Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Spiderwick Chronicles -- {The Movie for Kids and Children at Heart}

There are quite some reasons for featuring this one in the whole Movie Week frenzy. 1) I watched it last week so it's still pretty fresh in my mind, 2) this is the movie adaptation of one of the most enchanting YA fantasy authors out there (although I never had the pleasure of reading her book, will soon change that) Holly Black and 3) the movie is brilliant.

The story is quite symple, made for children mainly. We have Ms. Grace, who recently got divorced and has to move to the Spiderwick estate, which was given to her by her aunt Lucinda, who is rumored to have gone insane, since she claims her father being abducted by fairies. With her come her three children: the twins Jared and Simon and their bigger sister Mallory. Jared is the protagonist, who takes the change the hardest since he knows nothing of his father's new family and blames his mother for the divorce and the move. Upon investigating the house he finds a book called the Fieldguide, which is protected by the brownie Thimbletack. And this is his introduction to the world beyond the normal human senses, inhabited by fairies, goblins and everything in between this spectrum. However all these magical creatures are invisible unless they want to reveal themselves to humans.

When the book is opened, the shape-shifting ogre Mulgarath seeks it again to obtain the knowledge of every magical being and its secrets so that he can rule the forest and from then on supposedly the world. A frantic journey to protect the book introduces characters as the hobgoblin Hogsqueal with his knack for birds and aunt Lucinda, who is pretty much sane and conversing with flower fairies. The movie ends with a siege of the Spiderwick estate, once the protection circle has expired and all of Jared's family are convinced about the existence of this other world.

What I definitely liked about this story is the freshness of the take on fairies, brownies and all magical creatures that have been neglected or transformed through the urban fantasy genre. The Spiderwick Chronicles offer you a look through the prism to see all the myths and bed times stories, which are responsible for our imagination, and enjoy a modern tale with those ageless characters. This coupled with the amazing visual effects and CGI plus thes tunning play of the actors, we are convinced that yes Freedie Highmore is speaking to a brownie and that yes goblins are wrecking up the house.

Next comes of course the casting. Freedie Highmore has the tough job of playing both twins and for a moment I thought that perhaps Freddie has a brother like the Olsen sisters. he was so convincing in both roles: Jared with anger management issues and Simon, a pacifist. Here of course comes the magnificent editing that leaves you wondering, whether the second Freddie is added or real. I am not quite knowledgable of the other actors as names and appearences, but I have to mention their excellent play as well. Here is the trailer to see for yourself:


4 comments:

Kimberly Swan said...

You've been very busy with your movie reviews! This one I did see at the theater. :) I had no idea that one actor played the twins, he did a great job.

daydream said...

I know! It's a great movie, entertainment for teh whole family and great actor play.

PS: Yeah, I know have three book reviews ready and waiting this week to be over with and a giveaway! Busy, busy, busy!

Christine said...

I read Black's Spiderwick Chronicles books prior to seeing the film in the theaters. [My 9 year old read them first and when we learned a movie was going to be made, I read the books, too. ;)] Of course there are always a few changes that the film makers make when putting the book on film that I don't like, but overall it was well made.

The Spiderwick Chronicles books are actually more children's books... I think for ages 8-12 maybe. You can read them all in an afternoon! But Holly Black also writes a more edgy and dark YA urban fantasy series featuring faeries, that I be you might really enjoy.

Tithe, Valiant and Ironside are the three books I'm referring to. I've read the first two, but have not yet read the latter. Let me know if you check them out. :)

daydream said...

Thank you Christine. I was thinking about actually ordering thgose, but well these are too children like. I will be checking out her YA novels. I have known of these titles, but well I guess it's time to put them on my ordering list.

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