Five Children and It (film)

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Five Children and It
Five Children Poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by John Stephenson
Produced by Nick Hirschkorn
Lisa Henson
Samuel Hadida
Written by E. Nesbit
David Solomons
Starring Freddie Highmore
Tara FitzGerald
Jonathan Bailey
Zoë Wanamaker
Kenneth Branagh
Eddie Izzard
Music by Jane Antonia Cornish
Cinematography Mike Brewster
Edited by Michael Ellis
Distributed by Pathé
Release dates
  • 11 September 2004 (2004-09-11) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • 15 October 2004 (2004-10-15) (United Kingdom)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Five Children and It is a 2004 film adaption of the book of the same name, directed by John Stephenson, starring Freddie Highmore, with Zoë Wanamaker, Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Izzard as the voice of the Psammead. The digital puppetry and CGI animation for Psammead was created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop.


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 It's 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.



Five Children and It received mixed reviews. The film has a rating of 57% on the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on seven critics' reviews.[1] 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.[2] Time Out London was less praising, stating that the cast "shuffle[d]" through their parts" and lamenting the special effects, but praising Eddie Izzard.[3]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Won Anthony Asquith Award for Best New British Composer (TV) - Jane Antonia Cornish

Won Crystal Heart Award

See also[edit]


External links[edit]