The Witches comes under fire for irresponsible character design

The Witches Grand High Witch limb difference
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Film adaptations of beloved children's books are always in line for criticism. Common complaints are that the latest adaptation has "ruined" the book, or isn't true enough to the original story. But the new film of Roald Dahl's book, The Witches – the second film adaptation of the novel – has come under fire for a different reason.

This time, it's the film's character design that has been questioned. The witches in the film, which stars Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch, are shown to have hand and feet impairments, with Hathaway having three fingers on each hand. In the book, the witches are described as having "claws hidden by gloves" and "square feet with no toes." This decision to portray the witches with limb differences has been derided by many, including Paralympians and disability advocates. (For top tips on how not to offend your audience, see our character design tips.)

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.