The hand-drawn animation has survived; it features a misfit schoolgirl heroine and once again we are taken on a wildly imaginative trip to a beautifully-realised fantasy world.
If there is a whiff of Potter in there, that’s because it is based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s book The Little Broomstick.
Mary (voiced in the English dub by The BFG’s Ruby Barnhill) is an impetuous schoolgirl who is spending summer in the English countryside with her great aunt when a cat leads her to a magical flower and ancient broomstick.
When she puts them together, the broom jolts to life and she is spirited away to a secret school for witches ruled by a sinister headmistress (Kate Winslet) and a mad professor (Jim Broadbent).
The adventure that follows doesn’t quite have the emotional heft of Ghibli’s fi nest, but it still casts a very powerful spell.