5 Children and It (2004)
Five brothers and sisters find their uncle has a big surprise hidden in his estate in this comic fantasy for the whole family. Not long after World War I breaks out, five children -- Cyril (Jonathan Bailey), Robert (Freddie Highmore), Anthea (Jessica Claridge), Jane (Poppy Rogers), and Lamb -- find themselves in dangerous circumstances when their father is sent off to fight, and their mother volunteers to be a field nurse. Unable to care for themselves, the children are sent to the country, where they stay with their eccentric uncle Albert (Kenneth Branagh) and his ill-tempered son, Horace (Alexander Pownall), in Albert's ramshackle home. Uncle Albert has more than a few rules about what the children can and cannot do, but his strictest edict is that the children must never go into his greenhouse. Of course, the children's curiosity gets the better of them, and they sneak in to discover their uncle's big secret -- the building is home to Psammead (voice of Eddie Izzard), an ugly and often bad-mannered "sand fairy" who has the ability to grant wishes. However, the kids discover that Psammead's wishes only last for 24 hours, and that they have a strange habit of backfiring on their beneficiaries. 5 Children & It was based on the classic book for children by E. Nesbit; Psammead was realized onscreen with a puppet created by Jim Henson's celebrated Creature Shop. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for 5 Children and It
Its eccentric charms and light humor will most certainly win over anyone looking for a brisk family adventure.
Five posh First World War sprogs are despatched to Uncle Kenneth Branagh's Gothic pile in a Devon nook. It's a ghastly film
Audience Reviews for 5 Children and It
E. Nesbit's classic novel was always a big favourite of mine as a child. The BBC made a series in the early 90's which I remember being quite good so I was looking forward to this one. All in all, I was quite happy with it, all the things I didn't like about it (Freddie Highmore, dodgy CGI) were outweighed by the things I did like such as Eddie Izzard voicing the Psammead, Kenneth Branagh's eccentric Uncle and best of all, the unexpected but really welcome Norman Wisdom cameo. It's not as wonderful as the book, it would have been hard to get all of it into a 90 minute film but it gets the same message across. Not all the CGI was bad though, and I'm not just saying that because an old friend did the SFX but I would have liked to have seen the Psammead as a puppet. The sad truth is though that kids aren't interested in this kind of story anymore, it's a classic but I don't know that many people who even know the story, and that makes me sad because it's really quite lovely and actually quite relevant today.
CAST: Kenneth Branagh, ZoŽ Wanamaker, Freddie Highmore, Eddie Izzard, Jonathan Bailey, Jessica Claridge, Poppy Rogers, Tara Fitzgerald, Alex Jennings, John Sessions, Norman Wisdom, Duncan Preston
DIRECTED BY: John Stephenson
SUMMARY: While their father is fighting on the front lines, five children find themselves bunking at their uncle's estate, where they befriend a fairy called It (voiced by the hilarious Eddie Izzard), who helps them uncover the mysteries of the large mansion in which they now live. This high-spirited tale finds It bringing joy, laughter and luck to the kids' lives, as the grown-ups contend with the painfully adult challenges of living in a time of war.
MY THOUGHTS: "This is a movie for the kids. My niece's and nephew liked it a lot, I on the other hand thought it was a bit boring. But it had it's moments of humor. Had a some what sad story, and had a good lesson about not being selfish. But still much more a film for the kids. Good cast, and a good young cast as well."
5 Children and It Quotes
- Magic fades, and then you forget.
- I will grant you your wishes, but I have a list of demands. My needs are minimal, but what I need is a stateroom with a sunken bath with a tap that goes backwards and forwards. And a toothbrush made of gold, not the bristles, of course, but the bit you hold. Gold bristles would hurt my gums, you see. A palace with white sand spread on the floor, from the Bahamas, I think, and a shower cap. And a yak.
- Uncle Albert:
- I'm writing a book--Difficult Sums for Children.
- Uncle Albert:
- Smell that. That's Thursday.
- Uncle Albert:
- Well, Martha, looks like Thursday's gone missing like last October.
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