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JLFM's Movie Reviews (152)

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks 
Way Too Long, Way Too Dull
2/4 stars

Bedknobs And Broomsticks is rather obscure when compared to Disney's other films. This isn't a bad thing, though, considering most of Disney's other films are far superior to this overlong production. Lacking any excitement, or even laugh-worthy humor, Bedknobs And Broomsticks has little appeal to those over the age of 10, and even the youngest will likely be bored by the constant chatter and uninventive musical numbers.

Three children named Carrie, Charlie and Paul are temporarily adopted by Eglantine Price, whom they discover to be a witch. Ms. Prince gives the children a traveling spell, in exchange for keeping her secret, which allows their bed to teleport to any given location. The four also snag Emelius Browne- Ms. Price's witch teacher- into the adventure as well.

As one would expect, there are countless plot holes and silly things that are overlooked by the characters, but this is the least of the film's problems.

Bedknobs And Broomsticks runs for a taxing two and a half hours. Had Bedknobs And Broomsticks been truly entertaining, this would not be a problem. Another Disney musical, Mary Poppins has a run time around the same length, and is loved and adored by all ages. Needless to say, Bedknobs And Broomsticks is no Mary Poppins. The content of this dull musical, does not justify the relentlessly long length.

The number of songs in the film are not nearly as high as that of Mary Poppins, but they are far less inventive. Despite being penned by the Sherman brothers, the same duo that wrote the songs in Mary Poppins, each and every number is dull to limit. Occasionally, dancing takes place during these numbers, though the choreography is poor and uninspired. What's strange is that the beat of the music, often does not meet the beat of the dancing, which seems truly lazy.

The score, also by the Sherman brothers isn't too shabby, and the bed traveling theme is relatively strong, but the score often sounds too similar to the Mary Poppins score (especially in the earlier segments). Also, if you hate bagpipes, you will definitely want to avoid this, as the aforementioned instruments make more than one appearance.

Bedknobs And Broomsticks is specifically known for the Land of Naboombu, which is completely animated. It's always a marvel to see live-acted characters interact with animated ones. Alas, despite being showcased as the main attraction in Bedknobs And Broomsticks, the Land of Naboombu occupies a measly 30 minutes of the extensive run time. Talk about misleading!

Special effects often look dated, and the strings that are used to suspend objects in midair are clearly visible most of the time. There are some decent effects though, make no mistake about it. But not all of the effects are as polished as others.

The children are poorly acted, and most other actors fall into the unspectacular area. Only Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson stand out.

Bedknobs And Broomsticks is wholly unspectacular. It lacks the humor and excitement it needed to translate into the fun adventure it fails to be. Add that with the overlong run time and the dull musical numbers, and you get a animated musical that is unlikely to leave anyone coming back for more.


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