The Secret of Moonacre

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The Secret of Moonacre
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gábor Csupó
Produced by David Brown
Michael Cowan
Brian Donovan
Meredith Garlick
Monica Penders
Jason Piette
Screenplay by Graham Alborough
Lucy Shuttleworth
Based on The Little White Horse
by Elizabeth Goudge
Starring Ioan Gruffudd
Tim Curry
Natascha McElhone
Juliet Stevenson
Dakota Blue Richards
Music by Christian Henson
Cinematography David Eggby
Edited by Julian Rodd
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 6 September 2008 (2008-09-06) (TIFF)
  • 6 February 2009 (2009-02-06) (United Kingdom)
  • 13 May 2009 (2009-05-13) (France)
  • 19 November 2009 (2009-11-19) (Hungary)
Language English
Box office $7 million[2]

The Secret of Moonacre is a 2008 fantasy film based on the novel The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. The film was directed by Gábor Csupó and starred Dakota Blue Richards in the leading role. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the United Kingdom on 6 February 2009 by Warner Bros.


The film begins with Maria Merryweather after her parents pass away. Her father leaves her the only thing he has left, "The Ancient Chronicles of Moonacre Valley". The book tells how the Moonacre Valley was cursed by the "Moon Princess", after two families fought over her "Moon Pearls".

Sir Benjamin, Maria’s estranged uncle, invites her and her governess, Miss Heliotrope, to live in Moonacre Manor.

When she arrives, Sir Benjamin confiscates the book and tells her to stay away from the forest, and the de Noirs, the rival family in Moonacre Valley.

Maria is surprised by the magic in the dilapidated manor: such as food and clothes, which appear out of nowhere; pianos that play themselves; glittering stars on the ceiling; and, a Black Lion and Unicorn, which protect her and the Moon Princess.

Maria and Robin, de Noir’s youngest son, find the Moon Princess’ secret grotto.

But there is little time if Maria is going to stop the curse, which de Noirs' daughter admits she tried before and failed to do herself.


Order of Appearance


In pre-production it was decided the film needed a different title from the book. An internet poll was run, giving fans of the book a chance to vote for their preferred title: The Moon Princess or The Secret of Moonacre. The Secret of Moonacre won.

Filming started on 1 October 2007, and took place between Hungary and London. The director Gábor Csupó chose Schossberger Castle (hu) to "embody" the Moonacre mansion.


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Secret of Moonacre (2009)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Secret of Moonacre (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 

External links[edit]