DVD Review: Delightful ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ is Timeless

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CHICAGO – When it was announced that Disney would be releasing a new special edition of “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” the little kid in me woke up and started pounding on my memory banks. I have such vivid memories of watching the film as a child, mouth agape, eyes wide, and falling in love with the blend of animation and live-action that looked so revolutionary to this future critic’s young mind. Pick up the DVD and inspire a child you know.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

“Bedknobs and Broomsticks” is a film so ingrained in the memory of my childhood that I can’t really approach it critically. It’s difficult to separate the personal meaning the film has for me on rainy Sundays around the VCR with my mother and sister and look at it without bias. But I bet I’m not alone. And if you remember “Bedknobs” with the same fondness, there’s a DVD you need to buy.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition was released on DVD on September 8th, 2009.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition was released on DVD on September 8th, 2009.
Photo credit: Walt Disney Home Video

Sadly, it’s just a DVD and the special features are mediocre at best. I still hold out hope of one day showing my son a Blu-Ray version of “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” complete with spectacular bonus features but that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon and this release certainly isn’t a “bad” one, just not the amazing one a fan might hope for.

The Oscar-winner for special effects, “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” tells the story of Charlie, Carrie, and Paul. The youngsters move to a small village during World War II and discover that their host, Miss Price (Angela Lansbury), is actually an apprentice witch. She may not be very good at it yet, but she does cast a spell on an ordinary bedknob that sends the children off to the animated isle of Naboombu to find a powerful spell that will save England.

With elements of “Mary Poppins” and “Peter Pan,” “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” certainly isn’t the most original Disney film you’ll have in your collection but there’s a joyful spirit to the film, buoyed by the always-great Lansbury, and the blend of animation and live-action is incredibly enjoyable. It’s a heartwarming adventure that the whole family can enjoy.

The main draw of the new DVD is a fully restored and remastered edition of the film, which undeniably looks great in 1.66:1 widescreen and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track.

Special features include an all-new featurette hosted by Jennifer Stone of “Wizards of Waverly Place” called “The Wizards of Special Effects,” “A Step in the Right Direction” Reconstruction, “Music Magic - The Sherman Brothers,” “David Tomlinson “Portobello Road” Recording Sessions,” and Theatrical Trailers.

‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition’ is released by Disney Home Video and stars Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall, Sam Jaffe, and John Ericson. It was written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi and directed by Robert Stevenson. It was released on September 8th, 2009. It is rated G.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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