Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Escape to Witch Mountain / Return From Witch Mountain|
Actors: Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, Bette Davis, Christopher Lee, Donald Pleasence
Director: John Hough
Genres: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Escape To Witch Mountain - 2 movie Collection Release - DVD- A vehicle floats in midair ... a coat rack comes to life and attacks a sheriff ... and wild animals are putty in the hands of Tony and Tia Malone in Disney's thr... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Member Movie Reviews
Rex T. from OSCEOLA, MO
Reviewed on 8/11/2011...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michelle S. from KEIZER, OR
Reviewed on 1/14/2010...
great family movie.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Escaped From The Disney Vaults Again
Owlzindabarn | Camarillo, CA United States | 10/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a one-disc cheapie version of the two "Witch Mountain" films. This is an economical alternative to the separate 2003 releases of these films, however, this release is lacking all of the wonderful extras and audio commentaries. This edition would make a great gift for casual fans who simply want to see the movies. And if you've not seen them before, here are my comments:
In "Escape To Witch Mountain" (1975), Tia and Tony Malone are two psychic, orphaned aliens on the run from a evil capitalist (Ray Milland) who wishes to use their powers for gain. This particular film is a nice departure from the usual 70s Disney fare in that it treats its sci-fi subject matter rather seriously, not devolving into camp as was the usual recipe for films of the era. Eddie Albert has a nice turn as a bitter widower who befriends the children, as the three of them go on the run; almost like a kids' version of "The Fugitive." The chase scenes are endless but suspenseful and mostly engaging. The special effects are few and generally revolve around objects being levitated. Look for a hands-free marionette show that could have given Maria VonTrapp and that lonely goatherd a run for their money. The film was shot in 1975, but there is very little in the picture to date it, besides some rather clumsy process shots at the film's finale of a UFO and a flying Winnebago. The UFO was cheesy even for its day. However, the film was very successful among children of the time because of the relatable characterizations of the two leads and the believability factor that Disney provided.
The same cannot be said for the 1978 sequel, "Return From Witch Mountain." Quite unlike its predecessor, this film is all about camp. HIGH camp. Whereas the first film was a bit coy about the use of the kids' powers, this one exploits those powers for all they're worth. People fly through the air. Cars fly, crash, and magically are put back together. Goats go for taxicab rides. The film is far less believable, but still a lot of fun. You know you're in for a camp-fest when the villains turn out to be none other than Christopher Lee and Bette Davis! The plot this time concerns the two aliens taking a little vacation in sunny Los Angeles. Christopher Lee, playing a character named Victor (what else?) uses a mind control device to seize Tony's little alien brain and it isn't long before cars fly through the air, gold bricks disappear from a museum, and a plutonium processing plant is under psychic siege. Tia runs for help from a would-be preteen street gang, and Jack Soo, playing a truant officer in a nice supporting part. The "gang" is strictly a Disney version of a gang, with names like "Muscles" and "Dazzler." The Los Angeles they inhabit looks more like Dresden after World War II, but it's just a short trip from the Rose Bowl and Victor's castle, yes I said castle, somewhere in the heart of L.A. where he's got Tony strapped up to enough dated 50s lab equipment to bring Frankenstein back again. The UFO shots in this film are, if possible, even worse than in the first film. Some of them even look like they were stock footage from "Escape." These shots nearly killed the picture, seeing as how it was released after "Star Wars." Bette Davis is a star soprano of camp, hitting the high notes in her role as a aging socialite who finances Victor's evil experiments. She's at her woozy boozy best, barking out commands at the top of her lungs and abusing all in sight. All in all, these movies are two very different movie experiences. The difference in tone in the second movie may be jarring for some fans; they'll just have to turn up the volume on their Suspension of Disbelief--in order for it to be heard over Bette Davis."
Witch Mountain - Classic Disney
The Writer | of the Great U.S.A.! | 09/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm glad to see these movies released on DVD together. For those of us whose storage space is at a premium, it solves a couple problems. :)
Seriously, I saw these movies for the first time several years ago, after seeing the Direct-to-TV Disney remake, which made me want to see the originals. They are very different. About all they really have in common is the title, and kids with strange powers.
The classics are usually considered the better though, and these kids turn in great performances in both movies.
In "Escape to Witch Mountain", Tony and Tia Malone are placed in an orphanage, not really knowing where they came from. Tia carries a strange box with her that has two stars on it. From the beginning, it's apparent that they are not your garden variety kids, as they manifest unusual abilities which either unnerve or thrill those around them. On a field trip, Tia saves a man (Donald Pleasance of "Halloween" fame) from getting into his limousine, moments before it is totaled by an out-of-control vehicle. Pleasance relays this to his employer, a greedy millionaire who adopts Tony and Tia, with plans to exploit their powers. When they discover his plans, the kids flee, stowing away in the RV of a grouchy Eddie Albert (best known for the TV series "Green Acres"), who eventually gives into their charm and helps them find their way to a place called Witch Mountain. Throughout the movie, Tony and Tia's early memories come back to them and they realize the reason they have these powers is because they are from another planet, and the last survivors of their homeworld have settled on Earth. But with the millionaire on their tails, can they find their way back to their own kind? I won't tell you the ending. See it for yourself. :)
In "Return from Witch Mountain", it is evident how much time passed between the two movies. Tony is a young teenager, and Tia is now becoming a young woman. They return from their isolated community on Witch Mountain for something of a vacation among the people of Earth. But when a rich criminal woman and her equally greedy scientist henchman observe Tony using his powers, they kidnap him. Thanks to the scientist (Christopher Lee of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings), they put a mind control device on Tony, making him their slave. They begin exploiting his powers to pull off dangerous criminal heists, which raises the police's attention. Meanwhile, Tia is abandoned in the streets and makes the friendship of a gang of tough, but kind, street kids, who eventually rise to her assistance as they attempt to rescue Tony from the control of the bad guys! Again, no ending from me! See it yourself. :)
In some ways though, I liked the 1995 remake better, since it had more people I was familiar with, and the remake left me with a kind of warm fuzzy feeling which the originals didn't quite manage to do. But Disney still hasn't released the remake on DVD, and it's been years since I've seen it listed in the TV guide.
Disney's quality has definitely gone downhill over the past decade. About the only good thing they have on their channel these days is "The Suite Life".
So, if you want good Disney entertainment, go for their older stuff. It may not be superfancy, but at least it's got quality. And the Witch Mountain movies are a good example of that quality."
Two great films
MindCreations | South Carolina | 04/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two movies are Disney classics, especially the first one, "Escape to Witch Mountain" - I saw this movie back when I was a kid and it was one of my favorite movies (still is). It follows the story of two orphans named Tia and Tony who have extraordinary powers. Not knowing where they came from, they set out following a map in the only belonging that they have ever owned- Tia's starcase. Along the way there are several men after them, one of which is a ruthless man out to use them and their powers to his twisted advantage.
The second movie, "Return to Witch Mountain" is weaker than the first, but still worth the watch. Tia and Tony are much older in this one, but much more comfortable in their own skin because they know who they are and where they came from. Tony is kidnapped and brainwashed/controlled by a ruthless scientist who commands him to use his power while Tia gets the help from a local street gang full of delinquents to save him.
The movies are loosely based on a novel by Alexander Key which is also titled "Escape to Witch Mountain." I recently found out that he also wrote "Return to Witch Mountain" but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.
The first novel is worth the read but VERY different from the movies. For example, Tia is mute and does not speak. She communicates with Tony telepathically. They are also older in the book than they are in the movie. The orphanage that they go to at the beginning of the movie is more so for juvenile delinquents in the book and filled with bullies and a pretty mean caretaker. If you liked these movies, I recommend checking Ebay for the books!
I'd give "Escape to Witch Mountain" 5 stars and "Return to Witch Mountain" 4. They are both classics!"