UltimateDisney.com's Top 30 Live Action Disney Movies Countdown
17. Freaky Friday (1977) (1977)
The original Freaky Friday is a fun and hilarious film. It is filled with funny, quotable dialogue. The script is great, and what makes it all come together are the performances by it's stars. Jodie Foster is very good and entertaining as Annabel, but it's Barbara Harris as Mrs. Andrews who steals the show. Her transformation into her teenage daughter trying to be a wife and mother is a blast. Barbara Harris has a wacky, rebelliousness that comes though in her performance. It's perfect. Her scenes with Boris (Annabel's teenage crush who lives across the street) and her son Ben, are especially funny.

The young Sparky Marcus as little Ben Andrews is adorable. His scene of confiding in his "mother" about his true feelings for sister Annabel is very touching. Marc McClure as Boris Harris (who makes a cameo appearance in 2003's Freaky Friday as Boris making a delivery) is great in his role as the allergy-prone object of Annabel's affections. Another standout character is Mrs. Schmauss the cleaning lady. Her interactions with "Mrs. Andrews" are side splitting from start to finish.

The title song, "I'd Like To Be You For A Day", is really beautiful and compliments the sentiment in the film. Freaky Friday is a feel good film with a message that is obvious, but also has a subtle message throughout that reminds us not to take life too seriously. It seems to say "Enjoy the people you love, appreciate their individuality and struggles, and most of all, allow yourself to have fun on this crazy journey called life."

-Chris Tassin

Made back when fun films really were fun, Freaky Friday is a sheer delight from beginning to end! A comic gem of a movie, full of great character performances, and those zany Disney visual gags, that only Disney could do so well. This is certainly one of the finest examples of the Disney slapstick comedy, that had become such an important part of the studio's output from 1959 thru to about 1980.

What elevates this above the ordinary is not so much the material, but the superb performances of the entire cast. Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster deliver delightfully dynamic perfomances as a mother and daughter, trying desperately to cope with being trapped in each other's body. Performances that earned them critical praise and nominations at the year's Golden Globe awards. But it is not just the major stars that shine here. The movie is filled to overflowing with excellent character perfomances, such as Ruth Buzzi and Kaye Ballard as rival hockey team coaches, Sorrell Booke and Ceil Cabot as Mr. Dilk and Miss McGuirk respectively, Alan Oppenheimer as Mr. Joffert, Marvin Kaplan as the Carpet Cleaner, and my personal favorite, Patsy Kelly as the alcoholic housekeeper, Mrs. Schmauss.

The animated opening credits are a treat too, setting the tone for the movie. And they are accompanied by the delightful song, "I'd Like to be You for a Day", penned by composers & lyricists Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn, and sung by the movie's two leading stars.

My favorite scene has to be where Annabel, in her mother's body, is trying to cope with the arrival of the mechanic, the drapery man, the carpet cleaners, the neighbor, and the grocery boy. The hockey game is a total riot too! Particularly so because of the dynamically driven comic performances given here by Kaye Ballard and Ruth Buzzi. And the car chase towards the end ranks right up there with the basketball match from "The Absent Minded Professor," the drive-inn scene from the original "That Darn Cat," Herbie's antics in the original "Love Bug," and the crazy car chase from "The Gnomemobile," as one of the zaniest pieces of visual comedy Disney ever produced.

A slice of reality, this may not be. But for anyone who just wants a movie that is good, clean, pure, wholesome fun. This movie is for you.

Trivia note: Watch for Boris (Marc McClure) as a deilvery man in the 2003 re-make.

-David Rosengreen

DVD Details
The long-awaited DVD debut was expected to coincide with the theatrical re-release of the remake last summer, and then again late last year to coincide with the remake's DVD release. Alas, nothing. All signs pointed to it finally coming later in 2004, and it did, in June, with a couple of bonus features.
But Freaky Friday on DVD
Read our Freaky Friday DVD review
Buy the 2003 Freaky Friday remake
Buy the Freaky Friday 2-Pack with both movies
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