Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)

escape to witch mountain poster 1975 walt disney
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 6/10

Pretty smart story and good cast

Visuals were cheesy then and worse now

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Escape to Witch Mountain

Studio:  Walt Disney Productions

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Family

Release Date(s):  March 21, 1975

MPAA Rating:  G


Kim Richards drug problems started early

Tia and Tony Malone (Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann) have a secret…they have special powers!  When their adoptive parents die, and Tia and Tony are placed in an orphanage where they catch the attention of Lucas Deranian (Donald Pleasence) and his employer Aristotle Bolt (Ray Milland) who adopt them under the pretense that Lucas is their uncle.  Trying to use their abilities to their advantage, Tia and Tony escape in the RV of a bitter widower named Jason O’Day (Eddie Albert).  Tia, Tony, and Jason must reach a place called Witch Mountain which could hold the key to Tia and Tony’s powers and their past while avoiding Bolt and his men.

Directed by John Hough, Escape to Witch Mountain is a Walt Disney live action production.  The movie adapted the 1968 novel of the same name by Alexander Key.  The film started a small franchise which included a sequel, TV series, and a remake.


Now Jason would be arrested for child kidnapping and endangerment

The Wonderful World of Disney was always an exciting thing.  The Sunday night movie was generally a surprise and it was always appointment TV when something like Escape to Witch Mountain was on since it was a little dark, but also kid friendly.  It is dated at points, but I can still enjoy it as someone who grew up with it.

The story for the movie is strong.  The movie is pretty dark, but accessible for kids.  A kid might not really understand what Bolt wants to use Tia and Tony for, but they can recognize he’s evil.  Tia and Tony are also identifiable and likable leads who face some real danger at times.  It still has some goofy plot points however that keep it in the “kid movie” realm.


High tech effects!!!

The cast is strong for the time.  Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann were quite popular when the movie was made though their characters in the novel were not light skinned fair-haired children.  Years on Green Acres makes Eddie Albert a likable curmudgeon (though now he’d be arrested for child abduction and endangerment), and Pleasence and Milland also bring some star power to the movie as the villains.

The movie is very dated visually.  The wire work of the movie is pretty cheesy and the chroma key of the flying Winnebago is pretty cheap looking (like the upside down helicopter).  Once again, I can forgive it because I saw effects evolve, but I remember even as a kid thinking that it looked fake.  At least the movie did employ the great Big Sur location for a number of shots.

Escape to Witch Mountain was a fun movie for me and continues to be a fun movie.  The story is strong, the acting is fair (for having kids leading a picture), but the effects haven’t held up great, I still would sit and watch this movie ten times before a lot of modern kids movies.  Escape to Witch Mountain was followed by Return from Witch Mountain in 1978.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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