Spiderwick Chronicles Takes You To Another World — On DVD!
Nickelodeon Movies’ The Spiderwick Chronicles is a new entry on DVD based on the film that came out in February 2008.
Based on the book series of the same name by Tony DiTerllizi and Holly Black, it’s definitely following in the footsteps of the Chronicles of Narnia and has some distinct similarities to that series– as well as the the Tolkien epic, Lord of the Rings. What it does remind me of is a touch of Indiana Jones meets Star Wars minus the adults who seem to be pretty absent except to present them as victims of the divorce wars (a la Clone Wars) or refugees from those following the Dark Side.
What this movie manages to do — that Narnia didn’t have to do– was integrate special effects aka “magic” with drama though both involve the two elements, Narnia doesn’t deal in direct magic except by the Witch whereas the Spiderwick Chronicles is all about magic and elves and the secret creatures hidden inside another dimensional world coinciding with the reality of the children. What’s lovely about this movie is that it’s primarily kid-oriented but in such a way that it draws the “child in all of us” into the movie as we suspend our disbelief and dig serious into the movie.
From the creepy house, to the missing personal items, to the secret book that despite the extreme warning was sure to be opened, the movie takes us farther into the heart of this fantastical world much like going into the trail much like the twins going into the woods. Suddenly finding that goblins, ogres, brownies and other such creatures not only exist but attack humans, the twins and their sister soon find themselves and the house under siege.
The secrets of the book lead the children through adventures and I don’t wish to spoil this movie by giving away the secrets.
Needless to say, while this is a children’s movie, all but the most sophisticated would enjoy this though the pacing and adult character development could have been better. There is very little for them to do. Nick Nolte as the Ogre is amazing– I would never have realized it was him.
The special effects are terrific and the make-up was astonishingly great.
This movie might not be suitable for those under the age of 5 unless they are really into scary monsters. Do check out the website for the Spiderwick Chronicles as there are games and lots of other things that will keep kids occupied for the summer–especially the Fourth of July!
Official Video Game
This movie is available for rent on NETFLIX.com and for sale on Amazon.com
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