which she uses to give Mary the last blossom from the witch's flower.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: When Mary is empowered by the fly-by-night, flower-shaped marks appear on her palms.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: in the flashback, Charlotte encounters the fly-by-night and gives it to Madame Mumblechook and Doctor Dee, only for them to use it to conduct experiments on animals and eventually on a human victim which leads to the laboratory being blown up.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: Tib and Gib are voiced by Ikue Otani and Lynn, respectively, in all foreign-language versions of the film.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The red-haired witch when she realizes that the Endor College laboratory is about to explode.
    • Mary after her first attempt at gardening fails.
    • Tib when he discovers that Gib has been transformed.
    • Mary when she inadvertently crushes the fly-by-night seed on the red-haired witch's broomstick, causing it to take her to Endor College.
    • Peter has a moment of terror when he is forced to leave Mary behind and when he realizes that he's going to be subjected to the same experiment that destroyed Endor's previous laboratory.
    • Mary again after discovering that Mumblechook's spells include Gib transforming into a frog-like being humans transforming into monsters.
    • Mary when she realizes that her broomstick is destroyed and her magic has disappeared.
  • Plucky Girl: Braving a huge building while it's still on fire? That's Mary for you.
  • Power Crystal: The extremely rare titular Witch's Flower, or the "fly-by-night", has enough power in one bulb to make Mary an absurdly powerful witch, but only temporarily.
  • The Reveal: Mary's great-aunt Charlotte is the red-headed witch that stole the flower seeds at the beginning of the film.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The destruction of Endor College's laboratory after an experiment to see the power of the fly-by-night is a shout-out to Final Fantasy XII, where the city of Nabudis and the Leviathan are destroyed after experiments to see the deifacted nethicite's powers.
    • Some have noticed that, physically speaking, Mary borrows elements from Kiki and Ponyo. Kind of justified considering where these people used to work at.
    • The transformed Gip resembles Venusaur minus the flower on its back.
    • Madame Mumblechook's servants bear resemblance to the Blob Men from Howl's Moving Castle and Fujimoto's servants from Ponyo. Peter's metamorphosis makes him initially similar to Howl; then he becomes a sort of blob monster, all-engulfing, not so different from the Shishigami/Shinigami in Princess Mononoke.
    • Mary rides a deer in a way similar to Ashitaka in Princess Mononoke.
    • The Witch's Flower and Aetherium in Castle in the Sky; both make the main character able to fly, and they produce a similar blue light. See also Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, for comparisons with a previous collaborator of Hayao Miyazaki.
    • The cloud named "the Dragon's Nest" in Castle in the Sky, where the floating island is hidden, and the cloud where is the school of Endor.
    • In the begin, Mary is bored like Chihiro in Spirited Away; later she has to use a series of steps of a way bordering a precipice, like Chihiro to meet Kamaji; the school of Endor, with its colours and characters, has suggestions of the Palace of Yubaba; Dr. Dee spider-like chair resembles Kamaji; the paper butterfly of Madame Mumblechook is a way to communicate, like the paper dolls of Zeniba; the first, watery apparition of Madame Mumblechook is similar to the river god.
    • Perhaps and perhaps not, but one of the students trying a broom has spectacles and a physical complexion similar to Harry Potter (but not Ponder Stibbons!)
    • A professor / Mad Scientist with a mechanical arm in a mechanical chair... too many.
  • Shown Their Work: The production team traveled to England to do research on the countryside and buildings in order to make them look as authentic as possible. Not to mention that the English dub, appropriately enough, features actors based in the United Kingdom.
  • Spell Book: Mary steals an important one from Mumblechook's office. It turns out to be the one used by Mumblechook to create the experiments that caused the laboratory's destruction at Endor.
  • Take Up My Sword: The broomstick and the flower Mary finds come from the "red-headed witch" (who began the quest that Mary later completes).
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By giving the "fly-by-night" to Doctor Dee and Madam Mumblechook, Charlotte inadvertently caused the catastrophe that plagued Endor's laboratory.
  • Uplifted Animal: Doctor Dee turns animals into Petting Zoo People and has them work at the school.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Doctor Dee and Madam Mumblechook want to help students obtain unlimited magical power... by subjecting them to experiments using the fly-by-night.
  • Wizarding School: Endor College which Mary is given a tour of during the middle of the film.
  • World Tree: Part of the floating island that Endor College is on has a gigantic tree where Doctor Dee's experiments with the flower take place.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: When Mary brings the witch's flower to Endor College, she demands "Where is Peter? You said you would let him go!" Of course, they don't care and just capture her to "study."
  • Youthful Freckles: Mary has these within her Blush Stickers.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Mary has Grade B black socks as part of her usual outfit, at least for the first half of the film.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/MaryAndTheWitchsFlower