Friday, October 16, 2015

Have You Been to Witch Mountain?

 Hello friends, it's time for me to talk with you about some more Disney Classics!

But before we get into them, let's talk about the basis for the films... Alexander Key's wonderful novel, Escape to Witch Mountain.

The Novel

So, in 1968 this brilliant little sci-fi novel arrived on the scene. Now, I wasn't around back then... I wasn't even aware it was a book until I was in high school (late 90's, early 00's). But boy, am I glad I discovered it! It follows two young teens, Tony and Tia on their journey to finding "home". The fun thing is that they have super cool powers! Along the way they meet Father O'Day who helps them and the ever sinister Lucas Deranian, who would only use their powers for himself!

The Films

Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

Starring: Ike Eisenmann as Tony & Kim Richards as Tia

 The original film sticks pretty close to the novel, but there are some key differences. One is the kids' ages, another is that Jason O'Day is just a regular traveling guy, and there is an additonal bad guy who Deranian works for... Aristotle Bolt.

As a kid, I always loved watching this... I wanted to grow up to be just like Tony and Tia. Come on guys, they had telekinesis, telepathy, and she could talk to animals!

Anyway, let's just say they aren't witches... but I don't want to spoil too much, so I'll leave it at that!

Return from Witch Mountain (1978) 

The sequel saw the siblings separated most of the time, and even pitted them against one another in the climax! What on earth is going on?! I'll tell ya what... it all started with Dr. Victor Gannon (Christopher Lee), and his fascination with molecular flow.

A book would later be written by Alexander Key that followed or went with the film.

I'd say more, but again, I don't want to ruin it for you. Now, these two films are great but kind of cheesy. I think most would call it so because of the special effects of the day. But for me that just adds to their charm, though part of that could be childhood nostalgia coming into play. ;)

Beyond Witch Mountain (1982)

The failed tv pilot, that recast 99% of the actors. I've seen it... it was cute, but it wasn't the same without Ike and Kim in the roles. Plus it contradicted the films in a few ways.

Escape to Witch Mountain (1995) 

Starring: Elisabeth Moss and Erik Von Detten  
 Ahh, yes... what most fans call the "purple light" movie. A made for television version.

The only thing this had in common with the original idea was that Bolt was after them and that they met someone to help them. But the kids in this are named Danny and Anna, and they are twins who were separated as babies.

Race to Witch Mountain (2009)


I think most of you at least know of this one... and the secret of the siblings, Seth and Sara. So I won't say too much about this one either. Other than a handful of things, this really has nothing in common with the book or the other films at all. But it was fun because there was a) neat premise and b) cameos by Ike and Kim!

Final Thoughts

 Should you look into them? That's up to you-- some people like sci-fi, others don't. Some like live-action Disney, some don't. I like them because I grew up on them (child of the 80's and 90's and all that). When it comes down to it, these are stories about longing and wanting to belong. And that is something we all can relate to. :)

If some of you are more visual, here is the trailer for the 2009 one. It's the best one I could find for any of them. Sorry!

Thanks to the people of the internet for the photos and video!


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