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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (30th Anniversary Edition) (1971)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
List Price: $19.99
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Customers who bought this also bought:
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2. Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition)
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4. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Special Widescreen Edition)
5. The Sword in the Stone (Disney Gold Classic Collection)
Editorial Reviews:
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

Product Details
  • Starring: Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall
  • Director: Robert Stevenson
  • Encoding: 1 (U.S. and Canada)
  • Format: Color, Animated
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 20, 2023
  • Running Time: 117
  • Language: English (Dubbed), English (Original Language)
  • ASIN: B00004R9A4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 Based on 79 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 821

Customer Reviews

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

1Another Childhood Memory Dashed, Jun 24, 2023
I was nine years old when this film premiered, and it fired my high-strung creativity. I found it engaging, enchanting, and creative -- downright magical, and I saw it about four times. Soon afterward, I got a copy of Mary Norton's novel, expecting it to be the same story as this Disney film. It wasn't -- it was a significantly better and more interesting story, with a nice bittersweet ending. "Imagine that -- a book that's better than a movie!" [OK, so I wasn't the most intelligent child in history.] So I kept the book and forgot about the film.

When this film was re-released in this DVD format, I thought I'd give it a viewing for old time's sake, fully bearing in mind that the plot is almost completely different than the Norton book. Well, I was tremendously disappointed. For all its colors and flying effects and animation and tricked-out uninhabited marching suits of armor and the sublime Angela Lansbury, this is a really mediocre film. Yes, the claims of it being an unofficial "sequel" to "Mary Poppins" are easy to make and can almost be substantiated, but the creative team did a most lackluster job. The flying is sloppy, the animation of the undersea/island sequence lacks the usual Disney cleverness, the songs by the usually top-notch Sherman Brothers sound like they were written while Richard & Robin were recovering from simultaneous root canals, and the child actors are unusually bland [even for British actors].

But the "Portobello Road" musical number struck me ast being the worst production number in film history -- worse even than the 1973 musical version of "Lost Horizon," a notorious turkey. It seems like the "Portobello Road" sequence was devised simply to have a large song & dance number, like the chimney sweep number in "Mary Poppins" or, more likely, the "Who Will Buy?" production number in "Oliver." But the Disney studio evidently wanted to save some money on this film, for this is one of the skimpiest numbers I've ever seen: A forgettable tune, uninventive choreography, an appallingly small number of dancers, and a set that is so small and cheap that it looks like it was inserted from a bad dinner theatre production [and THIS actor has been trapped in his share of bad dinner theatre productions].

I adored Disney films when I was growing up, but many of them have proved a disappointment to view again [I wish I'd never viewed "Swiss Family Robinson" as an adult]. The Disney studio was always able to make films that both enchanted children AND were good enough storytelling for adults, but sometimes they weren't up to their own standards. *sigh*

In spite of all my grousing, I DO recommend "Bedknobs & Broomsticks" for children under 15 -- it may help fire their imaginations in this age of increasingly bland pop culture. But their parents will likely end up merely enduring the thing [though it IS interesting to see Miss Lansbury display her singing and dancing skills on film -- would that SHE was in "Mame" a few years later instead of Lucille Ball]. But if your kids like this film, go out and get them a copy of the Mary Norton book -- it's a better story, more plausible, teaches a better lesson about life, and has a much more satisfying ending [albeit a bittersweet one].

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

5Magical Movie, Jun 6, 2023
This movie is soooo cute!!!! Angela Lansbury is absolutely amazing in it. The music is also top-notch. My favorite song, "Nobody's Problems" is so touching and brings tears to my eyes! If you're a huge Angela Lansbury fan like me you need to see this movie; she does a great job.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

4Cute!, May 31, 2023
I was 6 years old when Bedknobs and Broomsticks had it's original theatrical release and I know that I saw the movie back then but when I rewatched it for the first time on video sometime in the 80's I just didn't remember all that much about the movie but I liked it and thought it was cute and I enjoyed watching it and listening to the cute and catchy songs and I liked the cast, especially Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson and I very highly recommend this movie which is very entertaining and is in the same league as movies like Mary Poppins Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I would definitely think of purchasing the DVD for this movie!

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

5It has lost very little..., Mar 7, 2023
I was 7 years old when this film came out in the theater, just the perfect age for it, and I remember dragging my poor parents to see it several times (my father was bored to tears, I remember that clearly).

I recently ran into this DVD at the public library, and today I watched it again for the first time in over 33 years. Fortunately, it has lost little of its magic. The songs are just as catchy as ever, and the "Briny Ballroom" scene is worth the price of admission alone. The song "Age of Not Believing" is excellent, even better than the much-maligned "Cheer Up Charlie" in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (another of my childhood favorites).

Even as dated as the special effects are, the flying bed scenes still look magical (particularly the first one). There aren't enough of them though... you got a flying bed, you should use it! Anyway, I've got a warm feeling after seeing this movie again, and the songs just keep replaying themselves in my head. The only problem I have with Disney's re-release is the extended (waaaaaaayyyyyy toooooo extended) "Portabello Road" scene. This was just unnecessary, and would have put me to sleep as a kid.

It's been noted that this film is overshadowed by "Mary Poppins." Well, any film would be. Despite some weaknesses of this particular release, I can't recommend it enough -- particularly if you saw it as a kid. Let your kids experience it too.

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful:

5The charge of the "knight" brigade!, Jan 23, 2023
Ever since I was a child, this magical Disney classic has always captured my imagination. The fabulous songs by the Sherman brothers, the amazing mixture of live-action and animation, and the magical special effects make this timeless film entertaining to viewers of all ages. The casting was great, especially David Tomlinson, who was also terrific in "Mary Poppins" and "The Love Bug". My two favorite scenes in this are the hilarious soccar match and the "battle" at the end between the knights and the German soldiers. By the way, the scene where the "flying" dress lands on Roddy McDowall is the only scene (that I know of) where you can clearly see the wires attached to a flying object or person in the movie. This is easily one of Angela Lansbury's best performances, and it's one of the best films directed by the great Robert Stevenson (Disney's greatest director ever in my humble opinion). I was a little disappointed by the "special edition" dvd. It claims to have a featurette on the making of the film, but the featurette focuses only on the film's music. I was hoping for a documentary explaining the actual making of the film, especially the extraordinary special effects. At least the movie has been wonderfully restored and is very well-priced. This great film is highly recommended for Disney fans.


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