Director: Nicolas Roeg
Writers: Roald Dahl (Book), Allan Scott (Screenplay)
Stars: Angelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Jasen Fisher, Rowan Atkinson, Charlie Potter
Here’s a movie I’ve loved ever since I was a little boy. Having never
read the novel, I had no idea what to expect when I started watching
‘The Witches.’ This movie is crazy, with a capital C! For the most part
it’s a fun, frightening, and thrilling adventure. Not to mention, it has
some of the best make-up effects I’ve ever seen. You can thank ‘The
Muppets’ creator Jim Henson for that. It’s a
story set in a world where witches exist, and their aim is to destroy
children. These witches are bald, with purple eyes and square feet.
While staying in a hotel with his grandmother (Mai Zetterling), a young boy named Luke (Jasen
Fisher) stumbles upon a witches conference, where they reveal their
plan to turn all of the children in England into mice. Led by the Grand
High Witch (Angelica Huston), the witches turn Luke and his pal Bruno (Charlie Potter) into mice. Together, this unlikely duo do their best to foil the evil witches plans.
The first thing to be said about this movie is that it is fun.
It’s everything a children’s movie should be. There’s mystery,
adventure, heroes and bad guys! Adults may not have the same reaction to
the film, but as a child I remember it being a most interesting and
Upon re-viewing The Witches, I found that it does have its moments of
bad acting and cheesy dialogue. In a way, this adds to the fun tone of
the movie. Roeg doesn’t try to take the story too seriously,
which is why it worked so well. This isn’t a movie that should be
nitpicked, because as a whole package everything fits together just
Angelica Huston was absolutely amazing as The Grand High Witch. It’s definitely one of her more memorable performances. Mai Zetterling was also marvelous as Luke’s grandmother. In fact, every actor played their part well, making this children’s movie much more enjoyable.
The most memorable thing about this film is undoubtedly the make-up /
costumes / effects. I don’t know how they did it, but the Grand High
Witch was scary, repulsive, and a marvel to look at. Also, the effects
used to make the mice talk was very effective. They were puppets, but
they were cute and seemed almost lifelike.
Altogether, this is a movie experience you’ll never forget. I never
did. As a child, it was one of my Top 10 favorite movies. As an adult,
it is one of my Top 10 favorite children’s movies. I highly suggest
getting this for your kids.