"Movies which set out to be 'commercial' usually have an artificial look about them-a certain waxlike quality. They allow for no failure, no moment of mistake." ~Nicholas Roeg director of The Witches
A young boy named Luke whose parents have died in a tragic accident, is sent to live with his grandmother. Taking him to a posh hotel in England to get away from things, they discover a secret coven of witches holding it's annual convention. The Grand High Witch has decreed that all children in England will be turned into mice, and Luke and his pal Bruno are the first victims on the list.
Saving the world from witches is a tall order for a boy they've turned into a mouse!
This was the last film personally overseen by Jim Henson.
Initially Cher was considered for the role of The Grand high Witch before Angelica Huston was cast. Felicity Dahl has stated that Roald Dahl never requested someone for a role in a film bvased on one of his books after the producers of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory decided not to cast Dahl's suggestion Spike Milligan as the title character. But he was ecstatic when Anjelica Huston was cast as the Grand High Witch, as she had been Dahl's personal favourite for the role.
It took Huston eight hours of make up time to transform her into The Grand High Witch.
Most of the Witches in the meeting are not women at all but men in women's clothing. Michael Palin appears as an extra in the film, as a disguised witch.
The mice in the movie are played by rats.
Roald Dahl who wrote the book the movie was based on hated the happy ending the producers added to the story. He apparently stood outside cinemas with a megaphone, telling people not to watch the film. It was the last of Dahl's books to be developed into a film before his death; he died just months after the film was released.