Having seemingly reached a lull in its neverending reissue cycle, Disney has been scouring the vaults for “classics” of dubious distinction this year, including Pete’s Dragon, a barrage of Pooh films, and now Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the light ‘n’ fluffy 1971 release that put Angela Lansbury on a flying bed, is getting its latest reintroduction to the marketplace.
This latest iteration, which follows 25th and 30th anniversary reissues, is dubbed the “Enchanted Musical Edition,” and packs some new bonus content onto the expanded 25th-anniversary print, which added 20 minutes to the film itself. New buyers will now get a featurette entitled “The Wizards of Special Effects,” hosted by Jennifer Stone, an actress who just so happens to be one of the stars of the Disney Channel’s very popular Wizards of Waverly Place series. (Synergy!) You’ll also get a number of small features that look at the music of the film, footage from a recording session, and a deleted song, as well as theatrical trailers. The whole kit and caboodle retails for $30, but you can get it at Amazon for $17.99, which is a decent price for the package. Continue reading →
If you’re like me and you wind up watching the same television programs as your children, then you know that most programming falls into two categories: Shows aimed at kids but filled with some adult (but not naughty) humor to elicit laughs from moms and dads, and shows that make you want to crawl away from the television to make the pain go away. Two examples of these categories are the latest Disney Channel hits, Phineas and Ferb and Wizards of Waverly Place. Both series have new DVD collections that put together several episodes from their respective shows.
Phineas and Ferb is a delightful animated series about two genius brothers who are always coming up with outrageous ideas (a circus in the backyard, a portal to Mars, you know, stuff that only works in cartoons) that rile their older sister, Candice. Each 11-minute episode is rife with vivid colors, snappy dialogue, and there is generally a musical number. Additionally there is always a subplot involving the boys’ pet platypus, Perry, who is a secret agent assigned in foiling the plots of a mad scientist named Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. Phineas and Ferb is innocent and goofy stuff made by artists who seem to enjoy doing their job. On DVD the artwork of the show is much crisper and the sound is much better, plus you won’t have those annoying pop-ups that happen randomly throughout the show announcing what is coming up next on the Disney Channel.
This DVD collection, The Daze of Summer, contains ten 11-minute episodes, including the two-part story “Unfair Science/Unfair Science Redux,” about a science fair in which the boys build a portal to Mars and Candice get transported to the red planet and becomes queen for a day. This episode in particular is very clever in that part one tells a complete story, then part two tells the same story from a different point of view. My kids especially like “It’s A Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World.” In it, Phineas and Ferb build a monster truck speedway to help Candice to learn of to drive. Phineas and Ferb is the kind of hit show that deserves its success and as a parent; you’ll probably find yourself laughing at things your kids don’t understand, which is a good thing. Continue reading →