Walt Disney’s Enchanted Musical Edition of ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’
Reviewed By: Kathryn Darden on February 18, 2014
Eglantine Price (Angela Lansbury), an apprentice witch, joins three kids and a cynical conman (David Tomlinson) to search for the missing parts of a magic spell. Eglantine plans to use the spell to defend Great Britain in Walt Disney’s classic children’s movie ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks.’ Full of music, drama, comedy and whimsy, at two and a half hours the movie is a bit long.
The Enchanted Musical Edition of ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks retails for ‘$19.99. It is G-rated and 2 1.2 hours long, Bonus material includes The Wizards of Special Effects, a behind-the-scenes look at the award winning effects used in the film led by Jennifer Stone from ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ (which neatly brings Disney’s love affair with witchcraft and wizardry full circle).
- G-rated, family friend
- A Disney classic
- Angela Lansbury is a delight to watch
At 2 1/2 hours long, it may be a bit long for children used to shorter, faster and louder entertainment
The Enchanted Musical Edition of ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ stars an enchanting Angela Lansbury and is full of traditional Disney magic for kids.
The plot centers on Eglantine Price, an aspiring witch, who takes in three orphans in Britain during World War II. What follows is part comedy, part musical, part action, and part cartoon as ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ combines genres and styles to provide maximum entertainment.
However, ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ is considered by some to be a bit of a knock-off of ‘Mary Poppins.’ ‘Mary Poppins’ ‘use of live action and animation was innovative, but ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ came out seven years later. Some of the ‘Bedknobs’ dance numbers were lengthy, especially the Portobello Road sequence (which had been cut by more than 6 minutes for the original movie).
An annoying and unnecessary subplot involving Roddy McDowall as a prissy preacher after Eglantine Price’s money and property was also added back in to the Enchanted Musical Edition of ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks.’
It is fun to see Angela Lansbury with ‘Twiggies’ (exaggerated hand-drawn lower lashes), and the very long Portobello Road sequence has some dance moves that might have inspired Michael Jackson. Children would enjoy the story, the music and the cartoon sequences.
I am a fan of Lansbury in just about everything, but 140 minutes of ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks.’ was a bit much. The movie was wisely cut to two hours after its premiere in 1971, but the Enchanted Musical Edition is almost 2 1/2 hours long. It is still well worth watching, however.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the fully restored and remastered Enchanted Musical Edition of ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ starring Angela Lansbury on DVD in 2009.
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