Trivia / Bedknobs and Broomsticks

  • Billing Displacement: Roddy McDowall is third-billed and, in the uncut version of the movie, he does indeed play a significant supporting character. However, in the theatrical cut of the movie, his role was reduced to The Guy Who Gets Attacked By Miss Price's Nightgown, but they still billed him right below Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $20 million. Box office, $17.9 million.
  • Creator Backlash: Angela Lansbury didn't enjoy filming. Due to the special effects heavy nature of it, every shot had to be tightly storyboarded and scripted, shot for shot.
  • Creator Killer: This was unfortunately the beginning of the end of director Robert Stevenson's career; it never returned to the heights it used to see.
  • Cut Song:
    • The film originally ran 139 minutes, but was cut by 22 for its initial theatrical release. Three songs - "A Step in the Right Direction", "With a Flair", and "Nobody's Problems" - were dropped in the process, and others were shortened (in particular, "Portobello Road"). The 1996 restoration used for the laserdisc and DVD releases restored most of the cut material, with the exception of the first song, as that scene had been lost.
    • The "story and songs" record had "With a Flair" and a full version of "Portobello Road".
    • The 2014 Special Edition Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack uses the 117-minute cut of the movie, with the footage added in 1996 relegated to the Blu-Ray Disc's and Digital Copy's respective bonus features sections.
  • Executive Meddling: For the American premiere at Radio City Music Hall, Disney had to shorten the movie by at least 20 minutes, to make room for a Rockettes performance. Those scenes remained missing for 25 years, until they were added incrementally during the 1996 and 2001 restorations. Later, the 2014 restoration deleted them again.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Since the Blu-Ray doesn't include the 25th Anniversary Edition, the only way to watch it in HD would involve contacting someone fortunate enough to have downloaded it from iTunes, before they stopped carrying it in favor of the theatrical cut.
  • The Other Darrin: The original audio for the deleted scenes apparently no longer exists, requiring Disney to have the dialogue re-dubbed. Angela Lansbury and Roddy Mc Dowall re-recorded their own lines, but characters whose original actors had either passed away or become too old received new VAs for these parts, which is why (among other inconsistencies) Mr. Browne's voice sometimes changes to that of Jeff Bennett.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The film had to have twenty-two minutes cut from it due to the premiere in New York's Radio Music Hall. As the Christmas show ran so long, whatever film came after it had to be under two hours.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Supposedly, "The Age of Not Believing" was written as an allegory for Walt Disney Productions' struggle to continue on financially and creatively after the death of Walt Disney.
    "Where did all the happy endings go? / Where can all the good times be?"
    • Both Angela Lansbury and Roddy McDowall, as well as director Robert Stevenson had emigrated to America during World War II. David Tomlinson and Robert Sherman had served in the war.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Julie Andrews was the first choice to be Miss Price, for obvious reasons. She turned the role down initially but later changed her mind - feeling that she owed her career to Disney and should work with them again. But when she called the studio to say she had reconsidered, Angela Lansbury had already been cast.
    • The film rights were first bought in the 60s. Had PL Travers not allowed Disney to make Mary Poppins, this would have been adapted instead. Indeed the "Beautiful Briny Sea" sequence was scripted for Mary Poppins first.
    • Ron Moody was the first choice for Mr Brown, but he insisted on being billed first. The studio wouldn't allow it and the part went to David Tomlinson.
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