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Based on the novel by BABE author Dick King-Smith, THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP is set in Scotland during World War II, and focuses on Angus (Alex Etel), a young boy who discovers an unusual egg at Loch Ness. When the egg hatches to reveal a dinosaur-like creature, Angus finds that he has a unique pet--a mythical "water horse," which he names Crusoe. Complicating matters are Crusoe's fast growth rate and soldiers stationed near the lake, factors that make it very tricky to keep the friendly beastie a secret.
A thoroughly likable family film directed by Jay Russell (TUCK EVERLASTING), THE WATER HORSE provides an intriguing spin on the classic boy-and-his-dog tale. While Etel, who won over audiences in MILLIONS, ably carries the movie, he is supported by a topnotch ensemble that includes Emily Watson as his mother, newcomer Priyanka Xi as his sister, and Ben Chaplin as a good-natured handyman. Primarily sharing the screen with Etel, however, is the Loch Ness Monster-in-the-making, which is wonderfully rendered by Weta, the company behind the digital effects for THE LORD OF THE RINGS films. Both cute and--in his larger state--intimidating, Crusoe strikes up a surprisingly believable relationship with Angus, providing the heart of this beautifully photographed story.
Robert Bernstein - Producer, THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP
Barrie M. Osbourne - Producer, THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP
Dick King-Smith - Author, BABE and THE WATER HORSE
Ben Chaplin - British Actor
Robert Nelson Jacobs - screenwriter
Alex Etel - Actor, MILLIONS (2005)
Douglas Rae - Producer, CHARLOTTE GRAY (2001)
James Newton Howard - Composer, KING KONG (2005)
Brian Cox - British Actor, L.I.E. (2000)
Charlie Lyons - Exec. Producer, THE GUARDIAN, (2006)
Emily Watson - Actress
David Morrissey - BRITISH ACTOR
"[T]he film consistently evokes an authentic sense of time and place and features remarkable computer-generated graphics work..." - 12/25/2007 New York Times
"An enchanting tale of friendship and evolving relationships, THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP engagingly grafts coming-of-age movie chestnuts onto Scottish folklore." - 12/25/2007 Los Angeles Times
"[A]lthough it has some whizzy special effects, it's a pleasingly old-fashioned tale....The depiction of wartime rural Scotland is beautifully drawn." - 02/01/2008 Sight and Sound, p.88
3 stars out of 5 -- "[A]s family friendly fairy tales go, it's charming..." - 03/01/2008 Empire, p.61