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Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)



Angela Lansbury

David Tomlinson

Ian Weighill

Cindy O’Callaghan

Roy Snart


Directed by Robert Stevenson


Whenever I think about Bedknobs and Broomsticks as a child I used to see it as Mary Poppins little brother movie, but were done by Disney and were just fantastic. Because David Tomlinson was in both, we had both movies and I loved them. The live-action and animation mix gave me fun memories of the dream to be free. The movies depict the freedom we crave as children to be able to travel through a picture to the other side and be part of the world you see. To have a magical bed that can take you to any part of the world or even out of this world to an island controlled by talking animals. These movies were my childhood, and I cannot recall how many times I saw these movies growing up.

Seeing this movie now still gives me the same joy as I had as a child, maybe no longer wishing to travel through paintings or owning a magical bed, but there is joy from the nostalgia.

The story is well crafted to create excitement and make you sing along. It is enticing and makes you sit with full concentration. And in the end, we defeat the NAZIs what else could be greater than that.

The film is loosely based upon two books by Mary Norton, The Magic Bedknob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons (1943) and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1947).

Our movie starts in the middle of World War II. Children had been evacuated from London and placed in homes. Miss Eglantine Price (Angela Lansbury) was given three children to care for, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul. During that time by law the children were given to people with homes who could care for them. She reluctantly accepts this task and takes them to her home. Miss Price has a secret which the children learned early when they settled in her home. Miss Price is an apprentice witch who has been taking lessons from a Prof. Emelius Brown (Tomlinson). Miss Price needs to master the art of magic so she can use it for a certain purpose. The children tried to blackmail her, but failed as Miss Price is not easily pushed around, but she agreed to give them a gift. She gave them magic Bedknob which when placed on the bed, can take you anywhere you want. So, after learning that Prof. Brown is no longer willing to help complete her class, she travels with the children to go see him, on the bed with the aid of the magic Bedknob. Soon we are taking on a magical ride which had Miss Price, Prof. Brown and the children trying to find the last spell for her class to be complete. Deal with animals on an island where the animal’s rule and try to make it back with the last spell to aid with her desire.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of the old classics which I feel everyone should own and watch every time you are done seeing Mary Poppins.


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