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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Worst Witch is based on a popular kids' book series about a group of girls who attend a British boarding school for witches (remind you of anything?). It's mild and family friendly, but there's some sneaky and competitive behavior, and some of the girls get jealous of one another. But close friendships, loyalty, honesty, and being part of a community are central themes throughout the series. It presents strong, empowered female characters, too. It's not meant to be truly scary, but you can expect occasional broom crashes and mildly explosive mishaps that are fixed with little damage.
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What's the story?
Based on the popular British children's novels by Jill Murphy, THE WORST WITCH is a Netflix original series about a group of girls attending a magical boarding school. Mildred Hubble's (Bella Ramsey) life changes when Maud Spellbody (Meibh Campbell) accidentally crashes her broom into her flat on her way to the entrance exams at Cackle Academy. Mildred realizes that witches and magic really exist, but it's not until she helps Maud get to the school that she discovers that she has some magical abilities of her own. Under the tutelage of the school's headmistress, Miss Ada Cackle (Clare Higgins), deputy headmistress Hecate Hardbroom (Raquel Cassidy), and teachers like Miss Gullett (Kacey Ainsworth) and Miss Bat (Wendy Craig), Mildred, along with Maud, Enid (Tamara Smart), Drusilla (Talulah Milligan), and Felicity (Dagney Rollins), learns spells and potions as the students develop their unique talents. They must also contend with their arrogant classmate Ethel (Jenny Richardson), the jealous younger sister of the academy's model student, Esmeralda (Miriam Peche), and with Miss Agatha Cackle, the headmistress's twin sister. There's never a dull moment, but together they keep the craft alive at a time when fewer girls are inheriting magical powers from their parents.
Is it any good?
This fun and engaging series follows the adventures of a group of young girls attending a magical boarding school. The school lessons are challenging and often result in some humorous and colorful results. However, it's the girls' friendships and mischievous endeavors that are central to the show. The eccentric faculty also create some interesting drama.
There are some modern twists to the series, and the pupils and their teachers are strong, smart, and vocal. It's also more quirky than scary, and lacks the intensity and digital sophistication that Harry Potter offers. This makes The Worst Witch a good option for younger kids. Fans of the books will enjoy the series, and it's a lively, family-friendly option for folks looking for some lighthearted magical adventures.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the girls who attend Cackle Academy in The Worst Witch. Why are Maud and Mildred so loyal to each other? Why are some students nicer than others?
How does The Worst Witch TV series differ from the books they are adapted from? The movie? Why do you think some things were changed, while other things were left the same?
- Premiere date: January 11, 2017
- Cast: Bella Ramsey, Melbh Campbell, Jenny Richardson
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Friendship
- Character strengths: Curiosity, Integrity, Perseverance
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: September 26, 2020
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