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Western Animation / Room on the Broom

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Room on the Broom is a 25-minute animated short film directed by Max Lang and Jan Lachauer. It is part of a series of adaptations of Julia Donaldson's children's book by The BBC, a series that includes The Gruffalo and The Highway Rat.

A friendly witch and her cat go out camping, after which they zip around on their broom. In turn they meet a dog, a bird, and a frog, all of which want to join them. The good-hearted witch accepts them, but the cat is displeased and the broom is overburdened and can barely take off. They soon have a bigger problem, however: a gigantic dragon that wants to eat the witch.

The voice cast includes Simon Pegg as the narrator, Gillian Anderson as the witch, and Timothy Spall as the dragon.


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Tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Like other adaptations of Donaldson books, expanded out to fit a TV time slot. We see scenes of the dragon stalking the witch, and we also get back stories from the frog and bird explaining why they want to get on the broom.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Sure enough, the witch has an orange cat. The cat does not approve of all the other guests being invited onto the broom.
  • Continuity Nod: The mouse and the snake from The Gruffalo are briefly seen.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The cat is jealous and unhappy when the other animals join the broom, but after they save the witch, they're all friends again.
  • Flying Broomstick: How the witch gets around. Also used for visual gags like when she uses the broomstick to hold up her tent and to hang a cauldron over a fire.
  • Foreshadowing: It is made quite clear that the extra animals are over-stressing the broom, as it grows progressively more difficult for the witch to take off. When the frog decides to hop, the broom breaks.
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  • Magic Cauldron: The witch has a cauldron she makes potions with.
  • Magic Mushroom: The witch throws some freaky-looking mushrooms into the cauldron for kicks, and the result is a satisfying explosion—which unfortunately draws the attention of the dragon. Later, the witch uses the same freaky mushrooms to enchant her broomstick, making it bigger so all the animals can fit on with ease.
  • Narrator: Simon Pegg's narrator reading from the book.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: As with Donaldson's other books and their adaptations, the dialogue rhymes.
  • Title Drop: All the newly arriving animals say "Is there no room on the broom for a __ like me?"
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