Show More...



Comments pending.

Bedknobs & Broomsticks is another one of Disney's masterpieces. It was filmed with sequences of animation and the actors and actresses interacting with the animations. (A similar concept was used in Mary Poppins when the children and Mary disappear into the sidewalk art.) I am mainly rating this film through child's eyes because I have not seen it in years. Back then, it was one of my favourite films. It was magical and mystical, and the last scenes (the conflict beginning with the ghostly armour walking into battle) were my favourites. There was also a lot of stop-animation used with the spells (ie, people turning into rabbits), which may be a little dated and silly now. (Also, I believe that the film starts off slowly.) Through the eyes of a child, this is a fun film and it is easy for children to put themselves into the places of the children in the film. It is an imaginative film which is sadly largely-forgotten today.
I had never seen this, even as a child. Jason was shocked and insisted I watch it. And...I'm glad he did because it was really good! I'm pretty surprised I had never seen it, actually. I liked it a lot. It was a fun, cute, and Mary Poppins-esque movie.

I recommend it to anyone who has yet to see it. And to kids, as that's what it's pretty much targeted to!
This film is an okay film that could've been much better. Angela Lansbury is fairly good and David Tomlinson does okay. The script is average, score is largely unmemorable, Roddy McDowall is wasted, and animated sequences, while good, could have better. The special effects steal the show. Perhaps they are so good that rest of the film suffers by comparison to them. Recommended for visuals.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Best in Show: Angela Lansbury
One for the future: n/a
Stand-out scene: Knights v. Nazis
Brainer or no-brainer: No brainer
Stands up to one viewing or repeated?: Repeated
DVD commentary any good?: n/a

I don't recall ever seeing this movie in its entirety before so it was with much enthusiasm that I settled down to watch this children's movie which is as old as I am! For a kids movie of its time it ranks up there alongside Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins, although there's not really a stand-out musical number to be found amid its two hour running time (if you discount Portobello Road). The creaky special effects/live and animation mix is satisfyingly rudimentary and in these CGI-heavy days it's often nice to revisit the charm of the less technical years of effects. Mary Norton's source children's book Bed-Knob and Broomstick (i'm not sure why the filmmakers plumped for plurality) is prime material for a film. Having also penned the classic The Borrowers the author was no one hit wonder and she lived to the ripe old age of 91, missing out sadly on the 25 year anniversary re-issue in which some deleted scenes were restored to the movie. Some of the lines the younger boy has about his knob will draw wry smiles from adults and the big ensemble song and dance number Portobello Road seems far ahead of its time in its celebration of the musical styles of different cultures. A 43-year old Bruce Forsyth puts in an appearance as a bookshop owner's heavy as do Roddy McDowall and David Tomlinson. Angela Lansbury stars however as Eglantine Price, a witch wannabe who enrols on a witchcraft correspondence course being run by conman Emelius Browne (Tomlinson). Browne's cribbing his info from an ancient text and when the instalments come to a halt purportedly because of WW2 Price travels to London via four poster bed (as you do) with three evacuated kids in tow. It turns out that the tome from which he's been extracting the spells has been torn in two and the disparate bunch need to find the other half in order to complete a particular spell that will later come in handy to put a stop to a German dry run invasion..or do they? Cor blimey guv'nor - a corker!
Just piping in to weigh-in on my resolution's progress - Part 1 since Rotten Tomatoes will only allow 5 movies per journal entry. I really don't feel compelled to write much about any of these films, though, except to say watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast again rekindles the love I have for the film. As the only animated feature ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, the follow up to The Little Mermaid proved Disney was once again rising to the top. (A feat that would culminate with the monster hit The Lion King.) Definitely deserving of the nomination for Best Picture, Beauty and the Beast is a magical mixture of music, storytelling and animation. A treat! The only other thing I want to mention is in regards to American Beauty, which many consider to be Kevin Spacey's triumph. Though I agree Spacey delivers a great performance, Annette Benning as Spacey's tortured wife is even more amazing and sadly under-appreciated. That's all. Back in a few for Part 2!
The book, as I recall, is called Bedknob and Broomsticks, or possibly Bedknobs and Broomstick, or maybe even Bedknob and Broomstick. There's at least one singular in there, and I am never able to remember where. (Yes, I could look it up for the purposes of this review, but that would rather miss the point.) I've never read it, though I'm pretty sure Elaine owned a copy when we were children.

At any rate, I believe it was one of the properties Disney bought the rights to while he was arguing with P. L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, over the rights to her book, which she would have been greatly annoyed to hear referred to as a property in the first place. Indeed, the "Beautiful Briny Sea" sequence was originally intended for placement in Mary Poppins, which leads to the strong presumption that it isn't in either book.

The movie requires historical setup these days, though it's based on a similar principle to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in one aspect at least. Children from London are evacuated and sent to the country to get away from the bombing. This is true; this happened. However, in the book version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, there's a slight implication that the children's parents know the Professor already; Carrie, Paul, and Charlie Rawlins have no parents and no connection to Miss Eglantine Price.

It would be unthinkable today to send children into the home of a random stranger, but it really did happen in London of the day. It was generally, I think, considered that nothing that could happen to a child was worse than getting killed by a bomb. Personally, I don't think that's true; the child could be molested and tortured then killed. I have no figures on how many children of the evacuation were mistreated by their host families, however.

At any rate, in this case, the worst thing about Miss Price is that she's a witch. A good witch, too. Also, she doesn't like children. However, as is frequently the case in movies, a person who doesn't like children as a classification comes to love a small group of children in particular. Indeed, as we all know it will, the opportunity to send the children to another home comes, and as we all know she will, Miss Price chooses not to take it. She and the children--and Professor Brown--are too busy having wacky hijinks for that.

This is a cute movie, if not a good one, and an opportunity to see Angela Lansbury when you could still imagine someone finding her lovely. (Striking, by that point in her life. But Professor Brown finds her lovely.) The "Portobello Road" musical sequence is one of my favourites in all Disney. And to those who find it improbable, do remember that every culture represented was at the time part of the British Empire and would have been in London at the time for the war effort.
Report a problem