Five Children and It

  • U
  • John Stephenson (2004)
  • UK / Fr / US
  • 85 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

If it wasn't for the splendid voice talent of comedian Eddie Izzard as the titular sand fairy "It", this family adventure would be a totally lacklustre affair. Adapted from one of The Railway Children author E Nesbit's classic novels, the feature follows the summer exploits of five London siblings during the First World War. Evacuated to the seaside mansion of their unconventional uncle (Kenneth Branagh), they discover an irritable, ancient beach creature (Izzard), known as a Psammead, who possesses amazing wish-granting powers. With its blend of magic, mischief and oddball characters, the tale has an almost Harry Potter-like vibe. However, the flat script, school play-style over-acting and poor special effects ensure any similarities end there. Izzard's cheeky humour and eccentric tones bring the animatronic "It" to life beautifully. Yet, despite his quality, scene-stealing turn, the film never escapes its children's TV drama ambience. Ultimately, it's enjoyable enough to watch but too amateurish to make a lasting impression.

Plot Summary

Period fantasy adventure, based on the novel by E Nesbit, starring Kenneth Branagh and featuring the voice of Eddie Izzard. With their parents involved in the First World War, five siblings are sent to the seaside estate of an eccentric uncle. There, they encounter an ancient sand fairy who possesses amazing wish-granting powers. But there's also mischief behind his magic.

Cast and crew

Cast

Uncle Albert
Kenneth Branagh
Martha
Zoë Wanamaker
It
Eddie Izzard
Robert
Freddie Highmore
Cyril
Jonathan Bailey
Anthea
Jessica Claridge
Jane
Poppy Rogers
Mother
Tara FitzGerald
Peasemarsh
John Sessions
Nesbit
Norman Wisdom
Father
Alex Jennings

Crew

Director
John Stephenson

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Pathé
Available on video and DVD
Released 15 Oct 2004
Certificate U
Distributor:
Pathé
Categories
Childrens
Drama

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