Today In Disney History ~ March 21st

Today In Disney History ~ March 21st

Escape to Witch Mountain is a science fiction novel written by Alexander H. Key in 1968. It was adapted into a film of the same name by Walt Disney Productions in 1975, directed by John Hough. A remake directed by Peter Rader was released in 1995. Race to Witch Mountain, a new telling directed by Andy Fickman, opened theatrically March 13, 2009.
In 1975, Walt Disney Productions released a film based on the novel, also called Escape to Witch Mountain. In this film, Tony and Tia were played by Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards, Lucas Deranian by Donald Pleasence, and the children’s Uncle Bené (whom they believe to have drowned in a long-ago accident) by Denver Pyle. The film replaces the inner-city priest Father O’Day with Jason O’Day (played by Eddie Albert), a widower traveling in an RV who helps Tony and Tia escape their pursuers. Both Tia and Tony are able to speak out loud in the film, but Tony is not capable of Tia’s seemingly telepathic speech. A new major character in the film who is not in the novel is millionaire Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland), Deranian’s employer, who wants to obtain the children’s powers. This change was due to the passage of time between writings: Key wrote the novel during the depths of the Cold War, so his Deranian was a Communist agent; by the time the screenplay was being written, greedy capitalists had become the preferred villains of fiction.
The film was one of Disney’s most successful live-action films. It was followed by two sequels, the theatrically released Return from Witch Mountain (1978) and the 60-minute television film Beyond Witch Mountain (1982). Director Hough returned for Return, as did Eisenmann, Richards, and Pyle, but new villains Letha Wedge (Bette Davis) and Dr. Victor Gannon (Christopher Lee) took the place of Bolt and Deranian. The characters of Bolt, Deranian, and O’Day returned in Beyond Witch Mountain, but director Hough did not return, and no actor returned to their roles, except for Albert. Beyond was intended as a television pilot, but the proposed series did not occur.
Eisenmann and Richards again played siblings in the otherwise unrelated Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell.

TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart; Wiki

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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