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Generous use of wordless panels and close-up, exaggerated reaction shots lends both speedy pacing and cinematic flair to this version—though so deliciously terrifying is the Grand High Witch once she takes off her disguise that viewers may be compelled to linger over every hideous detail. The disgusting witchly potion concocted to turn all of Britain’s children into mice, plus blood-splashed scenes of the unnamed young hero getting his tail chopped off and the Grand High Witch—herself transformed into a (fantastically feral-looking) mouse and smashed to smithereens—are showstoppers too. The plot remains unchanged overall except that Bruno Jenkins, the unsuspecting lad the witches use as their test subject, is switched for an unnamed and more competent girl and the protagonist’s cigar-smoking, purple-haired Grandmamma has both her thumbs. But unlike the 1990 film, here our protagonist remains a mouse as he and his new mouse friend charge off at the end to serve just deserts to all the witches of the world. The boy and his elderly caregiver are brown-skinned, and the witches are ethnically diverse.

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