Friday, January 11, 2008

Mini Movie Review - The Water Horse

My first impression of the Water Horse, based on the book by Dick King-Smith, was that we were finally going to be treated to a traditional children's movie, full of the joy of discovery and the value of friendship. I took my whole family to this movie, rather than something like Golden Compass or Enchanted, because I thought that it would be a nice movie about a cool little critter that everyone would enjoy. The reviews that I read on the internet seemed to support this, saying it was suitable for the whole family, and I remember the preview looking happy and fun.

So why did no-one tell me that it's actually a world war 2 movie in disguise? The movie has some quite serious undertones about the folly of war, and most of the action of the movie was tension between the various male adult characters, the young male protagonist and his mother. The CG on the water horse itself was spectacular, it was a really cute little dude that it was easy to fall in love with, but it didn't get nearly the screen time it deserved. The last half hour of the movie were particularly tense and upsetting, and although the movie ultimately had a happy ending, I don't expect that kind of mental turmoil in an innocent kids movie.

I'm thoroughly sick of war movies masquerading as fairytales. Pan's Labyrinth is excused because I knew nothing about the movie before I saw it - I didn't even know it was rated MA until I was in the cinema, but if this tread continues, I will be very unimpressed.

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