Friday, June 17, 2011

Travel Log 6-17:The Worst Witch

     First off there is a new post up over at Witchy Thrifting so go check it out!
     Last month the lovely Magaly over at Pagan Culture held an awesome event called Witches in Fiction. During the party I focused on the awesomeness that is Granny Weatherwax, the witch I hope to grow up to be. It came to me while I was lying in bed last night so I decided to write about it now rather than wait until next year. While Granny is who I want to be in the future, and hope that I am becoming more like now, there was a witch that embodies who I was, and still very much am. The first witch I really connected with and saw myself in.
   Mildred Hubble.
   Never heard of her? Well she is the main character of a book series in the UK that got turned into a tv show in the 90's and a movie, as well as a US movie in the 80's starring Fairuza Balk, Tim Curry, Diana Rigg, and Charlotte Rae (Mrs Garrett) called The Worst Witch. I never got to see the UK versions and want them so badly I can taste it. But the US tv movie that was released in 1986 was the first time I looked at a character on tv and saw myself. I watched that first year cuddled up in my Care Bear pajamas hugging my teddy bear and found myself a hero.
    Mildred is a regular girl. About as regular as they get. She has freckles and messy hair. She struggles in her classes and the toughest teacher in her school has decided to come down like a ton of bricks on her at any given opportunity. Of course this is Miss Cackles International Academy for Witches, a boarding school for young witches so Mrs Hardbroom, Mildred's teacher nemesis, is extra scary. When they hand out the black cats Mildred gets a grey tabby who's so afraid to ride on her broomstick so she has to put him in her satchel and hang it from the back of her broom. The girl just can't catch a break. The prettiest, smartest, most popular girl in school makes it her mission to make Mildred's life as miserable as possible. In fact a prank that this girl plays on Mildred has her so upset she runs away from the school only to run smack into a group of evil witches planning to take over the school. But then in an awesome twist, Mildred captures the evil witches and saves the school earning herself praise and a special flight with the head warlock (Tim Curry).
     This is an age old story. Persecution followed by a make-good situation. Nothing new there, but as a almost 6 year old (this of course premiered around Halloween and my birthday is November 5th) this was the first time I looked at a character in a movie and saw myself. And she was a witch.
     Mildred Hubble was my revelation. She was ordinary and extraordinary at the same time. Magic was a part of her world, a part of her, but as ordinary as homework (in fact a lot of it was homework, lol) and she wasn't even considered very good at it. It wasn't a story about these girls being witches, it was a story about a girl who just happened to be a witch. It wasn't about how good she was with a potion or a spell, it was about her.
    I loved it. I would wait every year for it to come back on at Halloween and then watch every time it was on. I taped it once and watched the tape almost every day until my sister taped over it with something with Carey Elwes in it (I don't remember what it was just that there were tudor costumes and it was all very dramatic -6 year old code for bor-ing). You can imagine the fights over that one.
    For years I watched and loved that movie until slowly they stopped showing it. then a couple years ago it popped back up again and now I have it on dvd.
    Mildred Hubble was my stepping stone. She was me. I wasn't popular. In fact I was so socially awkward it was almost painful. I never fit in and I was an easy target for teasing. Mildred helped me get through that. The theme song from the movie still plays in my head almost as a soundtrack for how I see my formative years.
  Is there a little Mildred in you?


  1. HA! I FREAKIN LOVED THAT MOVIE!! I watched it repeatedly when I was a kid. I related to Mildred 100%. You have inspired me lady! I have been working on a new line of candles for the shop that are printed. I have started with the Sabbats and planned on doing a line of goddesses and gods next but I think I am going to slip in a fictional witches line too, and the star of it will be Mildred Hubble! The first witch I ever related too, or possibly even saw in movies. Lol. HUGE HUGS to you!

  2. Aaaw..That's so cool that I helped inspire you to spread the wonderfulness that is Mildred Hubble! I can't wait to check them out!

  3. I watched several episodes of the British TV series when it was broadcast on Canadian TV years ago. I thought it was delightful! I don't know why it never "clicked" with people like Harry Potter did, unless it was because the protagonist was female. Apparently, J.K. Rowling was advised to make her hero male and also to disguise her own gender as author by only using initials in her name, so that boys would be able to identify with Harry Potter. Or perhaps Worst Witch was just too far ahead of its time. Who knows?

  4. This is the first time I watch it and I love it! I'm going to see if I can find some of the series or the movie or both! This is lovely!

  5. @Debra: I had no idea that they had done that with J.K Rowling. I guess it's kinda like them not making princess movies anymore because they don't want to dare alienate the boys, sigh.
    @Magaly: you will love it! Get the movie from 1986 first because the others are unfortunately over priced. All of it is of course on you tube if you want to track it down as well they just can't load whole episodes or the whole movie at once so they are broken up.

  6. I had these visions of this from my past...and couldn't put my finger on where or what it was. Huzzah! Mildred was one of those "inspirational" witches for me too! Thanks for finding her.

  7. IMHO: There is a mixture between Fantasy, Imagination (wich is not Fantasy) and actual Astral World components (nor Fantasy, nor Imagination, but facts you can prove by yourself doing actual Astral trips to the Unknown 5TH dimension. DO NOT USE DRUGS OF ANY KIND !They will take to LOW vibrations and you will see "BAD" things.). I think if you expect JK Rowling trying to explain why she wrote this and that you will find that not even her knows "exactly why". That is because there are many sides of her living in her subconciusness doing tasks like building mental Proyections and actual inspirations of the positive high Astral plane. I don't think she's aware of any of this processes. Did she wrote balck magic ? YES. Did she know about that ? NOOO. The "ego" never thinks, only works for impulse in mechanical and subconsciousness ways. Cheers !