Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009
Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition - Disney [$29.99]
cover art

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Enchanted Musical Edition

Director: Robert Stevenson
Cast: Angela Landsbury, David Tomlinson, Roddy McDowall, Cindy O'Callaghan, Roy Snart, Ian Weighill

(Walt Disney Studios; US DVD: 8 Sep 2009; UK DVD: 8 Sep 2009)

A funny thing happened to Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks on the way to its 1971 general theatrical release. Clocking in at over two hours and thirty minutes, the roadshow version of the title (offered for special engagements) was considered too long. Company executives, concerned that the film’s target audience - children - would find some of the slower, more somber material boring, demanded it be cut. So out went three songs, an extended dance sequence, and a few minor subplots. As a result, the film many of us grew up with (and loved) is not the work director Robert Stevenson intended. The man behind Mary Poppins, as well as many other House of Mouse classics, saw his vision undermined for the sake of business concerns.


Thankfully, DVD reintroduced the original cut - or as close to it as possible - in 2001 (it had turned up on laserdisc in 1997). As part of a 30th Anniversary package, Disney included as much of the found footage as possible, though the sequence “A Step in the Right Direction” remained lost. Fans quibbled a bit, unhappy with the dubbing of some sequences, noting that some of the replacement voices did not match the original actors very well. But overall, they were ecstatic to see the film restored. Now, eight years later, Disney is releasing what they call an “enchanted musical edition” of the film, boasting a new “Wizards of Special Effects” featurette. However, aside from this minor bit of added content, nothing else is new. It doesn’t mean the movie’s not worth your attention. It’s a gem and one of Disney all time greats.


Related Articles
15 Dec 2013
The gender politics in Mary Poppins are regressive, surely, but they’re also a product of their time and can easily fly under the radar, especially for young viewers.
30 Mar 2006
In his shaggy-dog form, Wilby can spy on the spies without them becoming any the wiser. In this homage to Cold War vigilance, the movie consummates its break with the more traditional '50s transformation movies.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.