I love it when we hit one of my childhood favorites when we move through our Disney Films Project list. I've always enjoyed Bedknobs and Broomsticks and it was one of those films that touched my imagination as a child.
I secretly wanted a brass bed with removable knobs, and I certainly wanted to be able to control my own armor army! Although, in retrospect, I'm a little surprised that didn't scare me as a kid. It is sort of creepy, but the film makes it more funny than scary. I guess that's one of the things I like about this movie - it doesn't take itself too seriously.
Angela Lansbury is a delight as the main character and I really like the children as well. I've always wondered why they cast the same man who played the father in Mary Poppins as Professor Brown in this one and I found that distracting in my youth and I still do. But it seems that was a time in the Disney period where actors were used and reused often. Oh well, it's a minor issue for me.
The animation during the traveling bed scenes is pretty strange and it seems like they could have done so much more with that. However, I have to give this film praise for the way they combined live action and animation together. It was quite groundbreaking at the time and it's still fun to watch.
I enjoy the music and the overall story so I'm giving Bedknobs and Broomsticks 8 out of 10 Mickeys on our grading scale.
Second Opinion with Alex Nelson
Many people write this film off as an inferior Poppins clone. But to be frank, the stories are like apples and oranges. It’s definitely the best inferior Poppins Clone I’ve ever watched!
The film’s beginning seems a bit confused, but this isn’t too bad later on. And while the practical effects seem rather problematic, the animation is excellent, and towards the end of the film, things clear up quite nicely.
I’ve actually got some writing in the offing regarding this film, which I will gladly share, provided credit is given. I’ll post it here sometime. Watch this space!
I love this film almost as much as Mary Poppins, but make no mistake, that’s not faint praise. In fact, this is one of the few films from this period that I can stand to watch, unlike my reviewer above.
The 25th anniversary edition adds back some long lost content. While the extended cut of Portobello road is somewhat odd, I can support all of the other songs.
And as for the animation, I can find little fault with it, aside from the odd transitions. The story does have a slight plothole regarding the Star of Asteroth, but I’m going to invoke one of the old clichés regarding this stuff: A Wizard Did It.
Overall, this gets an 8/10 Mickeys. It’s somewhat lacking in effects, and a few segments are long, but it’s a great film, with stellar performances from the cast. Especially Mrs. Lansbury, who shows off her acting long before Murder, She Wrote. If you’re looking for a good film, this one won’t let you down.