Return from Witch Mountain

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Return from Witch Mountain Movie Poster Image
Creepy classic about mind control still provides thrills.
  • G
  • 1978
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Brother and sister team treat each other with respect and kindness. They meet a rag-tag group of kids in a gang who help them survive the frightening mind control hi-jinx of Dr. Gannon and Letha.

Violence & Scariness

Some frightening threats are uttered by Dr. Gannon. He tells Tony to "make that crane drop on" Tia. He also yells, "Crush her!" These commands are enacted so that heavy objects threaten to crush Tia.

Sexy Stuff

Ford, GE, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena are logos that can be recognized.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Victor and Letha command Tony to pour them a drink of red wine. Tony is injected with sedative a few times.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this live-action Disney classic centers around the theme of mind control. Since Tony and Tia are capable of using their psychic powers to move objects of any size, their talents are invaluable to evil geniuses. A doctor uses an implanted device to control Tony's mind. The child has no ability to refuse the doctor's whims.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10, 12, and 15-year-old Written byHendo H. U December 27, 2017
Kid, 8 years old June 29, 2009
Kid, 10 years old March 26, 2009

This is OK

This is OK, but too much violence, the only thing that wasn't really scary was "Alfred" the trained goat, who was really fun to watch.

What's the story?

In this sequel to Escape to Witch Mountain, Tony (Ike Eisenmann) and Tia (Kim Richards) are transported by space ship to Los Angeles so that they can get a taste of the "big city." Once they bid farewell to their uncle and climb into a waiting taxi cab, all of their plans go awry. They never make it to the hotel where they were planning to stay. Instead, Tony is abducted by an evil scientist (Christopher Lee) and his money-hungry companion (Bette Davis.) They recognize that he has psychic power and implant a device that controls his thoughts. Tia enlists help from a "gang" of kids who help her find her brother. Tony's captors try to make money and gain power by using him as they wish.

Is it any good?

The very fact that the kids end up in a plutonium processing plant makes this adventure a little too James Bondish for its target age group. But Bette Davis and Christopher Lee bring a villainous intensity to this "kid power" project that gives it credence. Parents who remember when this movie hit the big screen will enjoy reminiscing with their kids about the days when being in a gang had nothing to do with guns and drugs.

Speaking of parents -- there are none to be seen in this movie. The closest thing to a parental figure is the lovable truant officer Yoyo (Jack Soo.) And you have to wonder what would happen if Tia didn't save Tony. But no matter -- the trip back in time is worth the effort it takes to suspend a little disbelief.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about mind control. What is it? Who has the ability to control your mind? Have you seen someone so mesmerized by someone or something (like television or video games) that he or she is controlled? Is this healthy?

Movie details

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