As a John Wick fan it was good to watch a movie where Daisy lives, though once Bruno and Hero Boy have been turned into mice we discover Hero Boy’s pet mouse Daisy is actually Mary – a little American girl transformed by a witch.
She says she has been a mouse for four months, after making the mistake of taking chocolate from a witch. She was then scooped up and sold to a pet shop, from where Grandma bought her for her grandson.
All three children are literally or effectively orphaned. Hero Boy’s mum and dad died in a car crash. Bruno has parents but they ignore him (and at the end of the film, the Grand High Witch vanquished, don’t want him at all, so he goes home with Grandma). Mary met “her” witch after running away from an orphanage. All lonely children, all “the overlooked”.
At one point it seems to be implied that Mary is in fact Alice, Grandma’s childhood friend who was turned into a chicken by a witch (the Grand High Witch herself, it turns out). Mary uses the word lollygagging, which means dawdling – Grandma had used this term about Alice. Mary also has an adult voice (Kristin Chenoweth) despite claiming to be a child, and the witches do appear to have a thing about turning children into mice, rather than chickens.
Is she Alice, or is it just a common word from the South used to set the scene? Well for non-Americans it’s a word that really stands out, as if it’s there for a reason. That reason could be a great big hint, or just scene-setting (we are in the American South, rather than the book’s English seaside location); or it could be a red herring.
There’s no real need for her to lie about her origins; she’d surely be delighted to be reunited with Grandma, her friend from childhood.
And if Mary were Alice she would also be really old. At the end of The Witches, when Grandma and Hero Boy are estimating how long he will live, they settle on three times as long as a normal mouse.
Admittedly, Grandma does point out the length of a life is in God’s hands, so Alice’s age isn’t a total impediment. Though we later see Hero Boy in the mid-credits scene as a greying mouse (voiced by Kevin Hart) so he’s obviously aged considerably, yet Grandma is still alive. It indicates that their original estimate of a human-mouse hybrid age is probably accurate.
Read my review of The Witches (2020).
You can also check out my review and a child’s review of The Witches (1990). You can also download activity sheets from The Witches (2020)