Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

The Water-Horse

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Social drinking
Violence/Scariness:Wartime violence, references to offscreen wounds and sad death, guns, some peril
Diversity Issues:Class issues
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: Social drinking
Violence/Scariness: Wartime violence, references to offscreen wounds and sad death, guns, some peril
Diversity Issues: Class issues
Movie Release Date: December 25, 2007

waterhorse-poster-0.jpg
In the grand tradition of “he followed me home — can I keep him?” movies, we have seen movies about children who are brought to adventure and understanding through dogs, horses, cats, a whale, a dolphin, dragons, geese, and an extra-terrestrial. But this imaginative family fantasy-adventure is the first movie in my memory about a boy and his very own Loch Ness monster.
Angus (Alex Etel) is a young boy in World War II Scotland, the son of the housekeeper of a large estate. He finds what he thinks is a rock but it turns out to be an egg. He calls the creature who hatches “Crusoe.”

Advertisement


At first, Crusoe is a cute little thing, a sort of friendly, cooing, shell-less snail. But he grows very quickly soon Angus has to let some other people in on the secret.
The role of animals (or extra-terrestrials) in movies like this is to give the child at the center of the story a growth experience. As in most movies of this kind, Crusoe is there to help the main character deal with loss by learning to care for something that needs protecting and by drawing on resources of courage and maturity he did not know he had. It turns out that Angus has not been able to accept a tragic loss. Caring for Crusoe will help him find a way to hold on to his connection to the person he has lost by learning to love — and then learning to let go — of his pet monster.
Alex’s mother (Emily Watson) will also learn something from Crusoe. Her experience of loss has left her unwilling to believe in anything magical. And a wounded veteran (Ben Chaplin as Lewis Mowbry) finds something hopeful wakened in him at the sight of the growing monster in a bathtub as well. And when Angus goes for a ride on Crusoe’s back, it is a scene of the purest childhood joy and freedom.
Crusoe rescues something in Angus and his family, and then they must rescue him in an exciting scene beautifully staged by director Jay Russell (“Ladder 49″) and performed by his outstanding cast. This is a fine family film, filled with imagination and heart.
Parents should know that this film includes some wartime violence (guns and explosions) and reference to wartime injuries and loss, including the (offscreen) death of a parent. Characters are in peril. There is some social drinking and there is brief crude humor.
Families who see this movie should talk about how Crusoe helped both Angus and Lewis understand and cope with their losses. How does taking care of something (or someone) who needs you change you? What do you think will happen after the last scene in the movie?
Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy Free Willy and Andre. They will also enjoy Alex Etel’s wonderful performance in the delightful Millions.

  • Elle

    Nell’s assessment of the age group is appropriate for this film. After seeing the trailer I took my 5 year old and almost 3 year old to see this film. We had to leave early — mostly because of the “wartime violence (guns and explosions)” which includes cannons being aimed and fired at Crusoe with Alex on his back. As an adult the film is really good, but I’d make sure your child is older before taking him or her. Also, the story is interesting, but rather dark and deals with fears of drowning, WWII (talk of the Nazis), and, as mentioned by Nell, the death of a parent.

  • cbaray

    I saw this with my 6 year old and 8 year old daughters. They loved the movie. My 6 year old is pretty emotional, so there were a couple of times she got teary (when she found out the father died and when she thought Crusoe would die), but at the end, she was very excited! Simply a great movie!!!

Previous Posts

The Transporter Refueled
It must be said. The refueled "Transporter" is very low octane. The original had some of the best chase scenes ever filmed and a ...

posted 5:34:15pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Learning to Drive
Katha Pollitt's wry but bordering on scathing essay about taking her first driving lessons in her 50's, after her partner of seven ...

posted 3:25:11pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Dean Jones
When the sad news came about the death of actor Dean Jones, those who remembered him most fondly mostly fell into two separate groups with not much overlap. Many baby boomers remembered him as the eternally fresh-faced star of Disney films like ...

posted 2:20:21pm Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: The True Story of "The Man Who Saved the World"
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAAky4iJcsQ[/youtube] Many feature films have imagined what would happen if a real or apparent nuclear attack precipitated war. None of them came close to the real-life story told in this documentary ...

posted 11:53:03am Sep. 03, 2015 | read full post »

What Screen Time Does to Developing Brains
As kids go back to school, it's a good time to establish some rules about screen time.  My recommended rules are below. This is increasingly ...

posted 3:55:33pm Sep. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.