The Witches (1990)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking film with a fun story and cast

Doesn't have much direction at the beginning of the film

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Witches

Studio:  Jim Henson Productions

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  May 25, 1990 (UK)/August 24, 1990 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Ralph S. Mouse did get more work after The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Luke Eveshim (Jasen Fisher) is a young boy who lives with his grandmother Helga (Mai Zetterling) after the death of his parents.  Luke’s grandmother has warned him of witches that seek out young children for their evil plans.  A trip to an oceanside hotel leads Luke to a discovery…the witches of England have gathered to plot their plan to turn all the children of England into mice!  Transformed into a mouse himself, Luke must stop the head witch Evangeline (Anjelica Huston) and her plans before it is too late.

Directed by Nicolas Roeg, The Witches is an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 book.  The family horror-fantasy film was the last movie that Jim Henson worked on directly before his death in 1990.  The movie was well received by critics and has gained a cult following since its release.


Witches are hot!!!

I love Roald Dahl’s twisted reality.  He was an author who wasn’t afraid to scare children and was a good judge on how much a child could take.  I didn’t read The Witches as a child, but watching the film now makes me wish I had grown up with it.

The story is a bit all over the place at the beginning but soon leads to the hunt for the head witch as the plot.  The adventure has some jumps for children, but it isn’t too dark for older kids.  The movie does have an odd subplot involving the staff of the hotel and the hotel manager (played by Rowan Atkinson) who is having a secret relationship with one of the maids.


I’m auditioning for Morticia Addams now

Movies based around children can be tough.  Jasen Fisher doesn’t do a bad job as the lead, but he is a kid actor (fortunately, a lot of the movie he plays as a mouse which helps since he only has to do vocal acting).  Anjelica Huston is an odd looking woman and a perfect choice for the lead which (Cher, Eartha Kitt, Sigourney Weaver, Frances Conroy, and Liza Minnelli) were also considered for the role).  Rowan Atkinson is comedic as the hotel manager but not as off the wall as his Bean character.  Downton Abbey’s Jim Carter has a small role as the hotel chef.


The Skeksis invaded The Witches!

The movie does look great.  I love Henson’s look and it works well with Dahl’s storytelling.  The movie is surreal and terrifying (the witches transformation at the end is pretty horrific at points).  The filmmakers also did a great job combining the animatronic mice with real mice.

The Witches is a fun movie that kids and adults will enjoy.  The movie actually is kind of scary, and a good introduction to children for horror by not being too scary.  The film has held up over the years and might not be as fun as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but is another great example of Dahl’s world brought to life.

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Related Links:

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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