Friday, August 2, 2013

Disney Classics, Part 3

Part 3 of my favorite Disney classics includes two more wonderful films: Pollyanna and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. As before, the following contains spoilers of these classic films.
Pollyanna is probably the saddest of these classic Disney films, but it's still a great story full of music and laughter. Based on a classic book written by Eleanor Porter, Pollyanna is the tale of a young orphan who moves to the town of Harrington to live with her wealthy aunt Polly. The daughter of poor missionaries, Pollyanna is a happy child who always sees the best in people and life, thanks to the "Glad Game" her father taught her. She makes a lot of new friends in the community, including a recluse Mr. Pendergast, a hypochondriac Mrs Snow, an orphan boy named Jimmy, and Reverend Ford, the town's minister. With her happy demeanor and bright outlook, Pollyanna changes the lives of everyone in town, except her unhappy Aunt Polly who actually controls the town. When the town decided to hold a carnival to raise money for a new orphanage, Aunt Polly refuses to allow Pollyanna to participate. Unsurprisingly, Pollyanna sneaks out and has a marvelous time at the carnival. However, when she gets back home, she tries to sneak in by climbing the tree outside her room. Unfortunately, she falls and breaks her back, forcing her to keep to her bed and causing her to become depressed. Her aunt realizes that she truly loves the girl, and the whole town comes to see Pollyanna off to Baltimore for a surgery they hope will allow her to walk again. While the film ends before we learn if Pollyanna walked again, it is still a wonderful movie about the power of hope. My grandmother introduced Bean to this film when she was 4, just like she introduced me and we both loved it.
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is based on two books by an English children's author, Mary Norton. It is the story of a single Englishwoman, Eglantine Price, who decides that she can best help the war effort by becoming a witch. Her lessons are interrupted by the arrival of the three Rawlins children, Charlie, Carrie, and Paul, who have been sent to the country during the London Blitz. The children and Miss Price don't get along and wish to part ways as soon as possible. However, when the children discover that Miss Price is a witch, they agree to keep her secret so long as she gives them something of value. She offers them a traveling spell that will make the old brass bed upstairs travel anyplace they wish to go in mere moments. Due to the sudden closing of the College of Witchcraft in London, Miss Price and the children seek out the college's Headmaster, one Emelius Brown, who it turns out is a charlatan. He never expected anyone to actually be able to perform magic, so when he runs out of pages in the book he was using for lessons, he simply closed the school. Miss Price, the children, and Professor Brown head off on a wonderful adventure seeking the rest of the book. Their journey's take them to a mystical island and the bottom of the sea. They finally return home and Eglantine uses the spell to animate several items in the house, to the delight of the children. When a German raiding party takes over Eglantine's house, she uses the Substitutiary Locomotion spell to defeat them with an army of reanimated armor from the museum. In the end, Eglantine and the children realize that they are better off together, and Professor Brown plans to join them when he returns from the war. This has long been one of my favorite movies. I love Angela Lansbury as Miss Eglantine Price and the songs are wonderful and memorable. Bean adores this movie too as it has a lot of fun moments.

I hope you've enjoyed this walk down memory lane as I've shared some of my favorite Disney classics. Be sure to watch these great old films as a family and enjoy the messages they bring. You'll be glad you did.

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