Movie Review: Escape to Witch Mountain

by Josh Larsen
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Escape to Witch Mountain

  • Rated G for General Audiences
  • Recommended for ages 8 and up
  • Run Time: 97 minutes

Quick Take: This dated charmer may woo young children, but adults will find it hard to suspend their disbelief. 

Special Effects Only a Kid Could Love

Escape to Witch Mountain is not often mentioned in the same breath with the Disney classics, yet it has enough imaginative touches to appeal to the studio's longtime fan base: children.

After all, what kid wouldn't want to be able to make crayons, baseball mitts and other objects levitate; communicate with horses, bears and cats; and telepathically "talk" with their siblings, even when they're in different rooms?

Older viewers may scoff at the hokey special effects used to pull off these visual tricks. In technological terms, Escape to Witch Mountain hasn't aged well. Yet the story's central premise -- that kids have talents that are often ignored or exploited by adults -- will still resonate with younger moviegoers.

Kids Will Like:

When Milland's millionaire -- sort of an evil twist on Daddy Warbucks -- tries to convince Tony and Tia to live with him, he has a soda fountain built right in their bedroom suite. Anybody for banana splits at 3 a.m.?

Parents Will Like:

The familiar face and folksy comfort of Eddie Albert, who appears here as Jason O'Day, a Winnebago warrior who takes the siblings under his wing.

Heads Up:

Tia's foggy flashbacks include the frightening image of Tony and her clinging to a sinking ship. At one point Tony and Tia are chased by a pack of snarling dogs. Later, one of the millionaire's henchmen pulls a gun on the kids.

Own It?

No. Escape to Witch Mountain is mildly amusing for adults and diverting enough for kids -- once.

 

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