Making the Grades
Alexander Key's classic novel, Escape To Witch Mountain was adapted to the big screen in 1975. The movie follows the plight of Tony (Ike Eisenmann) and Tia (Kim Richards), a brother and sister who posses unusual powers, as they apply their special kind of magic in an attempt to uncover their puzzling past.
Orphaned not once, but twice, the unfortunate pair finds themselves being placed back in the system. Before arriving at a home for children awaiting adoption, they decide to conceal their gifts to avoid being labeled as freaks once again. Nonetheless, when Tony shields himself from the school bully by levitating a baseball mitt and bat, he shocks the other kids. During a later altercation with the vengeful tyke, Tia's treasured keepsake, a star box, is knocked from her hands and breaks on the ground revealing a hidden map.
However, before they are able to further investigate this possible key to their mysterious origins, fate intervenes. While on a field trip to Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (hey, a Disney movie within a Disney movie!), Tia warns a stranger (Donald Pleasence) not to enter his limousine, which is soon plowed into by a tow truck.
While the girl can see somewhat into the future, she is unaware that her prediction has sparked the man's interest. Falsifying documents, he claims custody of the children and takes them to his employer's mansion, where the merciless and greedy millionaire (Ray Milland) intends to use their supernatural endowments for his own personal gain. Although provided with an opulent wonderland, extravagantly furnished with treats and toys, the siblings sense the corrupt tycoon's evil intentions and decide to escape.
Following the new-found map to Witch Mountain--a place they hope is their long lost home--these resourceful kids outwit the grown-ups time and time again, armed with their special abilities and friends found along the way (one of whom is played by Eddie Albert). Young audiences will likely enjoy watching these antics, even if the special effects and acting may seem a little cheesy by today's lavish production standards. Parents who loved this popular movie as children may find the nostalgic sharing to be the best part of the experience.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Escape To Witch Mountain.
When a schoolyard thug torments Tia, Tony comes to her rescue by using his supernatural gifts. As most children are unlikely to have telekinetic powers, what are some other options for dealing with bullies?