5 Children & It

5 Children & It

     
 

Five brothers and sisters find their uncle has a big surprise hidden in his estate in this comic fantasy for the whole family. Not long after World War I breaks out, five children -- Cyril (Jonathan Bailey), Robert (Freddie Highmore), Anthea (Jessica Claridge), Jane (Poppy Rogers), and Lamb -- find themselves in dangerous circumstances when their father is sent off to… See more details below

Overview

Five brothers and sisters find their uncle has a big surprise hidden in his estate in this comic fantasy for the whole family. Not long after World War I breaks out, five children -- Cyril (Jonathan Bailey), Robert (Freddie Highmore), Anthea (Jessica Claridge), Jane (Poppy Rogers), and Lamb -- find themselves in dangerous circumstances when their father is sent off to fight, and their mother volunteers to be a field nurse. Unable to care for themselves, the children are sent to the country, where they stay with their eccentric uncle Albert (Kenneth Branagh) and his ill-tempered son, Horace (Alexander Pownall), in Albert's ramshackle home. Uncle Albert has more than a few rules about what the children can and cannot do, but his strictest edict is that the children must never go into his greenhouse. Of course, the children's curiosity gets the better of them, and they sneak in to discover their uncle's big secret -- the building is home to Psammead (voice of Eddie Izzard), an ugly and often bad-mannered "sand fairy" who has the ability to grant wishes. However, the kids discover that Psammead's wishes only last for 24 hours, and that they have a strange habit of backfiring on their beneficiaries. Five Children and It was based on the classic book for children by E. Nesbit; Psammead was realized onscreen with a puppet created by Jim Henson's celebrated Creature Shop.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Such are the vagaries of film distribution that the wonderful 5 Children and It, like Terry Jones's exhilarating take on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride before it, bypassed theaters entirely, slipping out on DVD with little or no fanfare. One would think there was a place in the multiplex for a transporting fantasy that engages the imagination with the wonders of wishes and touches the heart with its ruminations on the fleetingness of childhood. This feature-length adaptation of E. Nesbitt's turn-of-the-century children's classic updates the story to 1917. Five siblings are sent from wartime London to live at the rundown seaside mansion of their eccentric uncle (a restrained Kenneth Branagh) and his loathsome son, who performs nasty experiments in his creepy basement lab. The children come across a sand fairy, who grants them a daily wish. The catch is that each wish wears off by sunset and goes horribly wrong, teaching the children the inevitable life lesson in the process. Five Children and It is not as faithful to the book as the 1991 BBC miniseries (also available on DVD), but it does boast better special effects, better acting, and, most important, a better "It," courtesy of Jim Henson's Creature Shop and the sardonic voice of Eddie Izzard, who does for this film what Robin Williams did for Aladdin. Don't expect magic on the Harry Potter scale, but there are some lovely moments. The presence of Freddie Highmore -- Johnny Depp's costar in Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- adds interest for his fans, and may help this gem find the larger audience it richly deserves. At least, that's our wish.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/05/2005
UPC:
0012569721685
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:29:00

Special Features

Both fullscreen and widescreen versions; Subtitles: English, Français & Español

Scene Index

Side #1 -- 5 Children and It [FS]
1. Country Adventure Credits [5:00]
2. Uncle Albert [4:38]
3. House Rules [2:56]
4. The Greenhouse - and Below [3:58]
5. A Psammead [3:41]
6. Make a Wish [3:18]
7. Awash in Chaos [5:57]
8. Counting Fun [4:01]
9. Buckets of Gold [4:10]
10. Shopping Spree [3:29]
11. Motorcar Misadventure [3:47]
12. Letter From Dad [2:44]
13. Trapped by Horace [3:43]
14. Flying to France [3:37]
15. Missing [2:42]
16. I'll Never Forget [2:56]
17. Newest Specimen [4:34]
18. Bad Wish Granted [2:30]
19. Wish Allowance [6:05]
20. Time We Went Home [2:33]
21. Best Birthday Ever [3:35]
22. Good Wish Granted [3:39]
23. End Credits [5:13]
Side #2 -- 5 Children and It [WS]
1. Country Adventure Credits [5:00]
2. Uncle Albert [4:38]
3. House Rules [2:56]
4. The Greenhouse - and Below [3:58]
5. A Psammead [3:41]
6. Make a Wish [3:18]
7. Awash in Chaos [5:57]
8. Counting Fun [4:01]
9. Buckets of Gold [4:10]
10. Shopping Spree [3:29]
11. Motorcar Misadventure [3:47]
12. Letter From Dad [2:44]
13. Trapped by Horace [3:43]
14. Flying to France [3:37]
15. Missing [2:42]
16. I'll Never Forget [2:56]
17. Newest Specimen [4:34]
18. Bad Wish Granted [2:30]
19. Wish Allowance [6:05]
20. Time We Went Home [2:33]
21. Best Birthday Ever [3:35]
22. Good Wish Granted [3:39]
23. End Credits [5:13]

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