‘The Witches’ remake falls short



Page Editor

Once again, Hollywood has given the public a remake that no one necessarily asked for but the majority of us will watch nonetheless. 

HBO Max recently released a new adaptation of the film “The Witches,” based on the book by Ronald Dahl. As a fan of the original movie from 1990, I knew that I had to see the remake. 

I was a little skeptical at first because remakes are always a bit iffy to me. After seeing the cast, however, I couldn’t help but get a little excited especially when I saw that Octavia Spencer was going to be playing the grandmother and Anne Hathaway the grand high witch. Two amazing women in a family Halloween classic? Sign me up, please. 

Because this movie is a remake, I understood that there were going to be some differences. Especially since the 2020 remake takes place in Alabama instead of England. 

I actually didn’t mind the fact that the remake is set in Alabama because it was interesting to see a different perspective on how the story unfolds. 

Another difference is of course the animation. For example, in the original when the little boy turns into a mouse and the witches reveal their true selves, it was more or less trying to make it as realistic as possible. In the remake, it was much more clearly animated in a way that screamed family kid movies. 

It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it did give me the impression that the main target audience was younger viewers. Especially due to the portrayal of the grand high witch and how she was animated, I would say that the original was my favorite. 

Another thing to mention is that in the remake, Warner Bros did receive many complaints about the way they animated the grand high witch’s hands because it was offensive to people with disabilities and especially to younger viewers who watched the film. Warner Bros and Anne Hathaway did apologize for the animation of the grand high witch’s hand design. 

One thing for me that I didn’t particularly like is the ending. Though when I looked up how the book ended, the remake was actually more like the book in that aspect than the original. I was not a fan, but for fans of the book, I think they’ll like the remake better. 

Overall, I wouldn’t say that this remake is my favorite in comparison to the original. However, I will say that I think it’s a pretty good watch for a family movie night — if you can get past Anne Hathway’s accent (not sure why she had to have one, it didn’t really add anything). 

This remake clearly has a target audience, which is fine but personally, it just wasn’t as good as the original. The idea was there but the execution didn’t really meet my expectations. But one expectation it did meet was the 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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