Shropshire Star

Mary and the Witch's Flower: Blockbuster cartoon set in Shropshire to be released this spring

A blockbuster cartoon set in the heart of Shropshire will be hitting English shores in May.

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Mary and the Witch's Flower has been wowing audiences around the world since it released in Japan last year.

The film is being made by Japanese animators Studio Ponoc, a spiritual successor to Japan's most famous film company, Studio Ghibli.

It has already been released to critical acclaim in Japan and America, but distributors have announced it will be coming to England on general release from May 4.

But as well as the English performance, including stars Kate Winslet and Jim Broadbent, there will also be chances to view the film in the original Japanese.

See a trailer for the film here:

The Japanese dub will be available ahead of the general release on April 10 in select locations.

Altitude’s Head of Theatrical Lia Devlin said: “Since Mary and The Witch’s Flower was first announced we have had requests from anime fans across the UK and Ireland to give them the opportunity to see the original Japanese language version of the film on the big screen.

"These special previews on Tuesday 10 April are exactly that.

“Knowing how passionate and dedicated they are, we’re really excited to offer them the chance to see this enchanting and beautifully crafted film in advance of our May 4 release.”

The film tells the story of a young, friendless girl trapped on a grand country estate. She feels that nothing could ever possibly happen in Shropshire.

But with the help of cats Tib and Gib, she discovers a magical flower that transports her to a school for witches.

It is based on the 1971 novel The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart.

Disney bought the film rights to the book in the 1970s, and planned to do it as a follow-up to The Fox and the Hound.

But following Walt Disney’s death, bosses decided to get away from the “talking animal” pictures they had done in the past, and instead began working on The Black Cauldron.

There was also worries that The Little Broomstick was too similar to 1971’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, starring Angela Lansbury.