Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Toon Talk: Broom With a View

In the wake of the overwhelming success of Mary Poppins, the Disney Studios tried on several occasions to catch that lightning in a bottle once again with a live action feature that combined magic and music in the same way their award-winning English nanny did. They came closest with another British period fantasy with a spell-casting leading lady, Bedknobs and Broomsticks (reissued on DVDthis week in an “Enchanted Musical Edition”). Released in 1971, Bedknobs, while not quite the blockbuster that Poppins was, still captured the imaginations of audiences all over the world and even won an Academy Award for its special effects.

Hedging their bets, Disney rehired such Mary Poppins alum as director Robert Stevenson, screenwriters Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi (adapting the Mary Norton books The Magic Bed Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons and Bonfires and Broomsticks), songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman and, most fortuitously, actor David Tomlinson. So effective as the neglectful Mr. Banks, here he is cast against type as two-bit showman Professor Emelius Brown. Joining them was then two-time Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury as witch-in-training Eglantine Price. With that line up of talent, smooth sailing was expected for Bedknobs and Broomsticks. However ...

Click here to continue reading my Toon Talk review of the new Bedknobs and Broomsticks DVD at LaughingPlace.com.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE that movie! I always love movies like that...
    sunny greetings from germany, geisslein


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