Freaky Friday (1976)

Last Updated on: January 20th, 2024

Freaky Friday (1976 Movie)

“Freaky Friday” is a family comedy film released in 1976 by Walt Disney Productions. The movie was directed by Gary Nelson and is based on the 1972 novel of the same name written by Mary Rodgers.

The story revolves around a mother and daughter, Ellen Andrews (played by Barbara Harris) and Annabel Andrews (played by Jodie Foster). They have a strained relationship and often argue, wishing they could understand each other better.

One Friday the 13th, they visit a mysterious Chinese restaurant where they both inadvertently pick up fortune cookies. Afterward, they discover that their souls have switched bodies. Ellen’s soul is now in Annabel’s body, and Annabel’s soul is in Ellen’s body.

As a result of this body switch, they must navigate each other’s lives and deal with the challenges that come with being in a different body. Annabel, in her mother’s body, has to handle Ellen’s responsibilities at work and deal with her love life, while Ellen, in her daughter’s body, must go to school and cope with teenage troubles.

Through their new perspective, Ellen and Annabel gain a deeper understanding of each other’s lives and come to appreciate the struggles they each face. The experience brings them closer and allows them to grow as individuals and as a family.

“Freaky Friday” was well-received by both critics and audiences, praising its comedic performances and heartwarming message about family and empathy. Jodie Foster, in particular, received acclaim for her portrayal of the teenage Annabel in her mother’s body.

The success of the 1976 film led to several adaptations and remakes over the years, including a made-for-TV sequel in 1995, a TV movie in 2003, and a theatrical remake in 2003 starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Overall, “Freaky Friday” remains a beloved Disney classic that continues to resonate with audiences of all ages, emphasizing the importance of understanding and appreciating the people we love.

Fun Facts

  • Freaky Friday is based on the novel by Mary Rodgers of the same name.
  • Freaky Friday has been remade twice with a third coming to The Disney Channel in August 2018.

Additional Details

  • Movie Studio:
  • Year Released: 1976
  • Type of Movie: Live-Action
  • Box Office: $25.9 million
  • Awards: Nominated Golden Globe
  • IMDB Link


  • Barbara Harris: Ellen Andrews
  • Jodie Foster: Annabel Andrews
  • John Astin: Mr. Bill Andrews
  • Patsy Kelly: Mrs. Schmauss
  • Dick Van Patten: Harold Jennings
  • Vicki Schreck: Virginia
  • Sorrell Booke: Mr. Dilk, the Principal
  • Sparky Marcus: Ben Andrews
  • Marc McClure: Boris Harris


  • Director: Gary Nelson
  • Producer: Ron Miller
  • Writer: Mary Rodgers

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and