childhood nonsense

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) was my favorite movie growing up. The music is marvelous, the plot is wonderfully cheesy, and Angela Lansbury is simply a goddess. And what child is not fascinated with magic? But I just realized recently how this movie depicts an important aspect of witchcraft that some stories miss.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a witch named Eglantine Price (Lansbury) who enrolls in a correspondence course in witchcraft from a Professor Emilius Brown (David Tomlinson). Prof. Brown, as it turns out, is actually a con man who just slapped together some nonsense phrases for his “spells,” and he’s shocked when he finds out that Ms. Price can actually perform magic with them. And that’s the beauty of this movie - if you believe it and you act with intent, it doesn’t matter what you say. It can be nonsense. It can just be “treguna, mekoides, and trecorum satis dee.”

This is, of course, an over-simplification of both the movie and modern witchcraft. But it’s interesting how adulthood changes your perspective on your favorite childhood movies and you learn new things from it.

Although, as we all knew as children, magic was possible from the beginning.