BFI issues on dvd Children’s Film Foundation films by Alberto Cavalcanti, Powell and Pressburger and Jan Darnley-Smith

Features – The Monster of Highgate Ponds, The Boy Who Turned Yellow and A Hitch in Time

For over 30 years the Children’s Film Foundation produced quality entertainment for young audiences, employing the cream of British filmmaking talent. Newly transferred from the best available elements held in the BFI National Archive, these much-loved and fondly remembered films finally return to the screen after many years out of distribution in this specially curated DVD release from the BFI.

In The Monster of Highgate Ponds young David promises to guard a mysterious egg which his uncle brings back from Malaysia. But, when a baby monster hatches, mayhem ensues as David struggles to keep the unruly, but friendly, creature from falling into the clutches of two ruthless crooks. This enchanting tale features brilliant animated sequences by the legendary Halas and Batchelor, who also produced the film, and was directed by the celebrated Ealing director Alberto Cavalcanti (Went the Day Well?)

The Boy Who Turned Yellow is the splendidly eccentric final collaboration from the eminent filmmaking duo Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. London schoolboy John Saunders turns a bright yellow after losing his pet mouse on a school, trip. Is the mysterious colour change the result of an alien invasion or does the answer lie closer to home?

In A Hitch in Time Patrick Troughton (Doctor Who) plays time-hopping inventor Professor Adam Wagstaff. Discovered working on his time machine by two curious kids, Wagstaff decides to send them back through the ages. But, with malfunctions aplenty, will they be able to make it back? Featuring Jeff Rawle (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as ‘Sniffy’ Kemp, the teacher out to spoil everybody’s fun, A Hitch in Time is a riotous re-telling of history.

•Directors: Alberto Cavalcanti | Powell and Pressburger | Jan Darnley-Smith

Special features
•Brand new High Definiton transfers of all films
•Fully illustrated booklet with writing by Michael Powell, Lem Kitaj, Vivien Halas and Vic
•Format: Region 0 DVD Production: UK | 1961 + 1972 + 1978 | Black & white, and colour |English language | 56 + 52 + 54 mins | DVD9 | Dolby Digital mono audio (320kbps) | ratios 1.37:1 + 1.55:1 (16×9 anamorphic)

DVD available to buy at –

Also in this series are –

Triple bill of British movies produced by the Children’s Film Foundation.

‘The Salvage Gang’ (1958) four friends break a saw when making a rabbit cage and try to earn enough money to buy a new one.

‘Night Ferry’ (1966) a young boy attempts to stop an invaluable Egyptian relic from being smuggled out of the country.

‘Operation Third Form’ (1976) a schoolboy is accused of stealing and as his friends try to clear his name they make an interesting discovery…

DVD available to buy at –
Children’s Film Foundation films featured –

‘Sammy’s Super T-Shirt’ (1978), despite his small build, Sammy Smith (Reggie Winch) dreams of being a top athlete. While in training for a running competition, a couple of bullies hurl Sammy’s lucky t-shirt through a science lab window where an accident results in it gaining super strength.

Sammy retrieves the t-shirt and tries to use it to win the race but things don’t go according to plan.

‘Soapbox Derby’ (1957), set in London, a teenaged Michael Crawford makes his movie debut. The Battersea Bats and the Victoria Victors, two rival gangs of children, are getting ready for an upcoming soapbox derby.

When the Victors learn of a new car design created by the Bats they try to get their hands on it before the big race.

‘The Sky Bike’ (1967) a bumbling inventor hopes to win a contest with his new creation – a flying bicycle. With the help of his young friend can he win the prize?

DVD available to buy at –


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