The Witches

Funny, quirky animated short film about a group of women who decide to take action on King James VI for the reign of terror on the country’s women during his witch hunts. It has a really interesting animation style, with these water colour drawings leaving ghosts of the previous frames.

Based on the real, and much less humorous, witch trials of North Berwick, the protagonists are ordinary women, with maybe a touch of shine and some folk knowledge. As the rotter James makes his paranoid declarations to underlings who can’t see his problem, he spearheads a push for dooking nigh on every woman in the country, save possibly the young and pretty.

Margaret, Ina and Sandra are no having it, and decide the best defence is a good offence, so set out to do him in by sailing after him in a big sieve. What’s quite funny is, the women attempt to make the sieve seaworthy with magic without much success, but it is James, miles away, whose declaration that witches float, that causes the sieve to become buoyant. A wee hint that the problem James seeks is actually much closer to home.

A good laugh, and nice to see the history of persecution of women being turned on its head, with women themselves being the ones doing the hunting.