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Bedknobs And Broomsticks Special Edition [Blu-ray]
Special Edition, DVD & Digital Copy Included
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Let the enchantment begin! Disney's Academy Award(R)-winning classic, BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (Best Visual Effects, 1971), soars onto Blu-ray and Digital HD with an all-new digital master. Experience a dazzling blend of live action and wondrous animation from the producer, director and writer of MARY POPPINS, sure to delight the entire family. Disney legends Angela Lansbury (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) and David Tomlinson (MARY POPPINS) star in this beloved film about an apprentice witch who reluctantly takes in three orphan children. Though her first spells create more laughs than magic, Miss Price and the children soon find themselves swept away aboard a fantastic flying bed -- their ticket to fun-filled excitement and adventure. Take the ride of your life with BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS.|The film was made entirely on the Disney Studio lot in Burbank, California, where outdoor sets included the town of Pepperinge Eye and Miss Price's seaview cottage, and indoor sets included a three-block section of London's legendary Portobello Road.|Two hundred players jammed this set alone, which was filled with bric-a-brac and such oddments as a Sicilian sedan chair, Limoges china, and gas masks from World War II.|The ghostly medieval army's weapons and armor had originally been assembled in Spain for the film EL CID, and then were shipped to America to be used in the Warner Bros. musical CAMELOT
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To resolve confusion being caused by other reviewers: The feature on the Blu-ray disc runs one hour and fifty-seven minutes.
(Another reviewer appears to have incorrectly interpreted 1:57 as 157 minutes. It is actually 117 minutes.)
I assure everyone this is the shorter, original theatrical version, without the additional scenes that were included on previous DVD editions.
ALSO - The special features on the Blu-ray disc include a featurette entitled "Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers". This featurette is about all the scenes that were cut. The entire purpose of this featurette is to promote the restoration of these scenes back into the film and discuss the challenges encountered in the restoration process. Angela Lansbury and others speak at length about how lovely it is to be able to see the film again as originally intended. The people who worked on this project would have had to be idiots not to notice the disparity between the version of the movie promoted in the bonus materials (if anybody had actually watched them) and the actual version of the movie on the disc. Having worked for Disney Home Entertainment myself, this is not entirely surprising.
In my review earlier today, I wrote:
I am stunned at the botched job Disney has done with the Blu-ray release of this magical film. When it was released on DVD a few years ago, it included the restoration of addition musical sequences that had been cut for the original theatrical release. The running time was 139 minutes. Even the earlier laserdisc edition contained the 139 minute version of the film. I was looking very forward to upgrading to Blu-ray, expecting the film would look spectacular on Blu-ray. Sadly, Disney made the poor decision of releasing only the original 117 minute version of the feature on Blu-ray. It is over 20 minutes shorter than the version previously released on DVD and laserdisc. Much of the content that had been incorporated into the feature for the previous editions is included on the Blu-ray as Special Features, but not incorporated into the feature. Surely Disney has the creative and technical resources (as well as the marketing sense) to have included both versions of the feature on the Blu-ray disc. As it stands, I feel the Blu-ray is a major disappointment and a downgrade from the DVD, due to the failure to include the extended version of the film. What a disappointment!
That was 18 years ago, and that has been the version released on laserdisc and DVD for all these years. Now that it's being released on HD Download, streaming and finally on BluRay, one would expect that same version in a better transfer.
The high price for the digital download would suggest this is the longer restored version, but nooo... the HiDef digital download from Amazon is only the short cut version.
Sadly, infuriatinlgly, Disney has again given BluRay buyers the short end of the broomstick. The BluRay has only the short version, and the material restored 18 years ago is now chopped up into segmented supplements. The cut material is just as HiDef as the feature, so obviously a new transfer was done of the complete version, which means of course both versions could have been included (as with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) but someone at Disney has decided to shortchange the fans, as they did with MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL. For that reason, I am again refusing to reward them with my money.
The movie itself is delightful, a longtime favorite, but I'm not going to pay more money for a shorter feature than we've had for 18 years. My order for the digital version was cancelled and the BluRay has been returned for a refund. I'll hold out for the more complete version or a package that includes both the complete and cut versions.
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