Film Review: “Man & Witch”


  • Starring:  Greg Steinbruner, Tami Stronach and Christopher Lloyd
  • Directed by:  Michael Hines
  • Rated:  PG
  • Running time:  1 hr 39 mins
  • Paper Canoe Studio


There is nothing like a good fairy tale.  From the beginning of time, these stories have entertained the world over.  A man yearning for love.  Talking animals.  A witch.  Sounds like this is going to be a good one.


While driving his cart home a Goatherd (Steinbruner, who also wrote the screenplay) spies a beautiful woman, clad in white and dancing to a tune only she can hear.  He is instantly smitten.  Nearby, a young child known as Love takes notice and notches an arrow onto his bow.  As he fires the cart hits a rock and the arrow misses its target.  All in all, it’s a typical day for the man who is convinced he will never find love.



Smartly written, with strong performances, “Man & Witch” could easily be described as “SHREK meets ‘The Princess Bride’” with a little bit of “The Wizard of Oz” tossed in for good measure.  The tale is narrated by Dog, voiced by Sean Astin.  He is a big sheepdog who spends his days with his fellow farm mates, including Goose (Jennifer Saunders), Donkey (Bill Bailey) and Sheep (Eddie Izzard), who has a habit of quoting movie lines when the situation warrants it.  Talking animals.  Ogres.  Royalty.  And what about the Witch?


There is a lot to like about this film.   The cast has fun with their roles, with special mention going to Miss Stronach, who gives the Witch a vulnerable side you don’t expect.  If her name seems familiar, it’s probably because she played the Childlike Empress in 1984’s “The NeverEnding Story.”  It’s always a treat to see Christopher Lloyd on the big screen.  His Alchemist is a nice companion character to both Doc Brown and “Taxi’s” Jim Ignatowsky.  The film was shot in Scotland and takes advantage of the beautiful countryside.


“Man and Witch” receives three and a half stars out of five. 

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