THE PLOT THUS FAR
Let the enchantment begin! Disney’s Academy Award(R)-winning classic, BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (Best Visual Effects, 1971), soars onto Blu-ray and Digital HD with an all-new digital master. Experience a dazzling blend of live action and wondrous animation from the producer, director and writer of MARY POPPINS, sure to delight the entire family. Disney legends Angela Lansbury (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) and David Tomlinson (MARY POPPINS) star in this beloved film about an apprentice witch who reluctantly takes in three orphan children. Though her first spells create more laughs than magic, Miss Price and the children soon find themselves swept away aboard a fantastic flying bed — their ticket to fun-filled excitement and adventure. Take the ride of your life with BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
“Bedknobs and Broomsticks” is about an apprentice witch being drafted to save England from the Nazis. There are some loveable children and David Niven-lite to help out, but it’s up to Angela Lansbury to do what Churchill wouldn’t ever dream. Somewhere there is a film about the British using black magic to destroy the Nazi menace, but I guess that only exists in my brain. This is a fairly middlin’ movie that started life as the back-up plan in case P.L. Travers crapped on Disney’s plans to make “Mary Poppins”. There’s even a song or two in this movie that was originally drafted for “Mary Poppins”.
Angela Lansbury frequently complained that this movie was overly story boarded and the complicated FX kept her from developing the character. What’s there to develop? She uses magic to turn people into bunnies and then abducts children to strange lands. If she could sing and have dance moves, she would’ve been a British Michael Jackson. While this version is the 117 minute theatrical cut, I have to say that I prefer it over the 139 minute restored cut that Lansbury used to introduce on The Disney Channel. Sometimes, editing to meet commitments at Radio City Musical Hall aren’t the worst thing.
The Blu-Ray comes with featurettes, deleted/extended scenes and other random tidbits as the special features. The A/V Quality looks a world better than the DVD. The 1080p transfer makes some of the shoddier special effects really pop. Plus, the DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track makes the surround effects come to life. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 08/12/2014