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Bedknobs And Broomsticks 50th Anniversary? (1 Viewer)

darkrock17

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Today Dec 13 is the 49th anniversary of my all time favorite live action Disney film.

Could next year we get a 50th anniversary edition, as Disney screwed up royally with the 2013 blu-ray debut by doing only the theatrical cut and the restored scenes being relegated as a special feature.

The 50th anniversary could also very well be Disney's last chance to ever do any interviews with the great Angela Lansbury, as beside the the three kids, she's all that's left of the cast.

Also this past week I came upon this that says that Bedknobs is going to be made into a musical in the UK next year, though who knows if that will happened cause of the pandemic though.

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Ronald Epstein

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This film was a favorite of mine.

And I was equally disturbed that the extended edition that appears on the DVD was missing from the Blu-ray.

Will Disney fix it? Not unless they are aware there is a demand for it, I would guess.

If there was the opportunity to get our voices heard on this, I would love to know how. I don't know that Disney even reads this forum.
 

darkrock17

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This film was a favorite of mine.

And I was equally disturbed that the extended edition that appears on the DVD was missing from the Blu-ray.

Will Disney fix it? Not unless they are aware there is a demand for it, I would guess.

If there was the opportunity to get our voices heard on this, I would love to know how. I don't know that Disney even reads this forum.

After 2009, Disney's Home Entertainment Dept. went downhill and has never been the same since.

With a potential new musical version coming next year, Disney could re-release it to coincide with the new stage version, but like you said; Disney is just going to ignore what fans want.
 

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It doesn’t seem like the people who now run Disney don’t care very much for the older films. Going forward, I’d be surprised if any pre-1970 films get upgrades. Some films like Darby O ‘Gill Johnny Tremain, and Shaggy Dig will probably never be released in Bluray.
 

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It will be on Disney+ but that's about it. I doubt we'll see a physical release. Stream away!
 

MatthewA

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Supposedly it already is there in the same semi-coherent 117-minute theatrical cut already on Blu-ray and any number of now-obsolete video formats. The studio didn't even stop there when they reissued it with more cuts at the end of the decade, and some countries got that version on video! They pulled the same stunt time and time again with every musical since Walt died.

And before that disc came out, it was in HD and uncut-ish on iTunes and Vudu, but Vudu reverted to the shorter cut after the BD release.

But now hope springs anew of a re-restoration since they found a better quality copy of the missing Muppet Christmas Carol song, and they let Kino Lorber release both cuts of Oliver Stone's Nixon (who was President when Bedknobs came out). But they don't want to let any third-party touch anything with any part of it made by Walt Disney Feature Animation. Criterion could do it justice but they will never get a chance to have it and even if they did, they'd likely have to take a bunch of other titles they don't want to get it.

Even so, to have the uncut version back and in a resolution of at least 1080p (would 4k be asking for the moon?) would be more likely than a 75th-anniversary disc of Song of the South, without which we might not even be having this discussion.

Meanwhile, here's an interview between Angela and Dick Cavett around the time of the film's release:

 

darkrock17

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Supposedly it already is there in the same semi-coherent 117-minute theatrical cut already on Blu-ray and any number of now-obsolete video formats. The studio didn't even stop there when they reissued it with more cuts at the end of the decade, and some countries got that version on video! They pulled the same stunt time and time again with every musical since Walt died.

And before that disc came out, it was in HD and uncut-ish on iTunes and Vudu, but Vudu reverted to the shorter cut after the BD release.

But now hope springs anew of a re-restoration since they found a better quality copy of the missing Muppet Christmas Carol song, and they let Kino Lorber release both cuts of Oliver Stone's Nixon (who was President when Bedknobs came out). But they don't want to let any third-party touch anything with any part of it made by Walt Disney Feature Animation. Criterion could do it justice but they will never get a chance to have it and even if they did, they'd likely have to take a bunch of other titles they don't want to get it.

Even so, to have the uncut version back and in a resolution of at least 1080p (would 4k be asking for the moon?) would be more likely than a 75th-anniversary disc of Song of the South, without which we might not even be having this discussion.

Meanwhile, here's an interview between Angela and Dick Cavett around the time of the film's release:



Up until 1996 and 2001, there was only the theatrical cut. it wasn't until The Disney Channel on August 9 1998 did a special night of showing the film restored and had a making of special also on their then Vault Disney nighttime block that I learned that anything was ever missing from the movie. Almost everything from that night went on to be apart of the 30th Golden Collection Anniversary Edition.



Bedknobs in 4K would look breathtaking, but unless it's Mary Poppins, it's not likely ever going to see another physical release. For almost 50 years now Bedknobs has had to live in Mary's shadow.

I saw that interview a few months ago when I was curious to see if there were any videos on YouTube of interviews done for the film's release.
 
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Nick*Z

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The theatrical only cut was a travesty. I remember seeing Bedknobs when it first came out theatrically, and didn't care all that much for it. But when I screened the 'extended' version, I suddenly found myself falling in love for the movie that always should have been, and narrowly, was, if only Radio City did not restrict their Christmas releases to a certain run time to conform to their live Christmas show with the Rockettes.

Disney's fatal decision, to simply snip and tuck and leave everything on the cutting room floor, rather than release another version of the movie to the market beyond Radio City, doomed the 'official' cut for decades to follow. We still don't have - and likely never will, 'A Step in the Right Direction' - that glorious song that ought to have preceded Eglantine's first flight by moonlight. But I was exceedingly grateful to have the extended Portabello Road sequence, as well as Nobody's Problems - a tour de force for Lansbury. Just incredible. Even more incredible, the Walt Disney Co. never saw fit to release this reassembled and restored cut to Blu-ray, just like they've never come around to reissuing the director's cut of Pretty Woman, which features some brief, but integral scenes that make that movie a much richer viewing experience.

Love Uncle Walt and his movies. Positively hate what's become of his company since his passing. It's like Disney Inc. is on another planet. No Song of the South, no Make Mine Music, or Melody Time. No Black Caldron, Happiest Millionaire, Darby O'Gill, That Darn Cat, Summer Magic, Shaggy Dog/Shaggy D.A., The Moonspinners, North Ave. Irregulars, Candleshoe, The Sword and the Rose, Condorman. Even when they get around to a Blu of one of their live-action classics like 20,000 Leagues or Pollyanna, they shore it of all the special features their previous DVD releases contained. Someone isn't thinking clearly at Disney Inc. because they have a gold mine of bankable product that really needs to be addressed.

Bedknobs is a 'big' catalog title, so perhaps cooler heads will prevail for its 50th. I won't hold my breath, but I'll pray someone is thinking about more than repackaging the mistakes from their past. We'll see!
 

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They've jerked around with every "other" Disney hybrid to one degree or another. Pete's Dragon has never even been released uncut on video and still has about 5 minutes unaccounted for. Unlike Song of the South, they still let out So Dear to My Heart but they downplay its existence as much as possible; its American DVD release got pushed back years and bumped down from Gold Collection to Disney Movie Club status. Even the megahit Who Framed Roger Rabbit has been denied a sequel because of legal wrangling that ended the production of shorts while the movie itself has been subtly bowdlerized from what was in theaters in 1988 (Baby Herman's middle finger, Jessica Rabbit's naughty bits, et al). The non-animated Sherman Brothers musicals also get downplayed similarly.

The fact that Bedknobs had been cut and that this had happened before and happened again subsequently had been mentioned in "The Disney Studio Story" by Richard Holliss and Brian Sibley, published in 1988 at the cusp of the Disney Animation "Renaissance." None of this explains why they would take it apart again after all the work it took to reconstruct the originally intended cut. They're lucky they still had the footage they had to work with; don't count on Disney coming any closer to restoring Cleopatra than Fox did before the buyout.
 

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They've jerked around with every "other" Disney hybrid to one degree or another. Pete's Dragon has never even been released uncut on video and still has about 5 minutes unaccounted for. Unlike Song of the South, they still let out So Dear to My Heart but they downplay its existence as much as possible; its American DVD release got pushed back years and bumped down from Gold Collection to Disney Movie Club status. Even the megahit Who Framed Roger Rabbit has been denied a sequel because of legal wrangling that ended the production of shorts while the movie itself has been subtly bowdlerized from what was in theaters in 1988 (Baby Herman's middle finger, Jessica Rabbit's naughty bits, et al). The non-animated Sherman Brothers musicals also get downplayed similarly.

The fact that Bedknobs had been cut and that this had happened before and happened again subsequently had been mentioned in "The Disney Studio Story" by Richard Holliss and Brian Sibley, published in 1988 at the cusp of the Disney Animation "Renaissance." None of this explains why they would take it apart again after all the work it took to reconstruct the originally intended cut. They're lucky they still had the footage they had to work with; don't count on Disney coming any closer to restoring Cleopatra than Fox did before the buyout.

Bedknobs was thankfully in the care of the right team in the 90's and throughout the 2000's. Many complain about Eisner and in tenure as CEO, but during his era, Disney films were treated with respect and were looked after and restored if possible as well. Shortly after 2009, new era began and it's been an ever decreasing spiral ever since.
 

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It should be the opposite with all the technology they have now they didn't have in the 1990s. Ironically, it's the hybrids that seem to have escaped the overt grain removal that plagues many animated features and hit the 1960s/1970s ones hard. It's like they tried to tone down the "scratchiness" of the line work but instead just made it look mushy and indistinct the same way they did with many of their more lavish predecessors.

But when I first saw this film on The Disney Channel, where the 2-hour cut was what they called "uncut" since that's all they had at the time and network TV got the ultra-shortened European cut that same year, it had only been 15 years since it was made. Robert Stevenson, the film's director, died around that same time.

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darkrock17

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It should be the opposite with all the technology they have now they didn't have in the 1990s. Ironically, it's the hybrids that seem to have escaped the overt grain removal that plagues many animated features and hit the 1960s/1970s ones hard. It's like they tried to tone down the "scratchiness" of the line work but instead just made it look mushy and indistinct the same way they did with many of their more lavish predecessors.

But when I first saw this film on The Disney Channel, where the 2-hour cut was what they called "uncut" since that's all they had at the time and network TV got the ultra-shortened European cut that same year, it had only been 15 years since it was made. Robert Stevenson, the film's director, died around that same time.

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Interesting that the film was uncut in 1986, but 10 years latter in 1996 that it's released on home entertainment. I have no idea how I missed the 25th anniversary edition on laserdisc, as I was in many video stores throughout the 90's and browsed through both VHS and laserdiscs, but never came across it.
 

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It wasn't. They just used that word because there was a shorter version created. That was just the most complete version available at the time. It gets even more confusing because The Happiest Millionaire actually got restored first, but that actually-uncut version was a Disney Channel exclusive until the Anchor Bay deal in the 1990s.

The now-defunct Disney News talked about it in their Summer 1987 issue around the time of the 50th anniversary reissue of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:

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darkrock17

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It wasn't. They just used that word because there was a shorter version created. It gets even more confusing because The Happiest Millionaire actually got restored first, but that actually-uncut version was a Disney Channel exclusive until the Anchor Bay deal in the 1990s.

Shorter than 117 minutes? what country got that?
 

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The US, for one thing. We got this 97-minute version in its only theatrical reissue in 1979. Most European countries, the UK, and IIRC Australia got this version on home video at first. The poster advertised a "new revised version."



I have no idea how long it was when it played Australian cinemas in 1983 along with Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, which most countries paired with The Sword in the Stone:

 
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MatthewA

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That's a 42-minute gap between the longest and shortest versions (yet still shorter than any Harry Potter movie). That amounts to a little over 30% of the movie they've played musical chairs with. The studio got so spooked by the disappointing box office returns of Millionaire that got worse after each round of cuts that it gave them a phobia of anything over two hours, so they took it out on this and The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, which lost Buddy Ebsen and Janet Blair solo songs and some of the character motivation of the book scenes.

My only concern was why they hired American voice actors when ADR was necessary to replace missing audio when the film's producers went out of their way to cast English actors (other than Sam Jaffe). Was that any worse than the sloppy redubbing of that one line in Aladdin? At least they didn't wait any longer than they did or they would have missed out on getting Roddy McDowall just as they narrowly missed getting Tessie O'Shea; she died in 1995 right when they were starting to work on it.
 
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darkrock17

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That's a 42-minute gap between the longest and shortest versions (yet still shorter than any Harry Potter movie). That amounts to a little over 30% of the movie they've played musical chairs with. The studio got so spooked by the disappointing box office returns of Millionaire that got worse after each round of cuts that it gave them a phobia of anything over two hours, so they took it out on this and The One and Only Genuine Original Family Band, which lost Buddy Ebsen and Janet Blair solo songs and some of the character motivation of the book scenes.

My only concern was why they hired American voice actors when ADR was necessary to replace missing audio when the film's producers went out of their way to cast English actors (other than Sam Jaffe). Was that any worse than the sloppy redubbing of that one line in Aladdin? At least they didn't wait any longer than they did or they would have missed out on getting Roddy McDowall just as they narrowly missed getting Tessie O'Shea; she died in 1995 right when they were starting to work on it.

42 minutes is a lot, thank god for The Disney Channel having the 117 cut when I first watched it in the early 90s.

I've seen the restored version enough times now, but I can't tell that anyone's dialogue is any different.
 

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It's the same thing they did to Fantasia, which was released in 1940 when Bedknobs was set. That at one point got cut below 90 minutes! Except that was when RKO still distributed Disney films.
 

darkrock17

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It's the same thing they did to Fantasia, which was released in 1940 when Bedknobs was set. That at one point got cut below 90 minutes! Except that was when RKO still distributed Disney films.

I've never seen Fantasia that wasn't 120 minutes. I thought Bedknobs was set in 1941 or 1942.
 

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