Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of those movies that I loved as a kid and while I do consider it to be a Disney classic, I feel that it does have a few issues. This was released in 1971 and had a bit of a troubled production as it too ages to get made and they ultimately had to cut it to get it under two hours.
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You can download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you’re interested in other live-action animated film, check out also our reviews of Pete’s Dragon (1977), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), or James and the Giant Peach (1996).
The Movie Review
Those deleted scenes have appeared on some of the home releases over the years, but to be honest I do not think they would have made all that much difference to the final movie. Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a fun time it really is, but I feel that it does go on a bit too long, and if they could have fine-tuned the story to say around 90 minutes it would have been better.
The story takes place in 1940 and three children, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlings have been sent away from London to the coast which was common for the time to protect children from a potential bombing of London. Here they are going to stay with Miss Price who is not exactly thrilled about having the kids come and stay with her.
However, Miss Price is not your typical old English lady. You see, Miss Price is learning witchcraft and just as the children arrive, she finds out the course she is on is ending! She is not pleased about this, but she did give the children a special bedknob that she enchanted so that it can be used to travel!
Bedknobs and Broomsticks Trailer
Miss Price is upset that the final witch lesson is not going to be taught to her. She convinces the children to use the newly enchanted bedknob so they can go back to London to speak with Professor Browne. Browne is a skilled magician, but he tells Miss Price that the final spell is missing.
We end up with Miss Price, Professor Browne, and the kids trying to find the Star of Astaroth that will teach her the final spell. It turns out the Star of Astaroth is being held by a lion called King Leonidas who rules a land called, The Island of Naboombu. They take the enchanted bed knob and bed to try and get it back, including a trip under the ocean.
For me, once they get out of London and actually start the quest to get The Star of Astaroth, the movie really picks up and is fun. The mix of live action with the cartoon animals in the football match is the absolute highlight of the movie and it is incredibly well done. It is very impressive what they did here and as a kid, this blew my mind.
I also really like the nazi invasion! That is right, in case you did not know, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has the Nazis invade Miss Prices’ house and she has to use her witchcraft to save the day. This is another great scene and probably what I think of when this movie comes to mind.
I can see why some people love this movie and would have Bedknobs and Broomsticks as one of their Disney favorites. For me, it starts off too slow, but once it does get going, it is a lot of fun. While the Blu-Ray of this is ok, this is one movie that could really do with a new restoration to make it look as good as possible.
- Angela Lansbury is a lot of fun as Miss Price
- I actually feel that the whole cast does a great job here
- The animation here and the way it blends with the live-action is fantastic
- Some of the songs are very catchy
- The movie is a bit on the slow side and I think the cut scenes would make it worse
- This is one movie that could do with being cleaned up more and re-released