on 6 October 2010
I've given 5 stars for the original film which I first saw in the cinema in 1971 as a child and have seen many times on TV since. I (and my brothers) loved everything about the film, especially the lovely catchy songs, the magical story and the intermixing of animation and live action which was unusual then (the only other film of this type I'd seen was Mary Poppins). Now my 7 year old enjoys it just as much as I did way back then!
***However, please be aware that this version of the DVD (with a light blue background) has added scenes not shown in the original film release, which adds nothing to the story in my opinion, and which spoils it for me. So much so that I've sold on this 'extended' version and will be buying the other (original) so called 'special edition' version (with a dark blue background).
The deleted scenes which have been added to this version are dreadfully dubbed using different actors' voices (apart from Angela Lansbury who did her own voice over), presumably, because they had lost the original soundtrack.
It completely ruins the continuity of the film as the postmistress (Tessie O'Shea) has a Welsh accent at the beginning, a Scottish accent (yes, they even dubbed her using the wrong accent) in the middle and a Welsh accent again at the end. And Charlie, the eldest, sounds like a frightened 4 year old in the added scenes. Professor Brown's voice is also noticeably different but not as bad as the others.
Shame on Disney, it ruins it for me. I respect the fact that many people will disagree and will buy it just to see the additions, which add about half an hour to the film, so I just wanted to make it clear which version was uncut - as it seems that the same Amazon reviews appear on both versions - and as a result I bought the wrong one.
This version also has an added song in the extras "A Step in the Right Direction" which is made up of stills from a scene with Angela Lansbury and her broomstick.
I don't think that this wonderful film has ever had the recognition is deserves and I would recommend it to anyone.
I hope this has helped.
on 12 October 2009
As wonderful as this movie is, your better off getting the original dvd to get your money's worth. This is the original 1971 version, many scenes were cut and one wonderful musical scene from David Tomlinson "With a flare". When it says its a special edition, the real extra is "the wizards of waverly place" special effects clip, which personally is not worth the time as it seems as if disney really could not be asked to make a proper documentery.
It really breaks my heart that disney would recut a wonderful film just to put some tacky extras on just to make extra money.
on 20 January 2005
It's surprising that a film such as this can appeal as much to adults as children.
Perhaps it's the clever blend of a serious subject like a war being intergrated effortlessly with the magical songs, but this is one film that any age will find difficult not to enjoy.
Standout moments are, for me, the 'Portobello Road' dance sequence and the 'Substitutiary Locomotion' scene for it's comic genius.
Angela Lansbury shines as ever and every other member of the cast shines individually. In my (probably biased) opinion, one of the best Disney films ever made.
on 17 October 2004
I first saw this wonderful film when i was just a kid and i absolutely loved it, and now that i watch it when i am a bit older, i still love it equally as much, if not more.
Miss Price is a prim and proper typical English lady, who lives in a sleepy southern coastal village during World War II. What the other villages don't know however, is that she is in fact a mail order apprentice witch and so have no hesitation in lumbering her with three London evacuees, who later find out about her secret and try to blackmail her.
They agree that she will give them somthing, if they keep their mouths shut, and so puts a spell on one of their beds that allows them to travel anywhere on it just by turning one of the bedknobs. On finding out that the witch school that she is a student at, is closing her and the children use to the bed to travel to London to meet Proffessor Amelius Brown, the man in charge.
He reveals that he got all of the spells from an old book, of which the last half of the book is missing and so he cannot finish the course. Determined to find the final spell, the children, Miss Price, and Mr Brown embark on an adventure involving loads of talking animals, and a Nazi raiding party.
The acting is brilliant from all the people involved in the film. Angela Lansbury who plays Miss Price the 'good' witch who is trying to help her country using witch craft. Julie Andrews, Leslie Caron, Lynn Redgrave, and Judy Carne were considered for the role of Miss Price before Angela Lansbury was cast. David Tomlinson who plays Dr Amelius Brown the head of the school of witchcraft. Ron Moody was considered for the role of Mr. Brown before Tomlinson was cast.
Ian Weighill, Roy Snart, and Cindy O'Callaghan who play Charlie, Paul and Carrie respectively, the three children who come to stay with Miss Price.
Overall, 'Bedknobs And Broomsticks' is really great part - animated, part - real life movie that will entertain children for hours and hours. Adults will also enjoy the adventure with their kids. This was also the last film from the Disney studios to receive an Academy Award until 'The Little Mermaid' in 1989. Highly recommended, especially if you have children.
Another childhood favorite, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is as fascinating now as what it was when I was growing up as a child. By chance I looked on Amazon to see how expensive it was, and was amazed to see it so cheap (in comparison to other Disney classics). So as ever, it was in the basket!
Because of the sheer diversity in the plot and length of the film, I would imagine those that haven't seen this film to be deeply confused by all the talk of Witchcraft and so forth, so I'll try my best to consolidate the main themes...
It's 1940 and three young children have been evacuated to Scotland in search of a home. Grudgingly for a dashing Angela Landsbury, the kids are handed over to her, and so they must put up with the different way of life. Though they soon find out that the strange antics of this woman are because she is training to be a witch! And has been ever since signing up to a mailing list for spells and tricks. However, she fails to receive her last newsletter, and so must find the man who is head of this 'organization'. Let it be known however that this is merely the beginning...
One of the obvious talking points we always talk about with this film are the splendid animation scenes, shot quite flawlessly. In a day and age of tiresome computer graphics, it's fascinating to watch our live characters swim through a whole sea of painted drawings, and trek in a island that seems it could gape forever (thanks to the size of the massive stages used). Theirs also "that" scene were a whole army of ancient battle-dresses get up and fight the Germans... But without people inside them! As a kid, I was laughably scared of this scene because it's so darn real - even once you know how they did it, you can't fault the production and editing.
An interesting apsect of Disney films around this era is the hybrid between 70's culture and the intended WW2 theme. The haircuts of characters typically out-grown for the time.. The wierd and wacky nature of the Hastings/Medevil title sequence.. The charisma of the animals on the island, very similar to the latter Robin Hood (as is the animation). This is certainly a film you can sit down and really analyze - their are more themes going on than you actually think.
Sadly however, the 'product' in question isn't as perfect as the film. 2hrs 15mins later, I witnessed a re-edited, ADR'd (After-dubbed-recording) and poorly mastered film that most likely proves why it's so cheap in comparison to other Disney classics. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for film studio's wanting to revitalise old cans of film and presenting them, but it should be an option. The final product, in my own opinion, is too drawn out in sections where there were no need to tamper scenes. Most poorly of all, there were scenes where the voices had been over-dubbed! And on many occasions, out of sync with the lips. This is not a DVD problem - scan Google and you'll find that many, many people are voicing the same problems as myself.
Even when it was originally released, Disney shortened the film to that of it's premiere showing to make it more suitable for cinemas. I fear in these times that many kids may not have the patience to sit through such a film, which would be sad but it's a genuine reality that (dare I say it...) 'brats' enjoy - Joke-a-minute CGI movies with little human interaction.
But let it be known, the frames have all been squared off nicely which is a joy to see on a large TV, and the general cleaning up is great. I believe their was only one scene that needed computer-colorization, and that was a part of the Portobello Road dance/song sequence (which again, didn't need editing).
You're probably thinking "This is all nice, but is he being too critical?". If you've never watched this film, then do get it - No-one can deny it's a wondrous film. I just can't help but raise the issues above as someone who's watched this film hundreds of times since I was younger, so all I can suggest is if you're a "true" Disney enthusiast, consider one of their more sought after special editions. If you're not a deep analyst like moi, then consider buying this while it's cheap!
on 24 October 2003
This is the story of Miss Eglantine Price (Angela Landsbury), a proper English spinster who believes that her mail-order course in witchcraft will allow her to greatly help her country in its struggle with Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, Miss Price is not a very good witch. When she finds three young evacuees from London are housed with her, her secret is discovered, and she is forced to buy their silence with an enchanted bed knob that will allow them to travel anywhere on their bed.
Disaster strikes when the mail-order course in cancelled, and Miss Price must use the magic bed to find the teacher of the course, Dr. Emelius Browne (David Tomlinson). Finding that he is a charlatan, she, the children and Dr. Browne set off to find the spell that she needs; this being in the hands of a group of intelligent (cartoon) animals that live on their own island. Returning to her home, Miss Price's talents are required when a Nazi raiding party storms ashore. [Color, created in 1971, with a running time of 1 hour, 57 minutes, rated G.]
This is one of my favorite Disney movies ever. The movie is quite eclectic, with wonderful scenes of dancing soldiers from across the Empire, a hilarious soccer game involving the animal kingdom, and a fantastic battle between the German soldiers and magically animated armor. This is a wonderful movie, with something for all ages.
[Please consider reading the wonderful book Bedknob and Broomstick by Mary Norton. Though Disney maintained the title, virtually the entire story was changed in the making of the movie.]
on 1 December 2015
The only complaint I have with this version of the movie is it is not the 30th anniversary transfer. The 30th anniversary DVD was completely restored and brought up to the full 138 mins this version however is only 117 mins and the restored scenes are on the special features. The picture and sound quality are brilliant and I still highly recommend it.
on 3 August 2007
Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks is probably one of the greatest films to ever come out of the studio. It is often compared to Mary Poppins and criticized for their similarities, but I however feel that Bedknobs and Broomsticks is an improvement over Mary Poppins, even when Mary Poppins had little to improve. The main reason for Bedknobs and Broomsticks' criticism is due to having been made in the period after Walt Disney's death, in which all of their films were criticized, even when they were superior to many Walt Disney era films such as the weak 101 Dalmatians (1961), The Sword in the Stone (1963) or The Jungle Book (1967). Bedknobs and Broomsticks is yet another Disney '70s jewel in the lights of The Rescuers (1977) or Pete's Dragon (1977).
World War II is haunting England and children are being evacuated from the city of London into the safer countryside. All children have found a nice home with a stranger family, except for the last three, Carey, Charles and Paul Rawlings who are then sent with Miss Eglantine Price into her large home. The children aren't happy about being with Miss Price at first, they wish to go back to London, even though they have practically nowhere to go there. This all changes when they discover Miss Price's secret, she is in fact a witch, an apprentice witch studying through correspondence and taught by Professor Emilius Browne, who is in fact nothing but a fake who takes his spells out of an old book. However, Mr. Browne is a nice person and he is amazed to find that his senseless words work for Miss Price and they soon start working together. With the aid of Mr. Browne's Traveling Spell, Miss Prince, Mr. Browne and the three children are able to travel around England by means of a bed and its magic bed-knob to search for only one thing, the missing spell of Substitutiary Locomotion, a spell fit for bringing the help needed to end the terrible war.
As corny and out of place as the plot may seem, Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a rather deep and serious film. Comparing it to Mary Poppins is silly, for Mary Poppins was a light-hearted comedy with no real plot, where Bedknobs and Broomsticks features a fantastic plot and clever dialog. Another similarity may include two new live-action/animation scenes, "The Beautiful Briny", an underwater animated musical festival and a wild soccer match with King Leonidas. The acting is fabulous, Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson play Miss Eglantine Price and Emilius Browne. Special effects in this film are top-notch and help to fully capture some scenes, the flying bed parts are some of my favorites. The music and songs are gorgeous! The Sherman brothers once again made a memorable and excellent soundtrack, songs include "The Old Home Guard", the Academy Award® Nominated "The Age of Not Believing", "Portobello Road", "The Beautiful Briny", "Substitutiary Locomotion" and the newly added "With a Flair" and "Nobody's Problem's for Me". Indeed, a lot of new scenes and previously cut segments were re-added to the movie, and the entire film has been remastered for better picture and audio performance.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a wonderful film and I'll recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Mary Poppins or Pete's Dragon or to anyone who wants a new and magical way to travel back in history to the era of War World II. This one is a classic!! 10/10.
on 9 October 2009
Buyer Beware! The DVD cover says 'fully restored and remastered' but don't be fooled into thinking that this is the full 134 minute Extended Version. Nope, this is the 112 minute Theatrical Version. You'll have to seek out the earlier release from 2002 if you want the extended version.
So which is the better version? Well it's open to debate. The problem with the extended version is that the extra footage has been re-dubbed (presumably because the original sound recording was either lost or damaged). Unfortunately, it hasn't been done very well (Angela Lansbury dubbed herself and that is fine but David Tomlinson's voice was provided by a voice artist who sounds nothing like him and it is rather jarring and kind of ruins it all. Other parts have been re-dubbed with varying degrees of success). It is also overlong. Maybe this is why they've only remastered the Theatrical version - which is what we have here.
I just wish that this was a 2-DVD set with both versions provided, so that we had a choice!
on 27 September 2005
As a child I grew up with the book, but found (through Amazon) the film in 2003. For someone who enjoyed for example Mary Poppins, it provides the same magic and enjoyment. Skillful combination of real acting blended with animation. Our toddler loved it, but now he's 2 years older, he likes it better!