If you hop in your way-back machines, you’ll remember Natalie’s post last year about being a scary movie wimp and only wanting to watch Hocus Pocus. I, too, am a wimp. My choices this time of year are the fabulous Sanderson sisters and lots of Tim Burton stop–motion animation.
My other Halloween favorite? The Worst Witch.
This 1986 TV movie was adapted from the book series by Jill Murphy (who started writing the series when she was 16 and had the first book published at 24!). If you’re unfamiliar with the story, young Mildred Hubble is a student at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She’s a goodhearted but clumsy student, sort of the Neville Longbottom of Miss Cackle’s. She and her best friend Maud seem to do nothing but attract trouble, qualifying them for the title of worst witches in the school. But from playing games of Terror Tag, learning to fly on broomsticks, and putting bully Ethel Hallow in her place, you can’t help but root for Mildred.
As we can see from the photo above, it had an all-star cast: Charlotte Rae in dual roles as headmistress Miss Cackle and the delightfully evil Agatha, Diana Rigg and her cheekbones as Miss Hardbroom, Fairuza Balk as Mildred and Tim Curry as the Grand High Wizard, a dreamboat with a penchant for capes and tambourines.
It’s campy, sweet and perfect for my fellow anti-horror wimps.