“Mary and The Witch’s Flower” feels like Studio Ghibli, but it’s not. Playing like a recent string of girl-focused anime projects, the film feels a bit cliche. Attraction to neighborhood boys, absentee parents and precocious cats introduce us to this world. Then, Mary steals a magical object and gets whisked away to Witch College. Stop me if you heard any of this before.

Madame Mumblechook takes Mary through an exciting new school where chefs make food with magic and teachers might be using magical objects for bad deeds. The bad teachers want the Witch’s flower that Mary holds. They fight, but everyone eventually moves beyond violence due to the power of magic and overcoming growing pains. Adolescence never seemed so typical as it does here.

That being said, the voice acting is top notch and the story flow made me want to seek out the source novel. While it’s not my cup of tea, I hope that all little anime fans head out to the theater tonight and this week to go see it.


  • PG
  • 1 hr and 42 mins

RELEASE DATE: 1/18/18 (Fathom Events One-Night Special) 1/19/2018 (national)


WHAT: The debut title from Studio Ponoc, “Mary and The Witch’s Flower,” will get a special one-night national premiere on the big screen January 18, one night prior to its wider theatrical release. This stunning, action-packed fantasy adventure is the second collaboration between Academy Award®-nominated director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There and The Secret World of Arrietty) and fellow two-time Academy Award®-nominated producer Yoshiaki Nishimura (Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and When Marnie Was There).

In addition to the feature content, premiere event audiences will be treated to an exclusive interview with the filmmakers as well as a special commemorative item via select participating exhibitors (while supplies last).

  • Regal Entertainment Group is offering a collectible ticket to the first 200 attendees at each theater location.
  • AMC is offering a limited edition collectible pin to the first 200 attendees at each theater location.
  • Cinemark is offering a limited edition Japanese mini-poster to the first 200 attendees at each theater location.

Mary, an ordinary twelve-year-old girl, is bored and lonely during a summer holiday. She follows an odd cat into the nearby woods where she stumbles upon a flower and then a little broomstick. Together, the flower and broomstick whisk her above the clouds, far away to Endor College – a school of magic! At Endor, Mary tells a lie that leads to peril, and then a promise, while discovering that all is not as it seems at the school – there are experiments that horrify. Soon she confronts great danger, and a test of her resolve.

WHO: Fathom Events, GKIDS and Studio Ponoc

WHEN: Thursday, January 18 at 7:00 p.m. (English language dubbed) and 8:00 p.m. local time (English language subtitled)

WHERE: Tickets for the January 18 screenings of Mary and The Witch’s Flower can be purchased by visiting or at participating theater box offices. A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).


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