The Spiderwick Chronicles a.k.a. “Les Chroniques de Spiderwick,” “Las Crónicas de Spiderwick,” “As Crônicas de Spiderwick,” “Die Geheimnisse der Spiderwicks,” “Kronika rodu Spiderwicku,” “Spiderwick,” “Spiderwick Fortællingerne,” “Spiderwick Krønikene,” “De Spiderwick Kronieken,” “Spiderwick günceleri,” “Spiderwickin kronikat”
Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy
1 hr. 37 min.
Year of Release:
February 14, 2008 (wide—3,500 theaters)
“Their world is closer than you think.”
My family first fell in love with the books contained in The Spiderwick Chronicles last spring. We were on a road trip, and our local librarian recommended their audio books. They were family-focused, adventurous and fun.
Parts of this film felt the same…
In the film version of The Spiderwick Chronicles, four members of the Grace family are relocating to their new home. The home was left to the mother, Helen (Mary Louise Parker) by her great aunt Lucinda (Joan Plowright). It is briefly mentioned, later in the film, that the Grace father has left the family for another woman, and so Helen and the three Grace children are forced to move in to this old family home.
Mallory, the oldest, has stepped up into the role of caretaker, teaming up with younger brother Simon (Freddie Highmore) to make sure things remain peaceful and that their mother is cared for as she attempts to piece their lives back together. The only one seemingly standing in the way is Simon's twin brother Jared (also played by Freddie Highmore), who has apparent anger issues. It's Jared who stumbles upon Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide. Once he ignores the warning and reads the book, Jared's world turns upside as his eyes are opened to the mysterious and magical world around him.
Eighty years before the Grace family moved into the home, Arthur Spiderwick hid the book in an effort to protect his life's work, as well as himself and his family. The wicked troll Mulgareth (Nick Nolte) sought to obtain the book and learn all of its secrets so that he could kill all of the Fairies—their goodness dying with them. Once Arthur Spiderwick had gone, a Brownie named Thimbletack (Martin Short) had stayed on to aid Spiderwick's daughter Lucinda in protecting the book from Mulgareth and his goblins.
Careless of the instructions found within the book, however, Jared lets it be known that he has the book in his possession and Mulgarath begins a war on Jared's family, in an effort to gain possession of the Field Guide. It isn't long before Jared must save his family and enlist their help.
The Bad —
The Good —
All in all, I would encourage parents to be cautious, if they have young children. (Maybe even 8 or younger.) We parents are the one's who know how sensitive our children can be, so it is up to us to make those choices.
Although I enjoyed this movie, I do have to admit I enjoyed it less than I'd thought I would. In my opinion, the books are better—though this film version is a close second.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.