Mary And The Witch’s Flower, from director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, is Studio Ponoc’s first feature film.
Based on the book The Little Broomstick, the film follows the story of Mary Smith, a young girl frustrated with her ineptitude at pretty much everything, who stumbles upon a strange flower that grants her the ability to use magic for one night.
She is lead to Endor College, a prestigious school for Witches and Warlocks (it’s essentially Hogwarts in almost every way, down to the characters), where she accidentally shows a great aptitude for magic.
The school develops the impression she is a great magical talent, and pressures her to enrol as an honor student. The rest of film follows her discoveries of unsavoury experiments and dark deeds going on behind the school’s friendly visage.
In general, it’s a good, enjoyable family movie that doesn’t really have any big issues, but as far as plot goes there are really no surprises, and you can basically predict what’s going to happen next at any given time in the film.
I’d also definitely recommend you watch it in Japanese with subtitles, as the English dub makes the lead character sound annoying to say the least.
Overall, I’d say see this film if you’re looking for an enjoyable family movie, but don’t expect anything like a Studio Ghibli-style masterpiece.