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BVHE Press Release: Escape to Witch Mountain/Return To Witch Mountain


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#1 of 11 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 02 2009 - 05:25 AM

THE CLASSIC WITCH MOUNTAIN SAGA COMES TO DVD

“Escape to Witch Mountain”
and
“Return to Witch Mountain,”
The beloved original films that inspired Disney’s new feature
“Race to Witch Mountain,”
Available on DVD March 10, 2009

BURBANK, CA, February 24, 2009 — As the story of Witch Mountain returns to movie theaters this year with the release of “Race to Witch Mountain,” the original films that launched the Witch Mountain saga, Escape to Witch Mountain and Return to Witch Mountain, are returning to DVD in special new editions from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Laying the groundwork for the new film starring Dwayne Johnson, the two family favorites first put the magical world of Witch Mountain onscreen, and featured such classic stars as two-time Academy Award® winner Bette Davis (All About Eve, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) , Academy Award® winner Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend, Dial M For Murder), Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), Academy Award® nominee Eddie Albert (Roman Holiday, TV’s “Green Acres”) and Donald Pleasance (You Only Live Twice, The Diary of Anne Frank.)

Long before Harry Potter and the Narnia movies, the Witch Mountain films created a world in which children learned to use their magical powers. In Escape to Witch Mountain, first released in 1975, orphaned siblings Tony and Tia Malone (Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards) discover their paranormal powers and learn the truth about their origin; reviewing the film, Roger Ebert wrote, “something is happening all of the time, and most of the time it’s scary but funny, too.” In the 1978 sequel, Return to Witch Mountain, the Malone children recruit a band of juvenile delinquents to help them battle a pair of criminal masterminds played by Bette Davis and Christopher Lee, who Daily Variety called “one of the best Disney villains in years.” Both Eisenmann and Richards make cameos in the new “Race to Witch Mountain,” a modern re-imagining of the original Witch Mountain story featuring Dwayne Johnson, AnnaSophia Robb, Carla Gugino, and Alexander Ludwig.

The new Walt Disney Family Classics DVD editions both contain extensive bonus features, including all new Pop-Up Fun Facts, filmmaker commentaries, and more. They will be available in stores on March 10, three days before the theatrical release of “Race to Witch Mountain.”


Escape to Witch Mountain Synopsis
An evil millionaire (Ray Milland) lures Tony and Tia Malone (Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards) to his mansion in order to exploit their paranormal abilities for his own greedy purposes. Escaping their would-be captor with the help of a vacationing widower (Eddie Albert), the siblings discover puzzling clues about their origins that eventually lead them on a thrilling journey home to far away Witch Mountain. Adapted from the book by Alexander Key, the movie brims with timeless appeal and amazing acts of wizardry that will delight young and old alike. Starring Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, Donald Pleasence, Kim Richards, Ike Eisenmann and a flying RV!

STREET DATE: March 10, 2009
Suggested retail price: $19.99 US; $24.99 Canada
Rated: G
Run time: Approximately 97 minutes
DVD aspect ratio: 1.75:1
DVD Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Language: English and French audio and English, French and Spanish subtitles

Return to Witch Mountain Synopsis
Bette Davis, Christopher Lee, Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann star in a sequel every bit as exhilarating and fun as its inspiration. Adapted from Alexander Key’s book Escape to Witch Mountain, this Disney Family Classics’ DVD presentation is perfectly timed to coincide with the March 13 theatrical debut of the new Race to Witch Mountain, starring Dwayne Johnson. Return from Witch Mountain – Special Edition is packed with fun and intriguing bonus features, including all new Pop-Up Fun Facts, filmmaker commentary and much more.

STREET DATE: March 10, 2009
Suggested retail price: $19.99 US; $24.99 Canada
Rated: G
Run time: Approximately 94 minutes
DVD aspect ratio: 1.75:1
DVD Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Language: English, French and Spanish audio and subtitles

"Academy Award®" and "Oscar®" are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 11 Stephen_J_H

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Posted March 02 2009 - 10:30 AM

Wonder if this will include movie cash. I remember seeing Return in theatres, but have never been able to see all of Escape. I read the books as a kid, and they were pleasant enough diversions. If the price is right, I may pick this up, since I'm not anticipating a BD release anytime soon.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#3 of 11 TonyD

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Posted March 02 2009 - 02:44 PM

"THE CLASSIC WITCH MOUNTAIN SAGA COMES TO DVD'

should;t that say AGAIN.

this is the third release right.
Are there any differences
facebook.com/whotony

#4 of 11 Scamp

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Posted March 03 2009 - 04:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyD
"THE CLASSIC WITCH MOUNTAIN SAGA COMES TO DVD'

should;t that say AGAIN.

this is the third release right.
Are there any differences

That's what I'd like to know as well. As memory serves me, you are correct in this being the 3rd release of these films on dvd. The 1st time they were released separately on their own discs with a decent selection of bonus features. The 2nd time it was a single disc without any bonus features and just the two films. So, is this just a re-release of the original dvd releases? Or are there new bonus features? And if there are, are all the bonus features from the previous original release there as well?

#5 of 11 Bill Parisho

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Posted March 05 2009 - 01:42 PM

Good job Scamp! I also would like to know if all of the previous bonus features are included along with any new ones. I paid $10 each for the earlier special editions. I'm not thrilled about shelling out $20 to $25 for the same old stuff.

#6 of 11 Bill Thomann

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Posted March 09 2009 - 06:08 AM

I've read that the new SE's do contain moviecash. I'll be sticking with my original SEs which are loaded with features. Only thing I'll miss is the 2 Disney Movie Rewards codes that I could use to just about put me over the top in points for a very nice prize redemption. Not worth a double dip though.

#7 of 11 Jon Martin

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Posted March 09 2009 - 12:45 PM

I couldn't find my copies of the special editions when I reviewed the new release, but the new DVDs, I believe, contain most, if not all, of the features of the previous release. It has the commentary and documentary, with a few featurettes.

The only new feature is a "pop up fun fact" feature.

As far as Movie Cash, they have a sticker on the cardboard case with an address of a website, with a code, where you can print out a coupon for a ticket.

#8 of 11 SilverWook

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Posted March 13 2009 - 04:54 PM

It would have been nice if Disney had included the third movie that was made for tv in 1982. (Was it a failed pilot?) They brought Eddie Albert back for that one, but the kids were recast.

#9 of 11 Stephen_J_H

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Posted March 14 2009 - 05:22 AM

It was a failed pilot. See here: Beyond Witch Mountain (1982) (TV)
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert

#10 of 11 Jon Martin

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Posted March 14 2009 - 10:16 AM

There was also a 1995 version of ESCAPE, that was made for TV.

#11 of 11 Stephen_J_H

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Posted March 15 2009 - 03:22 PM

Yes, with Robert Vaughn as Aristotle Bolt, this time renamed Edward. The kids were uninteresting ciphers, though.
"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert