Escape to Witch Mountain / Return From Witch Mountain
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In "Escape To Witch Mountain" (1975), Tia and Tony Malone are two psychic, orphaned aliens on the run from a evil capitalist (Ray Milland) who wishes to use their powers for gain. This particular film is a nice departure from the usual 70s Disney fare in that it treats its sci-fi subject matter rather seriously, not devolving into camp as was the usual recipe for films of the era. Eddie Albert has a nice turn as a bitter widower who befriends the children, as the three of them go on the run; almost like a kids' version of "The Fugitive." The chase scenes are endless but suspenseful and mostly engaging. The special effects are few and generally revolve around objects being levitated. Look for a hands-free marionette show that could have given Maria VonTrapp and that lonely goatherd a run for their money. The film was shot in 1975, but there is very little in the picture to date it, besides some rather clumsy process shots at the film's finale of a UFO and a flying Winnebago. The UFO was cheesy even for its day. However, the film was very successful among children of the time because of the relatable characterizations of the two leads and the believability factor that Disney provided.
The same cannot be said for the 1978 sequel, "Return From Witch Mountain." Quite unlike its predecessor, this film is all about camp. HIGH camp.Read more ›
The second movie, "Return to Witch Mountain" is weaker than the first, but still worth the watch. Tia and Tony are much older in this one, but much more comfortable in their own skin because they know who they are and where they came from. Tony is kidnapped and brainwashed/controlled by a ruthless scientist who commands him to use his power while Tia gets the help from a local street gang full of delinquents to save him.
The movies are loosely based on a novel by Alexander Key which is also titled "Escape to Witch Mountain." I recently found out that he also wrote "Return to Witch Mountain" but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.
The first novel is worth the read but VERY different from the movies. For example, Tia is mute and does not speak. She communicates with Tony telepathically. They are also older in the book than they are in the movie. The orphanage that they go to at the beginning of the movie is more so for juvenile delinquents in the book and filled with bullies and a pretty mean caretaker. If you liked these movies, I recommend checking Ebay for the books!
I'd give "Escape to Witch Mountain" 5 stars and "Return to Witch Mountain" 4. They are both classics!
Seriously, I saw these movies for the first time several years ago, after seeing the Direct-to-TV Disney remake, which made me want to see the originals. They are very different. About all they really have in common is the title, and kids with strange powers.
The classics are usually considered the better though, and these kids turn in great performances in both movies.
In "Escape to Witch Mountain", Tony and Tia Malone are placed in an orphanage, not really knowing where they came from. Tia carries a strange box with her that has two stars on it. From the beginning, it's apparent that they are not your garden variety kids, as they manifest unusual abilities which either unnerve or thrill those around them. On a field trip, Tia saves a man (Donald Pleasance of "Halloween" fame) from getting into his limousine, moments before it is totaled by an out-of-control vehicle. Pleasance relays this to his employer, a greedy millionaire who adopts Tony and Tia, with plans to exploit their powers. When they discover his plans, the kids flee, stowing away in the RV of a grouchy Eddie Albert (best known for the TV series "Green Acres"), who eventually gives into their charm and helps them find their way to a place called Witch Mountain. Throughout the movie, Tony and Tia's early memories come back to them and they realize the reason they have these powers is because they are from another planet, and the last survivors of their homeworld have settled on Earth. But with the millionaire on their tails, can they find their way back to their own kind? I won't tell you the ending. See it for yourself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this story. One of our favorites. Arrived timely and in good condition.Published 18 days ago by Dorothy J.
one of the darker Disney movies with its sequel, this is really a great story.
it's great to have both in one set. Read more
Love this movie thank you great product and great condition and very fast shippingPublished 11 months ago by Melissa Solano