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Posted October 1, 2010
I was a child when this film came out, and thought it just ok. About 20 years later, not remembering much about the film, I read Mary Norton's book; it was terrific writing, excellent storytelling, and had a wonderfully bittersweet ending. I then saw this film again just a few months ago -- oy, it's just awful. All of the really creative parts of Norton's book were tossed out in favor of new plot twists. This film seems a dismal attempt to copy 'Mary Poppins' -- really now, if Disney wanted to copy from themselves, one would think they'd at least do so with some panache. The undersea and island sequences, combining animation with live action, are horribly mediocre rip-offs of the similar sections of 'Mary Poppins'. Angela Lansbury, talented though she is, seems not to really know what the tone of the film is [the director must not have been very communicative]. And even though the songs are some of the worst things the Sherman brothers ever wrote, it doesn't help that Disney skimped on the budget -- the 'Portobello Road' production number, obviously trying desperately to be like 'Who Will Buy' in 'Oliver', looks like a sorely underfunded dinner theatre production [and this writer has done plenty of wretched dinner theatre productions]. Avoid this film; read the Mary Norton book instead [really touching ending].Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.