Bedknobs and Broomsticks
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When a mail-order apprentice witch (Angela Lansbury) is saddled with three sibling refugees from London during World War II, the outlook is grim. But the kids soon discover her secret and sign on for adventure in the name of England. With the aid of a magical bed, they track down her fraudulent headmaster (David Tomlinson) to find the spell that will aid the Allies. Fascinated that she has actually achieved results with his lessons, he joins forces. The quintet does battle with corrupt booksellers, animated-lion royalty, and, eventually, invading Germans. Songs include Lansbury's Oscar-nominated "The Age of Not Believing." This film is often compared to director Robert Stevenson's earlier effort, Mary Poppins, and for good reason. In addition to Tomlinson, the movies share a fondness for magic at the hands of a good woman, light romance with an understanding male, and wide-eyed children. Stevenson also graces both films with interaction between humans and animated animals. Disney is wise to play up that aspect on its box this time around as both the underwater ball and the subsequent island soccer match are the most visually interesting and appealing parts of the film. Adults may find the 1971-vintage mixing of actors and animation a bit creaky, but kids used to a variety of animation quality will find the action a hoot. Ages 4 and up. The movie has been recut several times but was restored to the original length of 139 minutes for its 30th anniversary in 2001. --Kimberly Heinrichs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is about a middle aged apprentice witch named Eglantine Price who lives in 1940 England. She is ordered to watch after 3 children who have been evacuated from London. The kids find out Miss Price's secret, and they also find out that Miss Price learns witchcraft from a mailorder course. To make a pact that states that if they keep her secret, she'll make it worth her while. So, she enchants a brass bedknob that will make them go wherever they want. However, the school closes, without the most important final spell, the Subsitutiary Locomotion spell.
So, using the bedknob, they go to London and seek out the headmaster of the school, Emelius Brown. Mr Brown can't find the spell either because the book he got out the spell of is torn, and the spell is only found on a necklace of a sorcerer named Astoroth.
Anyway, they go to Portobello Road, like a mini mall, and learn that towards the end of Astoroth's life, he captured animals and kept them in cages to make them more human like. The animals rebelled and killed Astoroth and stole the necklace. The animals escaped and took refuge on a mythical Isle named Niboombu.
The animation starts know as the tiny group explore the sea and then the island using hte traveling bedknob, and get the necklace that has the spell on it after a fun soccer game with a lion, which almost ends our story.Read more ›
The 30th Anniversary edition is the restored version with nearly 23 minutes of footage found and added into the film. This time the film is more fun, enjoyable and easier to understand. At the end of the film is a featurette with Angela Lansbury and the Sherman Brothers.
Trvia Note: Did you know the Walt Disney Company and Angela Lansbury have the same birthdate? Shorter prints run 98 min. and 117 min. This newly restored version runs 2 hours, 19 minutes.
Given that this is an old movie, the special effects are much better than could be expected, especially the underwater ball in the lagoon, the football match, and the military force powered by substitutiary locomotion. The musical numbers are also well choreographed, especially Portobello Road.
If this film were to be remade today, I would shudder to think of the cost with all the computer generated images (cgi), with maybe Meg Ryan, Ashley Judd or Sandra Bullock as Eglantine Price, and Tom Hanks, Bill Murray or Steve Martin as Professor Emilius Browne, but I digress. No attempt to remake this movie would be as successful as the original, despite its simple story line and cheesy acting of the time. The passion and energy put into its production shines right through and catches you firmly in its grasp until the very last frame flickers by.
Every time you watch this movie you will see things that you hadn't noticed before, or hadn't remembered from the first time you saw it way back when.
Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson are outstanding, and this movie is definitely rated 5 thumbs up!
Most recent customer reviews
Thoroughly enjoyable thanks mainly to Angela Lansbury. Good movie fun.Published 3 months ago by William Griffiths
The new dubbing is really off-putting, which is why it lost a star, but this classic is still my favouritePublished 4 months ago by sarah