Music! Magic! Nazis! It can only be the beloved Disney classic Bedknobs and Broomsticks, a delightfully fun and inventive film starring Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote) and David Tomlinson (Mary Poppins). Lansbury stars as Miss Price, a secret witch who takes in three orphans at the beginning of the Nazi invasion of England. When the kids discover her secret, excitement and whimsical happenings ensue.
Tomlinson sheds his stuffed-shirt image from Mary Poppins to play a haughty con-artist and witchcraft professor, Emelius Browne. Just like his character of Mr. Banks in Poppins, Tomlinson is a joy to watch as he matches wits with Lansbury, the kids, and host of other characters.
With the help of an enchanted flying bed, the five travel around to a whole host of locations that lead them down paths of extraordinary adventures. And you thought you had a lot of fun on your bed!
Many comparisons can be made between this film and Mary Poppins: The magical “nanny,” the curious kids, the unbelieving adults, jumping into pictures with animated characters, David Tomlinson’s moustache, and lots of effects work, songs, and dancing.
Also like Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has a solid story with entertaining songs and plenty of zany antics to keep everyone entertained. Do these similarities diminish the charm and magic of the film? Absolutely not. Instead, they enhance it and make it that much more worth the watch.
This particular version is an extended cut of the film; it’s 140 minutes long. When it was originally released, it had to be cut down to less than two hours. This is classic Disney filmmaking at its finest.
The special effects, for 1971, are first rate and there’s plenty of silly fun involved with flying, transforming, and disappearing throughout.
Chock full of magical special features, this “Enchanted Musical Edition” includes:
The Wizards of Special Effects
Hosted by Wizards of Waverly Place star Jennifer Stone, take a fascinating and insightful journey into the world of 1970s special effects. See how they made the bed appear to fly, how they created the illusion of cartoons and live-action interacting, and more!
Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers
A retrospective look at the amazing musical talent of the Sherman Brothers who also wrote the songs for Mary Poppins and The Tigger Movie.
“A Step in the Right Direction” Reconstruction
When the film was first released, the studio cut a half-hour of footage for time. Despite the restored version showcased here on the DVD, there was one song that was lost. Through storyboards and stills, see the song “A Step in the Right Direction” for the first time ever!
David Tomlinson – “Portobello Road” Recording Session
Watch vintage footage of David Tomlinson record this song for the film. It’s pretty cool that this still exists!
For maximum entertainment value, I highly recommend Bedknobs and Broomsticks. So hop on your bed, grab your broomstick, and get ready for some classic Disney fun!