Magic in the Water (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A divorced father and his two children take a vacation in a cabin near a lake, supposedly the home of a giant sea monster. Naturally, the kids are soon trying to convince their father that they have in fact seen the beast in this upbeat, family-oriented fantasy.

Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Icel Dobell Massey, Rick Stevenson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 4, 2005
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


as Jack Black

as Joshua Black

as Dr. Wanda Bell

as Ashley Black

as Mack Miller

as Sheriff Stevenson

as Joe Pickled Trout

as Uncle Kipper

as Wright Hardy

as Lefty Hardy

as Christian

as Phillip

as Private Nurse

as Shy Young Orderly

as Kid in Cowboy Hat

as Boy in Boat

as Boy in Boat

as Girl in Tutu

as Boy on Leash
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Critic Reviews for Magic in the Water

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (11)

A singularly unconvincing parable, ultimately hamstrung by awkward, choppy storytelling.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

On the minus side are a heavy-handed dose of political correctness and a needless flight into dubious whimsy in an already fanciful situation.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

If Magic in the Water had been written smarter, both children and adults would have enjoyed it more.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Orky is very concerned with the environment and can repair relationships between parents and children. But Orky cannot save this movie.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Orky isn't shown until near the end, and then only briefly. At first, I thought this was an attempt to build suspense, but after a while, I began to suspect that the high cost of sea-monster footage was the real explanation.

Full Review… | May 5, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Director Rick Stevenson and co-writer Icel Dobell Massey tell their fanciful story with an appreciable amount of wit and imagination.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Magic in the Water

Very good made-for-tv film from the mid-90s. I've always been fascinated by the Loch Ness Monster, and this reminded me of that, with a great family movie tied into it.

Jason Owens

Super Reviewer


A family flick mostly forgotten by today (and mostly for good reason); Magic in the Water was made seemingly to take up space in theatres until better films were released. Combining intriguing elements like a rumored sea creature living in the nearby lake with other components like father and child relationships, one may have high hopes for this one. Sadly, most will be disappointed by the long stretches of boringness leading to the dull conclusion.
This promising yet dismal premise finds young Ashley (played by a charmingly cute Sarah Wayne in her only film to date) joining her brother and father on a vacation to a lake near British Columbia where legend has it that a sea creature named "Orky" inhabits the water. The young girl becomes officially convinced this legend is true when she leaves some cookies on a doc and they are magically eaten the next day. Coincidence???
Whether this premise may be considered fascinating or entirely too corny will depend on the viewer's tolerance for straight up absurdity. Yes it is a fantasy, but this seemingly is just a copycat job of earlier (and better) Steven Spielberg movies. Some viewers may look deeper into the fact that the father and daughter relationship factor seems to be the prime focus, but the job does not quite get done here. An appealing cast does its best, but they've all surely done better projects before and after (save for Wayne).
Though some sentimental viewers may remember this one fondly (if they were a VERY undemanding youngster), few will argue that there is nothing here that has not been done better in other family/fantasy films. One would think that a film with a good cast, attractive filming locations and overall good intentions would produce better results. Don't get your hopes up, folks!


OK didn't watch this until I was already 19 (not long after finishing my first year of college) and still loved the movie. I would definatly suggest this movie to people.

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