Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Main Performers: Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes
Director: Max Lang & Jan Lachauer
Studio: Magic Light Pictures
Run Time: 27 minutes
MPAA Rating: G
The witch tapped her broomstick and whoosh! The witch and her cat were gone. This captivating motion picture, as inspired by the book Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson, follows a witch and her cat as they fly through the wind. Along the way, the witch loses articles including her hat, bow, and wand. As each article is lost, the witch and her cat fly down to find what they are looking for, and on their way pick up a dog, a bird, and a frog. Everyone seems happy (even though the cat may not have been at first), but when the frog jumps on the broomstick, it snaps in two and the animals fall into a bog. As the witch gains control of her broomstick, a mean dragon, who just so happens to like witch with French fries, starts to chase her. But the witch has nothing to fear! Together, the cat, dog, bird and frog had seen the witch in distress and devised a plan to scare off the dragon. After their success in doing so, the witch starts a potion and instructs her friends to throw something into her pot. She mutters a spell and creates a “truly magnificent broom!” They all climb on; the witch taps the broomstick, and whoosh! They are gone.
The adorable animation in this movie is spot on in comparison to the book it was inspired by. Right down to the words used in the book, this movie includes animated pictures that look like the illustrations in the book. It provides an overall message of friendship as the witch agrees to take on each of the animals she meets and those friends in turn save her from the mean dragon. The music and non-verbal language in this movie provide an additional layer for viewers to better understand what is going on. For example, the cat does not wish to include those friends who joined them along the way, but the witch was adamant that there was room, and so the cat complied and in the end made many friends because of it. Parents and teachers alike will love to use this movie as a companion to the book. Teachers may enjoy the use of adjectives (e.g. keen dog, green bird, clean frog) or even take each character and their situations to show/teach empathy (e.g., the bird is green but all the other birds are black; the frog is clean but all the other frogs are dirty). Viewers will love the opportunity to fly through the wind with the witch and her broom!