Bedknobs & Broomsticks

Posted on 21. Jan, 2011 by in Live Action Cat Films

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (30th Anniversary Edition), made in 1971, is set in post-WWII England, where a younger Angela Lansbury is Ms. Eglantine Price, guardian to three pre-teen children living in a suburb of London during the Blitz. While there is a bedraggled-looking black cat in several scenes of the movie, usually inside the house, it is not in a speaking role, or of absolute importance to the plot. However, it is spoken to, and occasionally, of, by Eglantine and the children. His or her sole contribution to any given conversation is usually some dubbed-in screeching or hissing. However, the cat very effectively expresses emotion without words through body language and evocative sounds at the right times. The cat also gets underfoot when visiting Mr. Brown tries to juggle, and screeches when he steps on its tail. He does, however, throw it a bit of sausage at dinner, but only after the humans have more than eaten their fill.
The cat, which came as part of the mail-order witchcraft course taken by Eglantine Price, retains the name that it came with, Cosmic Creepus. Under any circumstances, that is an unusual name for a cat, even one meant to belong to a witch, but this is an unusual cat. His or her eyes change color several times throughout the film. They start off pale blue, then turn to yellow by the middle of the film, then to green, then back to blue. On some occasions they glow red.
If it is indeed a house pet, one would think that Ms. Price and/or the children would take better care of it, but then consider that Lansbury portrays an individual whom some would perhaps consider an unfit guardian of both small children and family pets, seeing as how she is not only currently in training to be an actual spell-casting, cauldron-boiling witch, actively taking a correspondence course in witchcraft to that end, she is contemplating finding someone else to care for the children, because she herself is not confident of her ability to be a fit guardian to them.
In spite of the fact that black cats frequently are seen to fulfil the role of “witch’s cats” in both literature and cinema, in this movie the cat does not actively serve as a witch’s familiar, and is not “magical” in any way. He or she is merely there to contribute to the atmosphere.
The intelligent talking animals featured in the animated sequence are ruled by a Lion (big cat) who wears the Star Of Astaroth amulet.

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