6.2/10
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The Secret of Moonacre (2008)

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A 13-year-old girl (played by The Golden Compass' Dakota Blue Richards) discovers that she is the only hope for banishing an ancient curse from a magical kingdom in director Gabor Csupo's ... See full summary »

Director:

Gabor Csupo

Writers:

Lucy Shuttleworth (screenplay by), Graham Alborough (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dakota Blue Richards ... Maria Merryweather
Juliet Stevenson ... Miss Heliotrope
Tim Curry ... Coeur De Noir
Tamás Tóth Tamás Tóth ... Vicar
Augustus Prew ... Robin De Noir
György Szathmári György Szathmári ... Lawyer (as György Szatmari)
Natascha McElhone ... Loveday
Ioan Gruffudd ... Sir Benjamin Merryweather / Sir Wrolf Merryweather
George Mendel George Mendel ... Priest (as György Mendel)
Michael Webber Michael Webber ... Digweed
Szabolcs Csák Szabolcs Csák ... Henry
Lurko Lurko ... Wrolf the Dog
Zoltán Markovits Zoltán Markovits ... David
Marcell Tóth Marcell Tóth ... Richard
Zoltán Barabás Kis Zoltán Barabás Kis ... Dulac (as Zoltán Barabás Kiss)
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Storyline

A 13-year-old girl (played by The Golden Compass' Dakota Blue Richards) discovers that she is the only hope for banishing an ancient curse from a magical kingdom in director Gabor Csupo's adaptation of author Elizabeth Goudge's 1946 children's book The Little White Horse.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

curse | pure heart | horse | moral | lion | See All (12) »

Taglines:

A magical adventure for all the family! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild peril and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hungary | UK | France | Australia | USA | New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 February 2009 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

De maanprinses en het geheim van het witte paard See more »

Filming Locations:

Budapest, Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$32,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£308,099 (United Kingdom), 8 February 2009, Limited Release
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dakota Blue Richards hadn't read The Little White Horse, the book the film is based upon, when she got the part of Maria. She read it while on the flight to Hungary to film the book. See more »

Goofs

When Miss Heliotrope is saying goodbye to Maria Merryweather as she sets off for the forest on her horse with the rabbit in her lap, in three successive shots the rabbit changes position each time in her lap as she leaves. See more »

Quotes

Robin De Noir: I promised I would listen to you, and I have.
Maria Merryweather: Robin you have to help me, you have to!
Robin De Noir: [grabs her by the shoulders] You are a Merryweather!
[lets her go]
Robin De Noir: ... right now I ought to kill you.
Maria Merryweather: Kill me and the whole valley dies with me! You and I can stop it and we only have until moon-rise, tonight!
Maria Merryweather: ...I'm still listening.
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Crazy Credits

The sea is used as a backdrop for the end credits. See more »

Connections

Version of Moonacre (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Stars
Written by Christian Henson and Caroline Lost
Performed by SKYE
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well worth watching for the costumes and the sets!
21 May 2009 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

First of all, I am 17 and I absolutely love the book "The Little White Horse" by Elizabeth Goudge, with its beautiful imagery, memorable characters and above all its magical story, and I do agree the book is better than the film in many ways. In fact, the Little White Horse is probably my favourite book of all time. I think the film Secret of Moonacre is a beautiful film, that unfortunately is undermined by one or two problems with the story, and doesn't quite capture the magic of the book.

The film looks absolutely exquisite, with those gorgeous costumes and the lovely sets with the huge menacing moon. The music by Christian Henson is gorgeous and very fitting with the scenery. Gabor Csupo, the director of Bridge of Tarabithia, which is admittedly better, obviously has an eye for art, as he used to be an animator. Other directors that have directed visually stunning fantasy films are Ridley Scott with Legend and Guillermo Del Torro with Pan's Labyrinth.(which is the best foreign language film I have ever seen) Whoever trained the animals, must be told he/she did a truly remarkable job.

The acting is very good, an obvious standout is Dakota Blue Richards of Golden Compass fame in a strong central performance as the protagonist Maria Merryweather. Juliet Stevenson and Andy Linden provide the comedy, with the jokes about indigestion, and whizzing quickly around the kitchen. Tim Curry brings a touch of melancholy to an otherwise menacing and complex character, and it made a difference after seeing Curry in over the top roles such as FrankNFurter and Wadsworth. Though, if anything, I wish Curry had more screen time. Natasha McElhone looked lovely as Loveday, with a lovely face that sometimes defies her when she is cursing for instance. Though I will confess I wasn't entirely convinced by Ioan Gruffodd as Sir Benjamin. In the book Sir Benjamin is fat with three chins, which is a far cry from the gorgeous Gruffodd. I am not saying he was bad, he wasn't. He was very brooding at times, but other times when he looked uncomfortable. That I can understand, because since I have participated in operas with similar costumes,(like the Magic Flute) I do know from experience they can be very uncomfortable to wear.

The story I do agree takes a while to get going, but the book takes one or two chapters to explain the story, which isn't a problem as it is called character development. The basics are all there, the Moon Princess, the pearls and the battle of good and evil, but a lot was changed from the book, and one or two of the characters were changed, and others like Old Parson were left out entirely. I was prepared for a lot of changes when I saw this film (they do it all the time), and although I was fine with most of them, I was annoyed that Maria and Robin's relationship from the book was virtually eliminated, as that was one of the book's main merits. The ending was a bit rushed, I am putting a huge emphasis on the bit, but I liked the underwater sequence very much.

All in all, a flawed but hugely enjoyable film (not the best fantasy I have ever seen but a solid attempt) that is well worth watching for the visuals. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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