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on 15 November 2005
Exactly how I am the first Amazon customer to write a review of this fantastic title is quite beyond me! I rented this DVD a few months ago, having vaguely remembered it from my childhood. I didn’t expect to view it with the same sense of enchantment that I did when I was younger. However, right from the opening credits I found that I did! It completely takes you back to a gloriously innocent age when children said things like “Jolly Hockey Sticks!” and the height of childhood hedonism was having lashings of ginger beer! The five children in question have a series of adventures brought about through wishes that are granted by an obliging sand fairy. Of course the wishes aren’t exactly well thought through by the excitable youths and invariably go pear-shaped. This leads to them using another wish to cancel out the first and consequently a moral lesson is revealed. Some of the special effects are surprisingly palatable and, in many places, actually really good – a world away from the awful animation layered over live action that spoiled my enjoyment of a certain other BBC children’s title (namely ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’). If you’re toying with the idea of renting or buying this – don’t. Simply do it! You’ll be thoroughly glad you did.
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Update 2014: This BBC DVD has been re-released with new sleeve graphics as Five Children And It, although otherwise it is identical to this older release.

Review of the BBC DVD set: This is a faithful retelling of Edith Nesbit's moralistic Victorian children's classic. This TV story is firmly set in her late Victorian/Edwardian era and has carefully re-created period detail. This serial is very gentle and occasionally moving to watch, being more amusing than laugh out loud funny. It's naturally far more 'The railway children' or 'The secret garden' than 'Spy Kids' (hardly surprising as Edith Nesbit also wrote 'The railway Children'). It's not unlike a Victorian 'Famous Five' adventure as the children are given freedom to move about on their own, under the common notion that the older children are 'looking after' their younger siblings.

The BBC series has stalwart British adult actors, although not an 'all-star' cast, and the children are excellent and likable leads. The wise old sand fairy [Psammead] hasn't quite got the puppet quality and script of the recent 2004 film version, but the creature is still very convincing and wise. This BBC series is from 1991, and generally it is far more consistent than the recent film. The picture quality and sound are also very good (better than the BBC Narnia DVD's). The six episodes provide plenty of time to get to know the children and develop the various storylines. The wish granting storyline is slightly moralistic, about learning from your mistakes, greed etc.., but it's all done in a very pleasant and gentle fashion with no preaching, and the children always have basically good intentions. This series was nominated for a BAFTA.

The sequel book to 5 children and it, 'The phoenix and the carpet' BBC all star adaptation from 1997 is also available on a DVD, sadly only in edited film form edited film form, via Amazon resellers (NTSC Region 1 only) and is worth a look if you can find it for a fiver. Fortunately this BBC 'Five children and it' DVD has all six half hour episodes presented seperately with their own titles and credits, so the scripted cliffhanger is retained, ensuring the correct pace for the viewer (and there isn't anyone prattling over the end title music and credits, or previews giving away the main plot elements from next weeks episode).

My 9 year old son watched all the episodes of 'Five children and it' in one go and really enjoyed it, although it took a while to get him to decide to view it as he felt he had already seen it, having seen the 2004 film. In fact the recent 2004 film version is so different it's more like a sequel, although ultimately this longer BBC serial is the more satisfying version. This DVD also has a few extra's like a quiz, photos, and interviews with the cast. So good value, and well worth viewing over a few quiet winter nights.
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on 29 December 2012
Five children and it was one of a series of dvd's released bt the bbc under the heading 'bbc children's classics'.. and it is just that and it has 80's special effects british style (think classic doctor who) none of the CGI you get in todays tv shows but its still great fun, it has dated ut then again it is the bbc..

If you enjoy watching this then you'll want to watch the others..
The box of delights, The borrowers and in my mind the far superior bbc made Chronicles of Narnia (the model Aslan look way better than the disney cgi 1)
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on 1 August 2009
I have boys (8 & 10) who enjoyed the Roman Mysteries and the Simpsons and I like to sit and watch one episode rather than a whole film in the evening. So I chose something that I thought that I would enjoy too (I read the books as a kid). The acting is thankfully good apart from one hystrionic child (spot her) and the plots good enough that you are left wanting to know what happens next episode. The awkward, more dated bits are really quite funny too, (the Samiad looks like yoda) not that they are meant to be and my boys enjoyed trying to think up what they would wish for had it been them and how the actual wish would go wrong. My boys really enjoyed these and I would recommend this film heartily.
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on 21 January 2013
exactly what we wanted an ordered a great childhood memory and great product. Would of course order again - thank you
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on 17 December 2011
glad i finally found this on dvd i loved it as a child many years a go and my children love it too x
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on 15 March 2016
Bought this for a friend suffering from nostalgia, we have seen the film but I think he might enjoy this old tv series
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on 22 June 2016
Great item,Quick delivery, well packed, A1 seller***************
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on 29 October 2015
have looked for thisdvd since I was young and loved it
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