Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
HIgh Production Value and Quality: Great
on March 26, 2012
A kind of weird coincidence about this release. I went looking to see if it was available yet and, seeing that it wasn't, contemplated ordering one of the old VHS releases. The one I taped off of Disney Channel back around 1985 has worn thin. About a week later I went back to place an order and discovered that Child of Glass was listed for pre-order. Weird. I actually saw this in the theater. It was made for TV, If I am not mistaken, but with the high production values it is easy to see why it would get a theatrical release. Great cast. Anthony Zerbe is a surly drunken bad guy. The kids are all cute and like-able and really grow on you. Most notable is Denise Nickerson whom most kids who grew up at the time will remember from Dark Shadows, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Electric Company and Zero to Sixty. I'm told that this film bears only a slight resemblance to the book it is based on, but I have also heard that some think the movie is better. Nina Foch plays one of her weirdo types. Barbara Barrie is charming as the mother. Biff McGuire is a stern but caring father. Very charming is Katy Kurtzman as the nerdy bespectacled Blossom Culp who is glued to the lead character Alexander (Steve Shaw) by a crush. She's a standout. Olivia Barash, best known for Repo Man and a lot of TV roles, (You've seen her on Little House a dozen times) is ghost of murdered French girl Inez Dumaine, who cannot find her final resting place until Alexander and Blossom have unraveled a poem Inez recites. There is a bit of a love triangle here and its the sort that seems sincere and realistic. As is common with Disney productions of the era (Witch Mountain, Black Hole) the animation dep[icting Inez glowing blue manifestation is top notch. Far beyond anything the usual TV movie would strive to. The musical score is lovely and familiar to fans of 70s Disney productions. There is a certain element of The Haunted Mansion ride in this tale. No connection really, just a similar feel. Appealing all around.
Though probably taken from a VHS release master or even more likely a "videodisk" master, the DVD quality is excellent. If you dont remember Videodisks were an early 80s format of metal LP's stored in a large flat plastic cassette. Roughly the same width as a vinyl Long Playing 33 album, and played by a stylus, the format was far superior to others of the time, such as VHS and Beta. If this was taken from a master disk of this format it is a likely explanation of the DVD's superior quality. Then again The 16mm print I saw in a theater in 1983 looked pretty damn good to. This was back when Disney meant quality instead of crap.