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Escape to Witch Mountain (Special Edition)

4.5 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A vehicle floats in midair ... a coat rack comes to life and attacks a sheriff ... and wild animals are putty in the hands of Tony and Tia Malone in Disney's thrilling fantasy adventure about the psychic powers of two young orphans. Their clairvoyance prompts evil millionaire Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland) to lure them to his mansion to exploit their powers. While escaping, they meet a friendly camper (Eddie Albert) and begin to unravel the mystery of their origin. Soon, all three are fleeing townspeople who have branded the children witches. But then IT happens! Someone with even greater powers takes over and leads the children -- and the audience -- into a dazzling and unexpected experience ... one that is truly out of this world!

The effects are low-tech and no longer special, but Escape to Witch Mountain still has plenty of Disney live-action charm. It's rather quaint by later standards, coming just two years before Star Wars upped the ante on movie magic, but the story's got timeless appeal as a precursor to Harry Potter's more lavish brand of kid-wizardry. Here you've got Tony (Ike Eisenmann) and sister Tia (Kim Richards), orphans unaware of their mysterious past, who are taken in by a nefarious liar (Ray Milland) seeking to exploit their supernatural powers. Populated by '70s stalwarts like Donald Pleasance and Eddie Albert (the later playing the kids' grown-up accomplice, unwittingly rescuing them from Milland), this lightweight Disney fare is perfect for kids under 10, with such enticements as a clever cat mascot named Winky (because he winks a lot), Tony's magical harmonica... and a Winnebago that flies! With a sci-fi climax, this popular hocus-pocus spawned a 1978 sequel (Return from Witch Mountain) that has proven similarly popular with kids. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Making The Escape
  • Classic Disney Cartoon - Plutos' Dream House
  • Lost Treasure: "Disney Effects, Something Special" Featurette
  • 1975 Disney Studio Album "Disney Sci-Fi"
  • Conversations with John Hough

Product Details

  • Actors: Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, Elvia Allman, Billy Bletcher, Walt Disney
  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, John Hough
  • Writers: Alexander Key, Robert M. Young
  • Producers: Walt Disney, Jerome Courtland, Ron Miller
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009YXAT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Escape to Witch Mountain (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Growing up as a child in the 1970's I remember watching THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY every Sunday evening at 7pm. I of course enjoyed the cartoons but also enjoyed the many live action Dinsey movies such as THE SHAGGY DOG, THE SHAGGY D.A., POLLYANNA, THE WHIZ KIDS movies and of course the WITCH MOUNTAIN movies. I remember looking forward to ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN and would make it a point to never miss this movie when it aired.

The story is about a brother and sister, Tony & Tia, who along with their alien family tried to migrate to Earth but crashed upon arriving. Tony and Tia then try to locate their family with the assistance of a widower while trying to avoid a rich villan who wants to use the kids Extra Sensory Powers (ESP) to further his greedy goals. As a child I actually found this movie to be very scary. I actually feared for Tony and Tia. Now as an adult it has lost the scary aspect. That comes with age I guess. It is still a good watch though.

I have wanted to purchase this film for years so my children could watch it. Now that they are pre-teens and begining to lose their childhood innocence I was finally able to purchase this new DVD. As I suspected they were reluctant to watch this movie and the sequel RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN. I finally got them to watch the films and they did enjoy the them but obviously it did not have the same effect on them as it did me. However younger children, especially those who have not been spoiled by CGI special effects will no doubt still enjoy the films. I tried to explain to my children that as a grade schooler I had a huge crush on Kim Richards (Tia). I got teased for that and of course when I teased my boy about his attraction to Hillary Duff that was a different matter. Go figure.
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By A Customer on September 17, 2003
Format: DVD
I like Escape To Witch Mountain better than any other Disney film. It's probably in the top 5 best kid-movies ever made for that matter. I'm now 36, but was 7 when I first saw it. I probably had a crush on Kim Richards back then but I clearly remember seeing the movie at the theater and loving it.
Looking at the dvd now.. the direction by John Hough is crisp and the effects, though not digital, have loads of SOUL, creativity and charm. When a car full of bad guys wrecks.. the fact that they show the 4 occupants safely getting out of the car is a nice touch (after all kids are watching this).. and that (and lots of other things in this movie) speak to the innocence that still actually existed for those of us lucky to be kids in the 1970s... there was still a common-respect in large parts of society.. kids could be kids .. and all the in-your-face junk that permeates much of the world of kids today was years away...
Back on the subject at hand...I watched the DVD (which is nicely loaded with extras) and was surprised by a couple of moments in the film that clearly ...we'll say INFLUENCED.. a certain Mr. Spielberg years later. One involves a menacing object being shown in a rear-view mirror (like Jurassic Park!). The 2nd is when the Winnebago eludes its chasers (I won't say exactly how!).... looking rather similar (shot for shot!) to a scene in E.T. involving a chase and bicycles. (This film is HUGELY suprior to E.T. by the way!)
But I don't want to get too bogged down in how other movies clearly ripped this great one off!
This film is amazing with it's memorable musical score, acting by Albert and the kids, mystery-unfolding storyline and warm, nicely-done conclusion. The open credit sequence is really good too. Perhaps most of all... it has something that gobs of movies today certainly DO NOT - a great story.
I plan to show it to my 5 year old neice this weekend!
Enjoy it!
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Format: DVD
To coincide with the new Witch Mountain film being released to theaters, Disney is re-releasing "Escape to Witch Mountain" (1975) as a special edition loaded with well-done extras.

The story is about Tony (Ike Eisenmann) and his younger sister, Tia (Kim Richards), two orphans who have recently lost their foster parents as well. While getting used to their new home, an orphanage (run by Disney favorite Reta Shaw), the children draw the attention of an attorney, Lucas Deranian (Donald Pleasence), whose life is saved because of the children's esp powers. Deranian's boss, Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland) is an evil (and wealthy man) fascinated with paranormal powers. He pretends to be the children's uncle so that he can take custody of them and use them for his own gain. Meanwhile, Tia's star case (a metal purse) reveals a map to Witch Mountain, providing clues to their origins. Once Tony & Tia discover Bolt's plot to exploit them, they escape his mansion and with the help of a crusty (only on the outside!) widower, Jason O'Day (Eddie Albert), they try to find their way home to Witch Mountain. Bolt and the greedy townspeople (hungry for Bolt's financial reward) chase after the children. Will they make it home?

Sure, the special effects will not be quite as dazzling to current generations used to digital, but the story and its universal themes more than make up for the film's 1970's appearance. What child couldn't relate to having a hard time fitting in with others, feeling lost and just wanting to find the comfort and warmth of home? Richards and Eisenmann have excellent chemistry, and are ably supported by veteran actors Ray Milland, Eddie Albert, and Donald Pleasance (who is extremely menacing in his understated performance).
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