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MatchFlick Member Reviews
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jay Russell

Written By:
Robert Nelson Jacobs, Dick King-Smith

Cast:
Brian Cox, Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, Craig Hall, Joel Tobeck, Alex Etel, Marshall Napier, Adam Smith, Forbes KB, Geraldine Brophy, Jessica Kaczorowski, Erroll Shand, Mathew Kaczorowski, Priyanka Xi


 
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007)
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Movie Review by Zombie Boy
December 28th, 2007

Whale Rider meets Pan's Labyrinth

This is an extremely charming movie, though I'm not sure it was entirely aimed at small children, as the adverts will have you believe. It has a very slow start, choosing to set up the characters and situations as opposed to being a CGI smorgasbord.

Young Scottish lad Angus carries around a grim visage through his days, left adrift after his father is conscripted to fight against the German menace in the great war. One day, while digging clams and contemplating his extreme fear of water, he comes across a strange football-shaped something on the beach. He secrets it away in his pail and hides it in his father's workshop, where he pines away when not being shooed away from it by his mum.

Sometime while a band of army men claim eminent domain over the family's home, and a new handyman arrives to take up space in the workshop, the football something hatches. You all know what comes out of it. Angus names it Crusoe, and the handyman, played by the always impressive Ben Chaplin, informs him that it appears to be a mythical creature called a water horse. There can only be one in the world at a time, and it lays one single egg before it dies. The water horse dies before the egg hatches, so that the new water horse is always born an orphan.

Symbolism?

Yeah.

Crusoe grows at an alarmingly exponential rate, and Angus must come to terms with letting go. So he and Chaplin let it go into the loch. Which Scottish loch? Oh, I think you know. But once the villagers, and then the army, start sighting Crusoe, the hunt is on. The villagers want tourism, and the army thinks it is a German sub.

The film handles its subject matter very well. The characters are less stereotypical than the usual fare of this nature, the symbolism is even-handed, the sentimentality is kept to a minimum, and, most importantly, the CGI is not overdone.

It does get a little Free Willy at the end, but overall, a very good bet for parents and children alike.

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