With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, a family of Parisian felines set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and leaves them in the country.
During WWII in England, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul Rawlins are sent to live with Eglantine Price, who it turns out is an apprentice witch. Charlie blackmails Miss Price that if he is to keep her practices a secret, she must give him something, so she takes a bed knob from her late father's bed and places the "famous magic traveling spell" on it, and only Paul can activate it. Their first journey is to a street in London where they meet Emelius Browne, former headmaster of Miss Price's witchcraft training correspondence school. Miss Price tells him of a plan to find the magic words for a spell known as Substitutiary Locomotion, which brings inanimate objects to life. This spell will be her work for the war effort.Written by
Matthew Anscher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
King Leonidas is referred to on-screen by name, by is only credited as "Lion." See more »
In some versions of the film shown on TV in the UK, a scene was cut between the main characters return from the animated island and the first use of the substitutiary locomotion spell, which shows the medallion they stole from the King disappearing, and then them realizing they could still get the complete spell from the young boy's comic book, in which a picture of the medallion is printed. This cut makes it appear as though they still have the medallion, and were able to get the complete spell from it. See more »
It is unfortunate that this film receives such little comment, as compared to "Mary Poppins", for the simple fact that most people DO compare it to "Mary Poppins" amd really, it stands alone.
The story is quite original and well done. The actors are all wonderful, and Angela Lansbury, to me, will always be Miss Price. David Tomlinson is also wonderful as Professor Browne. The children are also great, with the standout being the youngest one, Paul. He has so many funny moments in this movie.
Again, the Sherman Brothers lend their creative song-writing talents to this film with excellent results. "The Age of Not Believing" is wonderful, as is "Eglantine", "The Beautiful Briny" and the superb "Portobello Road" number. The animation scenes are also great and imaginative.
This is certainly an enjoyable film on many counts, and should be remembered just as so many of the other Disney classics. It should also be seen in the recently restored version, which runs over two hours. The story is more fluent in that version, and the songs are intact, for the most part. A great movie.
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