Why is there this perverse need to set movies based on English children's novels during World War I? Ye Gods, the book was written in 1902! There is no World War I for it to be set during. (Likewise, [i]A Little Princess[/i] has its origins in a story written in 1888 and published in its final form in 1905.)
Anyone wanting to watch this movie because of a great fondness for the book is advised to forget it. Heck, I [i]don't[/i] have a great fondness for the book (I read it once and found it dull), and I didn't care for it especially. It gets extra bonus points for Eddie Izzard, Kenneth Branagh, Zoe Wanamaker, and Freddie Highmore--who did much better work with a much better script in [i]Finding Neverland[/i]. However, the children--and there's an extra kid thrown in who wasn't in the book--are really annoying, the premise confused, and the WWI aspect given too much focus, especially considering its nonexistance in the book.
Every movie adaptation of late in which there are multiple children in a family of varying ages seems insistent on the subplot of the older ones having to exert authority over the younger ones and the younger ones resenting it. It was less forced in the book of [i]The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe[/i], and I don't remember it appearing at all in [i]Five Children and It[/i]--not least because, as I recall, they were in fact living with their parents at the time.
One of the girls--we never get to know them well enough for me to remember their names, and I don't remember hearing the Lamb mentioned more than once, though he's in practically every scene--gives It a teddy bear at the end, which is called Brian. I wonder how much this is because It was created in the Creature Shop; was Brian the Bear named after Brian Henson?