Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

As a child, one of the few programs we were allowed to watch on a regular basis was the Wonderful World of Disney. We all had our favorite programs.

Bedknobs and Broomsticks Enchanted Musical Edition has continued to be one of my favorites. It has held its appeal over time.

This musical story follows a brother and sister evacuated from London during World War II. They arrive at the home of a woman unprepared for children. They discover her secret. She is taking a correspondence course to become a witch in an effort to help the war effort. The boy blackmails Miss Price into giving him a magical bedknob in return for keeping her secret. As a child, I remember this being one of my first introductions to the idea of children being evacuated from London for their safety. It generated a long interest in learning more about this time period.

She takes the children on to London, traveling by magical bed, when her final lesson does not arrive and the teacher is amazed to discover someone has made found some value in his work. She discovers his fraud, but uses his knowledge of London to help her find the material she needs to find the material she needs.

The story takes the viewer to a magical undersea world and a standoff between knight's armor and invading German troops.

The story is one of Disney's early attempts at live action and animation. It followed Mary Poppins (45th Anniversary Special Edition). Many complained it was a poor imitation. However, I liked both for very different reasons.

I rarely like the movie version better than the book. However, in this instance I did not like the original Bed-Knob and Broomstick (A Combined Edition of: "The Magic Bed-Knob" and "Bonfires and Broomsticks") as much as the script Disney wrote. I was excited to read the book when I was taking a children's literature class. Like many movies, there is little resemblance between the book and movie. The character names remain, but if one did not know, they were related by title and the detail of the knob it would be hard to recognize they were the same story.

I read several reviews from people that love Mary Norton. I I found Mary Norton's The Borrowers series to be a tight written enjoyable series. I did not enjoy the movie. The attempt to splice her Bedknobs stories did not appeal to me.

For parents who would like some variety looking up some of the old Disney DVD dramas and musicals can be a great option. Many libraries have copies of them to preview before purchasing.

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