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Bedknobs Broomsticks (VHS, 1997 - Disney)

Bedknobs Broomsticks (VHS, 1997 - Disney)

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a 1971 American live-action animated musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Bill Walsh for Walt Disney Productions. It is loosely based upon the books The Magic Bedknob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons (1944) and Bonfires and Broomsticks (1947) by English children's author Mary Norton. Combining live action and animation, the film stars Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson, John Ericson, and introducing Ian Weighill, Cindy O'Callaghan, and Roy Snart.

During the early 1960s, Bedknobs and Broomsticks entered development when the negotiations for the film rights to Mary Poppins (1964) were placed on hold. When the rights were acquired, the film was shelved repeatedly due to the similarities with Mary Poppins until it was revived in 1969. Originally at a length of 139 minutes, Bedknobs and Broomsticks was edited down to just under two hours prior to its premiere at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. As with Mary Poppins, the Sherman Brothers composed the film's songs.

The film was released on October 7, 1971, to mixed reviews from film critics, some of whom praised the live-action/animated sequence. The film received five Academy Awards nominations winning one for Best Special Visual Effects. This was the last film released prior to the death of Walt Disney's surviving brother, Roy O. Disney, who died two months later. It is also the last theatrical film Reginald Owen appeared in before his death the next year in 1972; his last two acting credits were for television.

In 1996, the film was restored with most of the deleted material re-inserted back into the film. A stage musical adaptation has been produced. The musical had its world premiere at the Theatre Royal, in Newcastle upon Tyne, on 14 August 2021 before embarking on a UK and Ireland tour, until May 2022.

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