Bedknobs and Broomsticks was produced several years after Walt Disney's death and released in the fall of 1971. As it turned out, Bedknobs was frequently compared to Mary Poppins -- probably thanks to several striking similarities between the two productions, notably the presence in the cast of David Tomlinson, the use of Cockney children as central characters, and the inclusion of sequences that combine animation and live-action. Set in wartime England, Bedknobs stars Angela Lansbury as Eglantine Price, a would-be witch who hopes to use her newly acquired conjuring powers to forestall a Nazi invasion. Saddled with three surly kids who've been evacuated from London, Lansbury wins over her charges by performing various and sundry feats of magic. And, yes, she manages to foil a few Germans along the way. The film's most famous episode is an elaborate undersea fantasy, which combines animation with live-action on a gargantuan scale, dwarfing all previous Disney sequences along these lines.
by Hal Erickson synopsis