ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN WITH THE AVENGERS
Posted on Jan 08 2009 by Greg
We've been watching Disney's first two "Witch Mountain" movies in anticipation of the new Race to Witch Mountain
coming to theaters in March. On the audio commentary for the Escape to Witch Mountain
Special Edition DVD, director John Hough
repeatedly references the cinematic techiques he brought to the film from his years on the British adventure/fantasy series The Avengers
. He says he was on the series for five years; the iMdb lists him for the Tara King years.
Hough identifies numerous scene compositions he used for the classic TV show that also appear in Witch Mountain
, like profiled actors against a fireplace, characters reflected in car mirrors and his technique of filming the heroic characters with standard angles and villains in odd and tilted angles. I never noticed it before, but it's true!Escape to Witch Mountain
may seem somewhat quaint over three decades after its release -- and is likely to pale technically with the new movie -- but it was groundbreaking in its day, especially for a Disney film, especially because 75% of it was filmed on location, avoiding matte shots whenever possible (but not completely) and because of Hough's direction.
The original stars, Ike Eisenmann
and Kim Richards
, both of whom have roles in the new movie. They even have official websites, click their names above to see.
As for me, I especially loved how the beloved Eddie Albert
vacillated between rustic crustiness ("I ain't no bus line!") and intense, brow-furrowed intellectualism ("I notice you two...are very smart for your yearrrrss") in the original movie. Must have had too many of Lisa's hots-cakes, I guess.