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A review of 'The Worst Witch' (1986)

'The Worst Witch', the first of Jill Murphy's children's books about a young girl named Mildred Hubble, is brought to life as a television movie. The movie premièred in 1986 on the 'Central Independent Television' and features an all-star cast of actors. Read this article to find out all about the movie.

The plot

'The Worst Witch' movie takes place at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. This is a prestigious all-girls boarding school, where the students are introduced to the world of dark arts. Ruled over by the evil headmistress Miss Cackle, things do not always go as planned, especially when Mildred Hubble is around. Mildred has an uncannily natural talent for the dark arts and is often caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Making herself invisible and turning fellow student Edith into a pig, do not go down well with the sorceresses. Yet, when Agatha, Miss Cackle's evil sister, plots to take over the school, Mildred's powers are needed. In a story of spellbinding mystery, Mildred strives to save the school before the arrival of the Grand Wizard.The storyline was written by Jill Murphy, an English author who is widely regarded as being one of the most talented children's writers to hail from the UK.

The author

Jill Murphy is most famed for the series of 'The Worst Witch' books. They were first published in 1974. They have since sold more than four million copies through the British publisher: Puffin Books. She also wrote a series of picture books, 'The Large Family', about a family of chaotic elephants. She has also written numerous one-off works.

The cast

The cast for 'The Worst Witch' movie features a host of well-known actors, as follows: -Diana Rigg: The star of TV's 'The Avengers', plays Miss Constance Hardbroom in the movie. -Charlotte Rae: Previously of 'Different Strokes', Rae stars as Miss Cackle and her twin sister Agatha. -Tim Curry: Known for 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show', Curry plays the role of 'The Grand Wizard'. -Fairuza Balk: As Mildred Hubble, Balk adds to her long list of movie roles, which includes 'American History X' and 'Almost Famous'.

TV series and inspirations

TV adaptations Following the success of the books and movie, in 1998, 'The Worst Witch' was turned into a TV series that ran for three seasons from 1998 to 2001. This was then adapted into two sequels, 'Weirdsister College' and 'The New Worst Witch'. Inspirations Based on a strange, but talented student, critics have been quick to comment on similarities between 'The Worst Witch' and JK Rowling’s 'Harry Potter'. Nevertheless, a common misconception by critics is that Jill Murphy's books came many years before those of Rowling's.

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