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  • I find it amusing when adults review a piece meant for children. They yearn for a certain type of clever, complication and pace. This short is perfect in every way. I am the mom of two 3 year old boys who see themselves climbing mountains, racing motorcycles, putting out fires and driving excavators daily.

    Like most, the holidays had wrecked and exhausted us so we sat down as a family to watch TV. These boys don't get a lot of TV and especially not TV movies- Disney is still too scary and they just don't get most of it, so no Disney. Their TV is usually about 22-30 min in the morning while we drink coffee and check our email etc. So we ended up one day with this short on our TV.

    It was magical for the boys. It didn't move too fast so there was time for questions and answers as things were happening on the screen. They had time to read facial expressions! And best of all, the dragon wasn't too scary. They could actually watch it without worry and understand the story instead of "scary dragon gonna eat people".

    They understood not wanting to give up your seat, the kindness of the witch, how it's hard to have new friends sometimes, and that working together brings us all closer. They now see the foreshadowing of the mushrooms, the individual characters of the animals and instead of having only a few laugh out loud moments, after multiple viewings, they laugh out loud many times throughout with little comments thrown in.

    You can't beat every morning waking up to "Momma, I want to watch the witch".

    As a parent, you won't find a better 25 minutes of TV for your little ones. The story, the animation, the VO, the characters and especially the music is just the most lovely of combinations. I would urge everyone to watch it with a 3-4 year old!
  • As always, Christmas was an interesting time of year for TV programmes and films as there are always some treasures and some disappointments. While I did like but was disappointed in The Snowman and the Snowdog of the animated short films(especially as I adore the original so much) I got so much pleasure from Room on the Broom as I did with The Gruffalo and its sequel from previous years. There is very little to criticise actually here, but while the dragon is very charismatic- some may say too much so- I did feel that he wasn't quite scary enough considering the type of character he is. Timothy Spall does voice him very well though, even if it is somewhat different to the roles I associate him with.

    The animation on the other hand is just wonderful. Detailed and vibrantly coloured, I loved the balance between hand-drawn and computer-generated animation, meaning that anybody who is fond of either style(admittedly I am more a hand-drawn person myself) will find Room on the Broom a treat. It is not just the quality of it that impresses, it is also to do with how much it does in defining the characters and story which I found incredibly compelling to watch. Thankfully the story and characters are done very well indeed on their own. The story is very charming and heart-warming with some touching moments, true it is simple but considering the target audience and the book itself, of which Room on the Broom is remarkably faithful to this was appropriate. Despite the short running time, Room on the Broom never felt rushed.

    As for the characters, they are engaging and likable. Again, like the story they are simple but all the better for it. The witch was especially true to this, and all the critters are very cute without being overly-so. The dialogue has similar rhyming rhythms, in how poetic, gentle and bouncing-like they are, to those of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child. They are also written respecting those of the book and written in a way that doesn't make them childish to an adult yet also easy for the children to understand. The voice acting is excellent. Simon Pegg of course stands out in restrained but dynamic mode as the narrator though he also has freedom to have some droll moments as well. Rob Brydon, Gillian Anderson, David Walliams, Sally Hawkins and Martin Clunes voice their characters wonderfully.

    I will say thought that Timothy Spall is not quite as good, and this has nothing to do with his voicing actually at all, he does give his all to make the most of it, but more that his character doesn't quite off as well as the rest. In conclusion, I loved it and found it hard to deny its charm. And I imagine that child, adult or family will feel the same. 9/10 Bethany Cox
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This short has been nominated for an Academy Award for Animated Short. There will be mild spoilers ahead:

    This short is, at first glance, nothing special. The animation is good but standard. This is based on a children's book and was adapted by the author. The voice work is good, the story is good and it's basically a very charming and entertaining short. It doesn't start out as if it will be anything extraordinary. Just a nice short aimed at kids.

    It starts out slow and builds as it goes. By the end, I realized that it was a more substantive piece than I'd expected. The end is really very good and Timothy Spall brings just the right touch to the dragon. That and the narration are the most impressive voice performances, though all the work is good. The principal theme is the value of kindness, friendship and teamwork, as the animals have to work together to save the witch from the dragon.

    This short has been released on a DVD with some extras. The DVD is very nice, the short is well worth watching and both are recommended.
  • My daughters (2 and 4) love the book, so I was excited when I saw a movie version on Netflix a few days ago. They have watched it over and over and over. So I'd say this short is a huge success with the target audience.

    I get a kick out of the lower reviews marking it down for unsophisticated humor. But aside from my little ones loving it, I appreciate the sweetness of the story, which is essentially about belonging. Not fitting in, but belonging - two very different concepts. I also appreciate the simple and beautiful communication between the characters as there is very little dialogue.
  • From the same team that did the last two Gruffalo films comes this season's animation for Christmas Day. The films fit into the slot traditionally filled by the Wallace and Gromit films and, although none of them (this one included) have ever got close to that standard, they do at least do the job for the audience and time they are on. In this film a cat and a witch are helped to locate some missing items but end up taking on passengers each time – all well and good perhaps but they do not know that a dragon is stalking the witch for his tea.

    The music and the animation pretty much get you in the mood from the very start as they are slight, amusing in tone and non-threatening. The narration from Simon Pegg is good as it delivers the nicely paced gentle rhymes which form the structure of the film; they are repetitive in nature but this is the point of them and it works well. As the content is pretty simple, the animation adds plenty of amusing and funny moments whether in actual gags or in terms of little flourishes or moments of characterization. This is the main body of the film and it is this that helps it fill the time and stops it feeling too slow. The animation also makes the characters work because, as famous as the cast-list is, nobody really makes an impact beyond Pegg – it is the physical actions and reactions of the characters that make them work.

    It isn't amazingly smart or hilarious but it is gently funny and warming while drawing you in with the animation and the nice tone and rhythm of the delivery. A good family short film for Christmas Day and will have legs beyond that very specific time slot.
  • This film is very funny and has great animation. I enjoyed that they quote directly from one of my favorite old books, "Room On the Broom" by Julia Donaldson. I also like how the words all rhyme. I watched it with a toddler and he loved the movie because he liked making the "WHOOSH" noise when they took off. He also enjoyed all the different animals and the repetitiveness. Overall the film is magical.

    Room On the Broom is about a witch and her cat. They go on a trip and the witch drops something from her broom. She flies down to get it and a wild animal finds it. When they give it back they ask her if they can come with her. Meanwhile, a scary monster is chasing them, but they don't know. This happens three times and soon there are so many creatures on the broom that it becomes too heavy.

    I like the animation because it is very detailed. I imagine that it must have taken a lot of hard work to make this film. The expressions of the characters are very amusing and made me laugh. I also enjoyed the music because it sets the mood for each scene. My favorite part is when the monster has the witch and it seems like she's doomed. I like this part because it is a twist on the rest of the film. It is also the scariest part of the film. I like this scene because it is action packed and you wonder if they'll escape. The cast includes Simon Pegg as the narrator and Gillian Anderson as the witch's voice. The four animals are played by Rob Brydon, Martin Clunes, Sally Hawkins and David Walliams.

    The story is about a witch who meets lot of creatures that become her friends and then save her. The moral of this film is to be kind and make friends and it emphasizes the importance of friendship. Parents could have their children read the book along with the narrator and that would enhance their learning experience.

    I give this film 4 ½ out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 2 to 8. I think parents would enjoy watching with their younger kids. It is available now on DVD so, go check it out.

    Reviewed by Rohan F, KIDS FIRST!
  • Bob the Moo (whose reviews on IMDb I adore) described this movie as "Slight but enjoyable family animation" and I couldn't have said it any better myself. The short film is a wonderful thing for kids and parents to watch with them--and I'm sure they'll enjoy it immensely. But, I was perplexed that it was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short. It's good but nothing more. Plus, while I normally like to root for the shorts made by young filmmakers, the Disney film "Get a Horse!" is just light-years ahead of the pack--and I don't see how "Room on the Broom" could offer it any serious competition.

    "Room on the Broom" plays like a kid's book because apparently it IS from a kid's book. This British production reminds me a lot of another nominee from the UK--"The Gruffalo". It also was a wonderful film for young kids (they'll adore it) but artistically I couldn't understand the nomination.

    The story is of a nice witch who is flying about with her cat. Through the course of the film, she picks up several new friends--a dog, a bird and a frog. But how can she carry them all on her broom--especially when it breaks?! Cute, fun and a treat for kids. But not a film that says anything more to me.
  • stonerjenn17 September 2018
    My 3 year old Absolutely LOVES this movie! I do too
  • Hodoer2 December 2013
    Sometimes it's hard to go back and watch something through the 'eyes of a child'. If you are over 15 years of age, this animated, short movie may not hold your attention at all and that's fine. Its aiming audience are children and I believe they'll think it's perfect. The story is not complicated - anyone can understand it and the main idea in it is friendship. There are repetitive dialogues with few alterations and everything is rhymed. The main characters are a witch and a cat... At least at the beginning. (: For those of you who don't know, the movie is based on a book.

    I will end this review by recommending it to all, no matter how big or small and whoosh! I am gone. (:
  • I've been watching this with my 2 1/2 year old grandson since he was born and we both love it and never tire of it. Beautifully done in every respect. The voice actors are phenomenal and the graphics are so wonderful..a visual treat. 2 1/2 years of watching this traditionally whenever we're together and my grandson still gets excited when the film starts, knowing whats coming, and he stays fully engaged the entire time, as do I. The villian in this, a hungry dragon who stalks the witch to make a meal of her, is just the right amount of menace for a young child to get excited over yet still handle without causing nightmares later. The dog, cat, bird and frog all have unique personalities that are so very relatable and charming and their journey toward friendship and teamwork is a fine example for young children. I give this the highest praise one can give. So very glad we came upon this gem which now is a traditional go-to in the family.
  • angelina-7726412 November 2019
    I absolutely love this kids short film! It's made so well and tells such a sweet story of a kind witch and her cats encounters with 3 other animals looking for acceptance. The dragon can be a bit scary for the wee ones (5 and under) but all in all it's truly fantastic.
  • My 2 year old girl loves it so much. It's the type of movie you sit down with your child and just enjoy together. Funny, clever, very well made and just overall joyful.
  • Prismark1026 December 2014
    This Oscar nominated animated short is based on the children's book by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Its a slight tale of a witch and a cat on an adventure that attracts other animals to the annoyance of the moggy to join them on the broom hence the title, Room on the broom.

    The animation short is brought from the same team that did The Gruffalo and they managed to get a starry cast of vocalists from Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Sally Hawkins, David Walliam and Timothy Spall.

    The story is likely to be enjoyed by smaller children than families unlike the Aardman animated short. I actually felt listless watching this having realised that I was not the target audience but the kids liked it.
  • 'ROOM ON THE BROOM': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

    Yet another of this year's Oscar nominees for Best Animated Short Film is this British cartoon that debuted on 'BBC One' at the end of 2012 (and in America the following October, as a Halloween special on 'PBS Kids Sprout'). It's based on the kids' book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The film tells the story of a witch and a cat on an adventure that attracts the attention of multiple other animals (that want to join them on their broom ride). It features the voice talents of Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon, Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, Martin Clunes and David Walliams. It was directed by Jan Lachauer and Max Lang and written by Lang and Donaldson. Lang and Donaldson also collaborated on the Oscar nominated 'THE GRUFFALO' (from 2009). I'd rate this short about the same as it (and it's sequel two years later). It's probably pretty amusing for young children but lacks any substance or clever humor (for adults). I'm also not a big fan of the animation in these movies.

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  • The Bad: Honestly, there's not much to complain about here. It's a short movie - more like a TV episode than a feature film. Possibly the pace is too slow for some, and the danger might be too much for sensitive children (a dragon threatens to each our nice witch!), but that's about it.

    The Good: Considering they adapted a very short book into nearly half an hour of movie, they did a fantastic job filling in the 'in between the words' with a visually interesting story that didn't feel like filler. Each character was fleshed out to have his/her own personality, making them all interesting and sympathetic. While I put the slow pace of this film in the 'bad' category, I will also address it here in the 'good' as well - the pacing is perfect for the pre-school/toddler ages! It doesn't flit between things too quickly to catch what is happening for developing brains. The visuals are excellent (it almost feels like stop-motion) and will hold up well as time goes on. The message of kindness, inclusiveness, and generosity is subtle and sweet.

    The Mom View: I would highly recommend this for all young children except for sensitive toddlers (due to the scary dragon)! It would probably be most popular for pre-schoolers. My little boy liked it, and I don't find it obnoxious (which is more than you can expect for a lot of shows for young children).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Room on the Broom" is an Academy-Award nominated, 25-minute short film by Jan Lachauer, Max Lang and Julia Donaldson. Two of these already worked on "The Gruffalo" together and that is why you will find a couple similarities apart from the rhymes. For example the scene near the end with the "monster" chasing away the dragon is very similar in tone and style to the ending from "The Gruffalo". The animation is very clean and precise and the group of animals reminded me already of the Bremen Town Musicians before they stood atop on each other near the end. The main character is a witch with all the usual traits, the broom, the long nose, the hat, the mole and the not so attractive appearance. However, in contrast to Disney's usual approach it is a good witch, actually one of the most likable animated characters in recent years.

    I liked that this short film also included animals who would not join the witch on the broom, so you could wonder a bit what the next one is gonna be. The funny highlight here is the cat and its constant skepticism when the witch invites the next guest to the broom. The dramatic highlight near the end is nicely done. The eyes of the dragon near the witch really give off a scary vibe and the chase scene is pretty dramatic too. In order to make it not too scary, they included some funny, quite bizarre rhyming for the dragon including the witch being his meal with or without chips. That was funny in an odd way. The ending not much later is decent. I liked the design of the new broom and how everybody has their space, but I did not like that it was handled a bit more emotional than it actually was with the music and everything.

    All in all, this is, despite the Oscar nomination, really more suitable for children although I cannot deny I had a good time watching it, maybe because my inner child is still alive and kicking.
  • The witty words of Julia Donaldson and the wonder of Magic Light Pictures once again give us a delightful film. Brought to life by a treasure of voice talents from Britain's best (Gillian Anderson, Simon Pegg, Ron Braydon, Timothy Spall, Martin Clunes, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams) and the brilliant musical characterizations of Rene Aubrey, the story garners critical and award attention (Oscar, Cristal, Annie, Magnolia, TIFF). I give this film an 8 (delightful) out of 10. {Family Animation}
  • This would have been great 5 minutes long, but every scene draaaaaags out and the rhymes and rhythm of the verses don't work at all.
  • I'd been reading this book to my 3 year old for a while when I stumbled across the animated version. We sat there enraptured, both laughing at the same bits and me explaining things she didn't understand - like the witch fainting which wasn't mentioned explicitly in the book.

    This is an absolute joy, and to the reviewers who said there's no humour for adults, well you need to pay more attention. Without giving anything away, watch the cat in the haystack scene, and the adult frog when the dragon flies over. And there is more.

    An absolute joy, plenty of rewatch value. I am looking forward to introducing this book and animation to my younger daughter
  • Obviously they had to pad out the book to make an animation of reasonable length. Most of the additions are good.. eg. presenting the dragon early and seeing him periodically adds some suspense and might have actually made the book better

    Other things though don't add anything and draw things out too much making it a chore to watch repeatedly with a child, eg. when they are washing, when they get separated from the witch and various other small throw-away sequences add a good five minutes to the duration

    Anyway, still good. The vocal performances and music are nice