Tony and Tia Malone are different from the other kids at the orphanage. They can makethings move just by thinking about it. Tony can levitate. Tia can talk to animals. They come tothe attention of evil millionaire Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland, doing his patented Mean Rich Guyroutine), who dispatches Donald Pleasance to bring the children to his isolated mansion.Realizing what Bolt wants to exploit them, Tony and Tia escape, and, with the help of crusty-but-good-hearte… camper Eddie Albert, make their way to the mountain where perhaps their realfamily lives. The pursuit is on. Reasonably entertaining, though the special effects are often veryweak, with clearly visible wires connected to the levitating objects.
The sound is in 5.1, but not so you’d notice. For all the sound coming from the rear speakers,the disc might as well be in mono. On the other hand, there aren’t any flaws such as surroundvoices to deal with. Still, not much point in going through the trouble of getting this THX-certified.
The picture is considerably better than the sound. The print is in terrific shape, with nospeckling and only very occasional grain. The colours are generally excellent, though sometimesshade a bit too strongly into the pink. The image is very sharp (which has the unfortunate sideeffect of showing just how flawed the special effects are).
A surprisingly full collection of extras, given that this isn’t one of Disney’s towering classics.The menu is a bit confusing, since it is in fact two menus: “The Vault” being the elaborate menuused on a number of Disney releases, and then there’s the menu specifically this film (alsoanimated and scored), and the interaction between the two takes a bit of getting used to. Outsidethe Vault, you can access a Pluto cartoon short, a handful of Disney DVD trailers, and the audiocommentary. This is provided by director John Hough and (recorded in a separate session) IkeEisenmann (Tony) and Kim Richards (Tia). Eisenmann and Richards’ comments are moreanecdotal, while Hough’s are more technical.
In the Vault, we find “Making the Escape,” a 26-minute retrospective that, while notuninformative, is a bit much in the way it trumpets the “everyone is wonderful at Disney” partyline. “Conversations with John Hough” is a 7-minute interview. “Disney Sci-Fi” is a techno-scored montage of scenes from SF films – kinda fun, but really no more than a trailer. “DiesneyEffects: Something Special” is an 11-minute featurette on FX that barely mentions Escape toWitch Mountain, and I don’t know how this featurette qualifies as “Lost Treasure.” The“Disney Studio Album” is a montage of projects from 1975. The still galleries are quiteextensive, broken down into Production Stills, Biographies, Lobby Cards, Posters and ComicBook, and Merchandise.
Fun, and nicely tricked out with extras, but the film is showing its age. Will probably be bestappreciated by nostalgic adults who caught the film on its initial release.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Making-of Featurette
- Interview with John Hough
- Pluto’s Dream House Cartoon
- Disney Effects Featurette
- 1975 Disney Studio Album
- Still Galleries
- Disney Sci-Fi Montage