Five Children And It 2004

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John Stephenson directs this adaptation of the classic children's novel by E. Nesbit. During the First World War a group of children are sent to stay with their eccentric Uncle Albert (Kenneth Branagh). There, they meet 'It', a Psammead - or sand fairy - in a gravel pit. This ancient, peculiar and rather irritable creature (voiced by Eddie Izzard) has the power to grant the children a wish every day, that will last until sunset. But the children soon discover it is harder than one might imagine to think of sensible wishes - and each one gets them into all kinds of unexpected scrapes...

Starring:
Zoe Wanamaker, Eddie Izzard
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 29 minutes
Starring Zoe Wanamaker, Eddie Izzard, Jessica Claridge, Freddie Highmore, John Sessions, Poppy Rogers, Tara Fitzgerald, Norman Wisdom, Alex Jennings, Kenneth Branagh, Jonathan Bailey
Director John Stephenson
Genres Science Fiction
Studio PATHE DISTRIBUTION
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English
Hearing impaired subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Keith_Joseph HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
This is a fairly faithful (in concept) retelling of Edith Nesbit's moralistic children's classic, although the story is reset in the first world war period. This film is very gentle and occasionally moving to watch, although it is more amusing than laugh out loud funny (at least when Eddie Izzard isn't about). It's more 'The railway children' or 'The secret garden' than 'Spy Kids' (hardly surprising as Nesbit also wrote The Railway Children).

The stalwart British adult actor's Zoe Wannamaker and Kenneth Branagh are in good form and all the children are excellent and likable leads, particularly the young Freddie Highmore [now the new Charlie in Charlie & the Chocolate factory] and his tubby 'nasty cousin' Horace (Alexander Pownall) - although perhaps it might have been a little less cliched if their roles had been reversed. The wise & witty old sand fairy naturally steals all his scenes (and Eddy Izzard is really great as his voice). The only downside is the rather naff static dinosaur sequence, more than made up for though by the breathtaking Zeppelin scene (best viewed on the big screen). There are some other famous UK faces as well, including Norman Wisdom in a micro cameo. The film hasn't got the depth or historical accuracy of the three hour BBC's TV adaptation of the book from 1991, and is far less faithful to the book's plotline set in the earlier late Victorian/Edwardian period. However the film is quite acceptable fun and has the advantage that it can easily be viewed as a sequel to the superb BBC adaptation.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 Nov 2005
Format: DVD
This film is a masterpiece that puts together information on wartime britain with the mischievous lives of children. It is about a group of children who discover a secret that has been hidden in the ground for thousands of years to be awoken. It was funny in some bits although it does have a moral which is cleverly hidden in the story. A must se for the whole family.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Suze on 3 Dec 2005
Format: DVD
On its own this was a good film. The basic premise is there, five children, an it and some wishes which fade at sunset. This was a fun, funny movie with the appropriate lump in your throat moments. I enjoyed it but wasn't so keen on how estranged Robert seemed to be from his brothers and sisters. Kenneth Brannagh and Zoe Wannamaker were topnotch of course and Eddie Izzard provides much amusement as It. This film isn't particularly faithful to the book by E. Nesbit, only a few basic points correspond at all and if you're looking for something that will compliment the book then you might be better off going for the BBC mini series. If, however you're looking for a fun movie to watch with the kids then I would definitely recommend this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Green Knight on 13 July 2014
Format: DVD
'Five Children and It' is a classic - or It should be. The book, penned in 1904 by E.Nesbit (author of 'The Railway Children', and many famous titles), is a little masterpiece of storytelling - which is why It's a classic.

Such a pity that the producers of this 2004 film have so little faith in the original material, or in their own considerable talents, that they feel It necessary to half-inch the title and the central character in order to weave It into their own ghastly Disneyfied product. The film oozes pretty frocks, pretty sets, action - and special effects (of course). There's noise, frenetic activity - because that's what kids must have, best beloved - and self-consciously eccentric characters and dialogue. There are lots of hushed voices too, secret passages, and other devices nicked from better movies. Eddie Izzard voices a silly and undignified Psammead, and ninety-nine percent of this nonsense has nothing whatsoever to do with the original book of the same title. It's a cheat, and It's vulgar in the extreme.

Forget this con-trick. Give me the BBC 'Five Children and It' (1991) every time - with Its very slightly rough television edges, It's faithfulness to the original, Its gloriously English Psammead, and Its thoroughly warm heart. Now that It's been remastered and re-released, It may not be an all-star blockbuster, but It's a treat from start to finish. And It will outlast this tripe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Riggers on 7 April 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Good fun for all the family. Takes you back to an innocent age with great performances from the likes of Kenneth Branagh. Got it after seeing it on TV - you would not believe what they edit out to make room for some crap adverts. The film is so much better without them so don't wait for TV they corrupt a good film.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dodster TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Nov 2006
Format: DVD
I was thoroughly capivated by this dvd. The story is fairly simple. City children are evacuated to the country to stay with their cousin. On arrival they are given free rein of the house, but are not to go to the greenhouse. Needless to say, it is the first place they explore. Inside exists a secret passage to a special beach, the home of the Sand Fairy, aka IT. IT grants wishes but, with a twist...

Kenneth Branagh is wonderful as the excentric uncle.

A lovely family movie.
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