The Little Witch has a big problem: She is only 127 years old, which is much too young to dance on the Brocken Mountain on Walpurgis Night. When she unsuccessfully tries to sneak into the most important of all witches’ dances, her punishment is she must learn all 7,892 spells in the great book of magic within one year. Hard work and ambition are not exactly The Little Witch’s strengths, and the evil witch, Rumpumpel, is trying everything she can to prevent her from learning all the spells. With her talking raven, Abraxas, The Little Witch sets out to discover what makes a good witch and puts the entire witches’ world to the test while she’s at it.
The Little Witch is a film that was produced in Germany and dubbed into English. The film is a whimsical, lighthearted account of a young witch, played by Karoline Herfurth, whose name is never revealed. At 127 years of age, she is considered too young to be a full-fledged witch, so she begins the journey to expand her powers in the hopes of receiving an invitation to the older witches’ annual ceremony (the invitation-only Walpurgis Night), where they sing, dance, cast spells, and fly around on their brooms.
However, against the advice of her talking raven Abraxas (voiced by Axel Prahl), she goes anyway—and is discovered and punished. She asks to be given the chance to prove herself as a viable witch worthy of an invitation, and it is granted. Her task: memorize the entire witch’s book of incantations (7,892 spells) in a year’s time. Abraxas encourages her to study and learn every spell in the book to become a great witch, as none of the other witches can lay claim to knowing them all. The Little Witch’s wicked aunt, Rumpumpel (Suzanne von Borsody), is not very fond of her and spies on her to prove that she does not have what it takes to be considered worthy of being with the other witches. The Little Witch is genuinely good at heart, but to be considered a worthy witch, one must be evil at heart. During the film, The Little Witch befriends human children, an act considered an abomination to witches, and as a result Rumpumpel encourages the other witches to have The Little Witch turn the children into stone to prove that she has a heart evil enough to be considered a worthy witch.
This film has a good flow, and though it was dubbed into English, it was not difficult to follow. The dubbing is somewhat noticeable but not overly distracting. The English voices are very fitting to the characters and sync well. The animation of Abraxas (the talking) raven was not cumbersome but well done, and did not detract from the film at all. Witchcraft is a very prominent theme in this film, though not from a dark/occult perspective, incantations and whimsical casting of spells are on full display.
In the end, the good in The Little Witch triumphs over evil, and there is a happily ever after for The Little Witch and her friends.
The Dove Take
This film has quite a few elements of witchcraft and sorcery (incantations, and casting of spells). The Little Witch is a fantasy film, and in this reviewer’s opinion does present occult practices. But it does not present them in a manner so as to promote witchcraft. So, we award this film our Dove Approved for Ages 12+ Seal.