Ten-year-old Arthur, in a bid to save his grandfather's house from being demolished, goes looking for some much-fabled hidden treasure in the land of the Minimoys, a tiny people living in harmony with nature.
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
'It' is a Psammead, an ancient, ugly and irritable sand fairy the children find one day on a secret beach at their uncle's mansion. It grants them one wish per day, lasting until sunset. But they soon learn it is very hard to think of really sensible wishes, and each one gets them into unexpected difficulties. Magic, the children find, can be as awkward as it is enticing. Written by
Norman Wisdom's last live action feature film. See more »
Despite taking place in circa 1917, the children sing "Happy Birthday to You", which wasn't written until 1924, and didn't game popularity until around 1930. See more »
It was the Summer of nineteen seventeen and the world was at war. Like lots of children, we had to leave our home. - Leave London. We didn't want to go, but Dad went to fly planes, and Mum went to look after the wounded, and we were stuck. They insisted we go to the country, to stay with mad Uncle Albert and our cousin Horace.
See more »
I am a judge for the Indianapolis-based Heartland Film Festival. This feature film is a Crystal Heart Award Winner and is eligible to be the Grand Prize Winner in October of 2005. The Heartland Film Festival is a non-profit that honors Truly Moving Pictures. A Truly Moving Picture " explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life."
This is a movie in the tradition of "Harry Potter" movies and "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events." It is a fantasy set in 1917 in wartime England. Five children are sent from London to the countryside for safety and security reasons. They are staying in a large, spooky, Gothic-like house with a math-crazed Uncle played brilliantly by Kenneth Branagh. His acting and make-up are so unique that there is no way you could possibly tell it was Branagh. The Uncle has many rules for the children including stay out of the greenhouse. Of course they disobey the rules and the greenhouse leads them to a secret beach where they find a sand fairy.
The sand fairy is cute and small and insolent and irreverent and funny. The children are off on adventures because the sand fairy grants them one wish a day. They soon find that getting what you wish for can be overwhelming and not welcomed.
The leader among the five children is not the oldest. The leader is a classic all-boy instigator, Robert, that pushes the story forward constantly by being curious and never reigning himself in. He is played by Freddie Highmore of "Finding Neverland" fame and he steals the movie with his character and his screen presence.
The children as a group are interesting. They are loyal to each other, they care deeply for their parents, and they develop a love for the sand fairy. And they learn from their mistakes.
This film has beautiful art direction and wonderful casting and acting.
FYI There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Crystal Heart winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
26 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?