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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Bedknobs and Broomsticks Special Edition

Bedknobs and Broomsticks comes to blu-ray for the very first time! Considered a classic in its own right, it is one of my favorites from childhood.

The story follows three children, Charlie, Carrie and Paul as they move to a small village during World War Two. Their host, Miss Price, turns out to be a witch in the making. Her early attempts at magic don't turn out as planned but her spell on a bedknob creates a flying machine. Everyone including con-artist Mr. Browne end up on the animated island of Naboombu in search of a medallion that will save England from the Germans' blitz on London.

Video Quality:

The 1080p/AVC-encoded remastered video is gorgeous! Colors are vibrant and skintones look natural! The animated sequences have been completely cleaned up and practically look brand new! Another high quality restoration from Disney!


Audio Quality:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is pretty solid. The dialogue is crisp and clear though you can hear some hiss here and there. The rear channels are fairly soft but the soundfield is pleasant.


Bonus Features:
  • Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers (SD, 21 minutes): By far one of the strangest oversights was to not include the 139-minute extended version of the film but to include this featurette discussing the cut that was on the DVD release of the movie in 2001.  
  • Deleted and Extended Songs (HD, 24 minutes): Four deleted songs included here are, "A Step in the Right Direction," "With a Flair" and "Nobody's Problems." Two extended songs included here are "Eglantine" and "Portobello Road."
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (HD, 10 minutes): "Captain Greer," "Ulterior Motives," "The First Supper," "Letter from Professor Browne," "Extortion," "Traveling Spell," "Substitutiary Locomotion" and "Matchmaker."
  • David Tomlinson Recording Session (SD, 1 minute): This recording session from 1970 features David Tomlinson singing the ending of "Portobello Road".
  • Disney Song Selection (HD, 21 minutes): Songs include here are "The Old Home Guard," "The Age of Not Believing," "Eglantine," "Portobello Road," "The Beautiful Briny" and "Substituiary Locomotion." 
  • The Wizards of Special Effects (SD, 8 minutes): Wizards of Waverly Place star Jennifer Stone compares special effects from Bedknobs and Broomsticks to those used in the Disney Channel series.
  • Theatrical Trailers (SD, 9 minutes): Four trailers are featured here.

Conclusion:

A charming Disney classic with a wonderful video and audio presentation with some great bonus features. The inclusion of the longer extended cut of the film would have been a great addition and made the Music Magic: The Sherman Brothers featurette make more sense. But Bedknobs and Broomsticks still deserves a place on your movie shelf.

*Disclaimer: A review copy was provided but the review is strictly my own.*


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