During World War II, eccentric, self-styled witch Eglantine Price (Angela Lansbury) aims to use her newfound powers to ward off a Nazi incursion of England. But she’s saddled with a trio of refugee siblings from London who need her protection, too. To win them over, she pulls off an assortment of tricks and takes them on a fantastical adventure to the Isle of Naboombu. This live-action Disney classic won an Oscar for its visual effects.
Rating: 5 out of 10
When I was kid, I adored this movie. All the witchcraft, traveling around on a flying bed, talking animals, spells, fighting Nazis. It’s the kind of imagination Disney could never use today in fear of being chased down by far right-wing religious wackos claiming the film was satanic.
This film would also never fly with this generation’s children. It’s seldom I walk into a grocery store and see children with their eyes in other places than their parent’s ipod or hand-held video game. This film was ambitious, with a running time of 2 hours 19 minutes, and full of big musical numbers — dancing and singing galore. I couldn’t see children sitting through this movie because it drags a bit, which pulled the rating down.
In truth, I struggled a bit to watch this, too. Seeing this for the first time as an adult made me notice how slow the first reel is. It took a long time to get to the best parts of this film. It made me wonder, am I a hypocrite for being this curmudgeonly? Perhaps. But I did manage to sit through this without looking at an iphone.