Ken Anderson

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Directors:

Robert Stevenson

Ward Kimball

Writers:

Ralph Wright

Ted Berman

Bill Walsh

Don DaGradi

Ken Anderson

Starring:

Angela Lansbury

David Tomlinson

Blurb:

An apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman search for the missing component to a magic spell to be used in the defense of Britain in World War II.

Thoughts:

I remember Bedknobs and Broomsticks fondly. It’s not a movie that I’ve seen often, but it made a big enough impact on me that I bought it when I saw it for sale. I’ve watched it once since then and still enjoyed it, but that’s been years and years ago (it’s a DVD to give you an idea). While talking with some friends, I discovered that they had the same experience. They’d seen it, liked it, but didn’t remember much if anything about it, just that they liked it.

It’s based on a book, of course. Disney purchased the rights when they had issues getting Mary Poppins and then Bedknobs was set aside when they finally did get Poppins. It seems like it did well at the time, though it was compared to Mary Poppins in reviews. I looked to see if there was a blu-ray available on Amazon and it appears to only be on streaming and DVD, so I guess it never made it to blu-ray. It’s not a movie that’s gotten a lot of love and I wonder if it’s because of the witch element.

After my re-watch, I still enjoy it, but since it’s on Disney+, I don’t feel the need to own it. There was a very long singing and dancing number that had some questionable representation. It also felt a bit like Mary Poppins, though, that could have been that one of the main actors was from that film. After reading the Wikipedia entry it sounds like at least one song originally written for Mary Poppins was included in Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

By far, the best scene in the movie was the battle at the end. It was so bonkers ridiculous, and amazing. That part alone made me almost keep the film. Still, as I said, it’s a DVD, and Disney+ has it available, and it doesn’t seem likely to be taken down.

I just want to add, Angela Lansbury is a treasure, and every time I see her, I think of Murder She Wrote and want to watch it. Plus, she was Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, the best Disney movie ever! (Maybe not ever, but definitely up there)

The Rescuers (1977)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

The Rescuers (1977)

Directors:

John Lounsbery

Wolfgang

Reitherman

Art Stevens

Writers:

Larry Clemens

Ken Anderson

Frank Thomas

Vance Gerry

David Michener

Ted Berman

Fred Lucky

Burny Mattinson

Dick Sebast

Starring:

Bob Newhart

Eva Gabor

Geraldine Page

Joe Flynn

Blurb:

Two mice of the Rescue Aid Society search for a little girl kidnapped by unscrupulous treasure hunters.

Thoughts:

The Rescuers was the first movie on my list that’s not technically mine. When I made my list of owned movies, I included movies that my husband owns as well. We’re one household, so it made sense. There are a couple of movies that he owns that I won’t be watching for various reasons, but I’m including most of them in my re-watch.

The Rescuers was a dark movie. There were hardly any light moments in the entire film. A little orphan girl is kidnapped and forced into a dangerous situation repeatedly so the villain can get a giant diamond, for crying out loud. Current kid’s movies do not have a monopoly on darkness.

While reading the Wikipedia entry for a children’s movie, something you love to see is “nudity scandal.” It sounds like a disgruntled or stupid employee decided to sneak in a shot of a topless woman. It was only in two frames and pretty much impossible for someone to notice on ordinary viewing, but of course, someone spotted it. After seeing the image, I feel like it was more amusing than anything else.

Reviews at the time seem to be mostly positive, saying it was a return to old form for Disney. Since I got rid of most of the movies that came out at that time, I only have my memories to compare it too. The only time I had issues with the animation were when the villain was appeared, and there was a ton of black outlining. I thought she looked pretty bad.

The songs were mostly forgettable, they were nice at the time, but thirty minutes later, I forgot they were even there. I did love the voice cast, though. Bob Newhart and Eva Gabor sounded perfect together.

The film is also a bit dated. Bianca was smart and capable, but since she was a woman, she was often babied. However, she seemed to take it in stride and use it to her advantage, so that was nice.

The Rescuers isn’t necessarily a movie I feel like I need to own, but there are worse movies to have on my shelves.