Five Children and It (film)
|Five Children and It|
UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Stephenson|
Five Children and It|
by E. Nesbit
|Music by||Jane Antonia Cornish|
|Edited by||Michael Ellis|
Icon Productions (US and UK distribution)|
Pathé (Europe distribution only)
Warner Home Video (US home video distribution only)
|Box office||£1,519,049 ($2,348,145.69 in domestic box office)|
Five Children and It is a 2004 adventure fantasy comedy-drama family film adaptation of the book of the same name, which features live action and computer animation. It was directed by John Stephenson, produced by Nick Hirschkorn, Lisa Henson and Samuel Hadida, written by E. Nesbit and David Solomons with music by Jane Antonia Cornish and starring Tara FitzGerald, Freddie Highmore, Alex Jennings, Jonathan Bailey, Jessica Claridge, Poppy Rogers, Alec Muggleton, Zak Muggleton, Zoë Wanamaker, Kenneth Branagh, Alexander Pownall, Robert Tygner, Eddie Izzard as the voice of It-Psammead, Georgio Serafini, John Sessions, Kim Fenton, Norman Wisdom and Duncan Preston. The film was co-produced by Sandfairy, Capitol Films, Feel Films, Isle of Man Film Commission, Isle of Man Film, Jim Henson Productions, The Jim Henson Company, Davis Films, UK Film Council and Endgame Entertainment. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, 2004 and was theatrically released on October 15, 2004 by Pathé and Icon Productions. The digital puppetry and CGI animation for Psammead was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Five Children and It grossed £1,519,049 worldwide. Five Children and It was released on DVD on July 5, 2005 by Warner Home Video.
The film begins with five children (Robert, Cyril, Jane, Anthea and The Lamb), that let their father go to the fight in World War I. That's in 1914, but the children are asked to stay at their uncle's house with his son, Horace. While exploring the house, Robert finds a locked door in the Greenhouse and brings the other children. They manage to open the door and discover a creature called It, a sand fairy. They wish to make the house tidy without having to do the work. When they come back, they see dozens of copies of themselves doing the chores and wrecking the house in the attempt.
Suddenly, everything disappears in clouds of golden dust. They are then forced to tidy up the mess and learn that wishes only last till sunset. The children blame It for the mess. They need money to fix all the broken items, so they wish for buckets of gold and go off to buy some items. Meanwhile, Horace becomes suspicious. The children aren't able to buy anything because the owners will not accept gold, believing it is fake. They purchase a car, having nothing else to do with the gold, and end up crashing it. Robert goes to It and wishes for wings so they can go off to France and find their father. While flying, they are almost killed, managing to escape in time. When sunset comes, they have no choice but to go home. They lose their wings and are about to fall into the sea but are blown back by It.
When the children's mother returns, the children learn that their father has gone missing. Robert falls asleep next to It on the beach. Horace follows Robert and captures It. The next morning, Robert confronts Horace but is unwilling to act, as Horace has his father's compass. Robert suggests Horace wish for something rather than dissect It, as he wanted to do. Horace wishes for his Dinosaur to hatch. The children arrive in time to see Horace's dinosaur standing high above them. After trying to calm it down, It makes the dinosaur vanish. Shocked, Horace passes out, and Robert takes him to their mother, while the other children wish for their father to come home.
The children go to Horace, settle their differences, and agree to share the secret of Its existence together. On It's birthday, the children wish it a good future and prepare to return home. When their car breaks down, they are forced to stay in the house and Horace suggests a game of hide-and-seek. As Robert counts, his father appears. When Robert realizes that its really their father, he and the children are overjoyed, joined by their mother. Finally reunited with their father, the children prepare to go home.
- Tara FitzGerald as Mother
- Freddie Highmore as Robert
- Alex Jennings as Father
- Jonathan Bailey as Cyril
- Jessica Claridge as Anthea
- Poppy Rogers as Jane
- Alec Muggleton as Lamb
- Zak Muggleton as Lamb
- Zoë Wanamaker as Martha
- Kenneth Branagh as Uncle Albert
- Alexander Pownall as Horace
- Robert Tygner as It-Psammead (performer)
- Eddie Izzard as It-Psammead (voice)
- Georgio Serafini as Mr. Bialli
- John Sessions as Peasemarsh
- Kim Fenton as RFC Flier
- Norman Wisdom as Nesbitt
- Duncan Preston as Sergeant
Production and music
On June 3, 2003, John Stephenson was hired and set to direct Five Children and It based on the book of the same name by E. Nesbit. David Solomons wrote the script for the film. Nick Hirschkorn, Lisa Henson and Samuel Hadida produced the film for release in 2004. On 5 June, it was announced that Tara FitzGerald, Freddie Highmore, Alex Jennings, Jonathan Bailey, Jessica Claridge, Poppy Rogers, Alec Muggleton, Zak Muggleton, Zoë Wanamaker, Kenneth Branagh, Alexander Pownall, Georgio Serafini, John Sessions, Kim Fenton, Norman Wisdom and Duncan Preston joined the film. Eddie Izzard joined the cast on 8 July to voice It-Psammead. On 15 July, it was announced that Jane Antonia Cornish would compose the music for the film. The film uses live action for the humans and computer animation for It-Psammead. Development and animation of the film was completed in England, UK and Isle of Man. The film’s soundtrack also contains “Happy Birthday to You” written by Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill) and Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill) and “Robert's Theme” written and performed by Sean Lennon.
Five Children and It was released on DVD on July 5, 2005 by Warner Home Video.
Five Children and It received a rating of 57% on the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on seven critics' reviews. Empire stated that it was "a refreshing family film and once you're on the wavelength, Izzard is a treat", giving the film 3 out of 5 stars. Time Out London was less praising, stating that the cast "shuffle[d]" through their parts" and lamenting the special effects, but praising Eddie Izzard.
Five Children and It grossed £1,519,049 worldwide.
Awards and nominations
- BAFTA Awards 2005
Won Anthony Asquith Award for Best New British Composer (TV) - Jane Antonia Cornish
Won Crystal Heart Award
- Happy Birthday to You - Written by Patty S. Hill (as Patty Hill) and Mildred J. Hill (as Mildred Hill)
- Robert's Theme - Written and Performed by Sean Lennon