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Magic in the Water (1995)

Radio psychologist Jack Black takes his children Joshua and Ashley on a 'vacation' to a lake in British Columbia. While he grinds away at work the children discover that the famous local ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Willie Nark-Orn ...
Frank Salsedo ...
Uncle Kipper (as Frank Sotonoma Salsedo)
Morris Panych ...
Ben Cardinal ...
John Procaccino ...
Simon, Patient #1
Garrett Bennett ...
Christian, Patient #2 (as Gareth Bennett)
Bug-Eyes, Patient #3


Radio psychologist Jack Black takes his children Joshua and Ashley on a 'vacation' to a lake in British Columbia. While he grinds away at work the children discover that the famous local lake monster "Orky" may not be just a gimmick to attract tourists after all. In fact, Orky may enable them to get closer to their workaholic dad, and help stop local polluters who are dumping toxic waste into Orky's home. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In a small town, on a peaceful lake, a mythical creature is about to surface.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and moments of peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

30 August 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Glenorky  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,643,346 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Early in the movie Ashley is wearing an over-sized powderkegblue (UCLA) football jersey #7. Mark Harmon was the starting UCLA Quarterback - he wore #7. See more »


When Uncle Kipper is showing Joshua and Ashley the totem pole, the camera is pointed down on the characters. As the camera pans lower, a crew member's foot is visible at the bottom of the screen. See more »


Ashley Black: [to Okey] Well, I guess I'd better go find a safe place to sleep. Safe from wild animals and high-wire perverts.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Orky as Himself [Orky is the sea monster] See more »


Das Rheingold (Entrance of the Gods Into Valhalla)
Written by Richard Wagner
Performed by CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)
See more »

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User Reviews

A Coming of Age Family Fantasy Drama
4 March 2013 | by (utah) – See all my reviews

Mark Harmon of television's NCIS, Joshua Jackson of television's sci-fi Fringe in one of his first performing roles, and Sarah Wayne who won best supporting young actress at the Young Artist Awards and her only performing role offer up this fantasy family drama feature film. The underlying theme of a child trying to convince others of the existence of something unbelievable has been presented a number of times and in this movie, the presentation is solid. Unlike the occult Dark Water (2005), this fantasy movie isn't as emotionally layered or seriously scary but instead is more in line with a juvenile audience, closer to Pete's Dragon (1977). Yet Magic in the Water actually shines in comparison to Pete's Dragon which suffers from the weak special effects technology of time and avoidance of its over the top slapstick comedy which may be a result of its being more for young children than the older children like the coming of age classic Fly Away Home (1996) based on the true story of a girl who helps to fly migrating geese to their winter home. Magic in the Water takes from the minimalist use of the "monster" as in Alien (1979) and instead uses the performance of the actors themselves as the focus on the movie.

This movie doesn't quite have nor does it need the definitive ending of the adult fantasy K-Pax (2001) nor the comedic undertone of Lake Placid (1999) to succeed. While more restrained by Loch Ness (1996) with its use of special effects and the focus on the "monster" which allows this movie to retain its intellectual and emotional superiority, it doesn't have that consistent depth of Super 8 (2011) or the charm of ET (1982) nor the intense substance of Whale Rider (2002) or the emotive haunting mystery as Wave Length (1983). While The Water Horse (2007) and is more about the bonding between a boy and a sea creature and Loch Ness (1996) is more about the more deliberate search for a monster creature and the coming of age of the man played by Ted Danson who is instructed to disprove its existence, Magic in the Water has a stronger environmental message and a fascinating mental health edge and father-daughter, family focus that is meaningfully satisfying.

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