'It' is a Psammead, an ancient, ugly and irritable sand fairy the children find one day on a secret beach at their uncle's mansion. It grants them one wish per day, lasting until sunset. But they soon learn it is very hard to think of really sensible wishes, and each one gets them into unexpected difficulties. Magic, the children find, can be as awkward as it is enticing. Written by
"Happy Birthday To You" was first published in 1893, in 1912 the lyrics were added to the music, so the song could have been sung ads the film is set in 1917. See more »
It was the Summer of nineteen seventeen and the world was at war. Like lots of children, we had to leave our home. - Leave London. We didn't want to go, but Dad went to fly planes, and Mum went to look after the wounded, and we were stuck. They insisted we go to the country, to stay with mad Uncle Albert and our cousin Horace.
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Eddie Izzard's hysterical portrayal of "It" is his best performance and the only real reason to see this otherwise unremarkable children's film
Five children go to the country to stay with their uncle during the First World War. While exploring the house they come upon a secret door which takes them down to the beach where they meet a "sand fairy" who agrees to grant one wish a day for them. The wishes all go horribly wrong, but in the process the children learn something.
The Jim Henson Company produced this adaptation of the E Nesbit story and its not one of their better works. The film looks like any other children's book adaptation you can think of to the extent that you could probably inter-cut scenes from this film with any other similar children's film and not be able to tell the difference. Its not bad, but it doesn't have anything unique about it...
...well actually it does, It has two excellent performances that keep this film from sinking to the bottom of the children's film adaptation barrel. The first is Kenneth Branagh as they kids crazy Uncle Albert. he isn't in it all that much but while he's on screen he chews the scenery looking like a deranged Jim Broadbent. He is charmingly scatterbrained as a man who doesn't know what day it is and who wonders where last October went to.
The other joy is Eddie Izzard, in his best role to date as the voice of the sand fairy, the "It" of the title. This is Izzard at his free-form best as he bounces off the walls of sanity in a steady stream of nonsense. Izzard's portrayal is a kin to an evening of his best stand-up comedy but in the context of the story, where anything can and will come out of the mouth of a little creature with a mobile home. Its one of the funniest things I've seen on screen on long time and he's the real reason to see the film.
Over all a completely average children's film made more than watchable thanks to Eddie Izzard's vocal performance as It. Worth a rental or a viewing on cable, especially if you're a fan.
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