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Escape to Witch Mountain

By Jeff Shannon

The effects are low-tech and no longer special, but Escape to Witch Mountain still has plenty of Disney live-action charm. It's rather quaint by later standards, coming just two years before Star Wars upped the ante on movie magic, but the story's got timeless appeal as a precursor to Harry Potter's more lavish brand of kid-wizardry. Here you've got Tony (Ike Eisenmann) and sister Tia (Kim Richards), orphans unaware of their mysterious past, who are taken in by a nefarious liar (Ray Milland) seeking to exploit their supernatural powers. Populated by Super70s stalwarts like Donald Pleasance and Eddie Albert (the later playing the kids' grown-up accomplice, unwittingly rescuing them from Milland), this lightweight Disney fare is perfect for kids under 10, with such enticements as a clever cat mascot named Winky (because he winks a lot), Tony's magical harmonica... and a Winnebago that flies! With a sci-fi climax, this popular hocus-pocus spawned a 1978 sequel (Return from Witch Mountain) that has proven similarly popular with kids.

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated GNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John Hough

Stars: Eddie Albert, Ray Milland, Kim Richards, Ike Eisenmann, Donald Pleasence

Released: March 21, 1975

Availability: DVD VHS


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