In this sequel to Disney’s beloved family classic Escape To Witch Mountain, Tia and Tony return from Witch Mountain to find a duo of criminals who are determined to manipulate Tony’s powers and unleash a diabolical plan. With the help of a gang of kids and Tia’s supernatural powers, they must find a way of stopping Tony from using his powers for evil.
Return From Witch Mountain contributes to the many unwanted Disney sequels by being entirely uninspired and mundane. As the original amused audiences with its cheesy effects and foolish dialog, the sequel can’t even embrace a solid moment of entertainment. Return has the same director and same leads as Escape, but lacks in the lively buoyancy and shabby chuckles of the original.
Not only is the magic entirely gone thanks to a hackneyed script and uninspired acting, but it’s an all around poorly made flick. The directing is off-key, the special effects even less exciting than those of its predecessor, and it falls just short of scraping the bottom of the barrel. Even veteran actors Bette Davis and Christopher Lee, though decidedly relevant villains, seem bored by the concept. It’s disheartening, tiresome, and fails to resonate as a classic.
Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann do improve their line-reading, but still fail to charm and their chemistry is nearly absent thanks to being separated through almost the entire film. In the end, it’s a DVD that prevails only in its worthy special features.
Included in the DVD’s impressive special features section is a new trivia bonus track, “Making The Return Trip” that recaps on the cast’s favorite scenes and memories of making the film, “The Gang’s Back In Town” which interviews a trio from the Earthquake Gang and what has become of them, “Disney Kids With Powers,” which plays like a miscellaneous collection of Disney’s special effects and marvels, a hilarious animated short from 1945 entitled “The Eyes Have It”, “Lost Treasure: Christopher Lee, The Lost Interview” which is an interview with Lee in Spanish about Return From Witch Mountain and his filmography, “1978 Disney Studio Album” which is a down memory lane collection of Disney favorites from ’78, and an audio commentary. 1/5 stars