DVD Review: “Freaky Friday” (2018 Musical DCOM)

Disney Channel’s adaptation of the stage musical Freaky Friday arrives on DVD September 24th. Fans of the latest version of Mary Rodgers’ classic novel can bring the TV movie home with never before seen bonus features. Relive the music, the jokes, and the fun anytime you want.

Ellie is a rebellious teenager who’s been dreaming of “The Hunt,” a nighttime scavenger competition lead by her high school crush. It’s the kind of activity her controlling mother Katherine wouldn’t let her participate in any way, but especially not this Friday, which also happens to be the night of her wedding rehearsal. And if that wasn’t enough conflict, while having a fight over an hourglass given to Ellie by her deceased father, the two somehow switch bodies when the hourglass breaks!

The DCOM version of Freaky Friday stands apart from all previous filmed versions through its music. Eight songs from the stage musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey are reused here, along with one new song to close the show and an introductory song written by Cozi Zuehlsdorff, who plays Ellie. The stage version’s Heidi Blickenstaff returned to star in this version as Ellie’s mom, Katherine.

If you’re looking for comedic value, this adaptation is the least comical version produced. However, it has an equal amount of heart and the musical finale emphasizes the emotional joyride the story sends viewers through. Best of all, the show is available for license and kids watching the film today could end up starring in it through school and community productions.

Bonus Features

  • Bonus Track “Not Myself Today” (1:48) – One of two deleted songs, the staging finds everyone looking for Fletcher with umbrellas. This feature using music video credits to promote the soundtrack.
  • Blooper Reel (2:04) – The cast crack jokes and goof off in this blooper reel.
  • Audition/Movie Song Mix-Up: “Today and Ev’ry Day” (1:17) – This short audition video shows Heidi and Cozi singing live in audition footage.

Packaging & Design

Freaky Friday comes in a standard black DVD case with a holographic embossed slipcover. Inserts include a code for Disney Movie Rewards and a flier for Disney Movie Club.

This disc uses Disney’s Fast-Play services, which allows the film and all bonus features to play straight through without a visit to the main menu. If you let it do its thing, it starts with an ad for Mary Poppins Returns. After the bonus features, it plays additional ads for Disney Movie Rewards and Disney Now. The main menu features a static image of the hourglass with an instrumental version of the song “Go.”

Final Thoughts

Disney Channel’s adaptation of Freaky Friday brings highlights of the stage musical to the screen for the first time. With homages to the previous filmed versions and the same main story elements, Disney fans should give this one a chance. Super fans won’t want to miss the bonus features, which are exclusive to this DVD release.

Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).