We are all a little nostalgic right now. In Queensland, holidaymakers are packing their caravans and heading west for a taste of homespun country life or to places like Hervey Bay which boasts an old fashioned beach holiday charm. Our movies too are looking back in an effort to move forward and so it is with the charming English school holiday romp, Four Kids and It. These school holidays treat yourself and the kids to a magical seaside adventure with four kids, Smash, Ros, Robbie and Maudie…. and a mythical sand monster called It.
This new release is loosely based on E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It , an English classic tale written by the author of the well loved The Railway Children in 1902. It was reimagined by writer, Jacqueline Wilson in 2012 as the ‘ Four Children and It ‘ to appeal to a modern audience. It is this latest incarnation that has been adapted by Andy de Emmony for this film. The household is now a blended family of mixed race, full of added teen angst and a new villain played delightfully by the ever charming and slightly naughty, Russell Brand.
Matthew Goode ( The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) and Paula Patton ( MI5) play a newly divorced couple who ambush their kids with a getting to know you holiday in a remote beach cottage in Cornwall. Things do not start well, but when the kids stumble upon a magical creature called the Psammead, cleverly voiced by Michael Caine, the adventure begins. It who is a Psammead or sand monster, has the ability to grant one wish a day. There is however a catch, the wishes only last until the sun goes down. Kids will love the wish scenes where every child’s deepest desires come true.
Tristan, a strange neighbour who lives in a manor house filled with curiosities, is also keen to find It for his collection. He uses all sorts of electronic devices to tail the children and eventually capture the creature. But in a case of ‘ Be careful what you wish for ‘ this eccentric baddie is in for quite a shock.
Four Kids and It is a story filled with magic, adventure and a reminder of some old fashioned lessons. It’s a feel good story for those around 7+ and will enchant those children who are at the age where magic still abounds in the world. I loved the little Psammead and found him to be a rather scruffy and sandy version of E.T.
The kids and their adventures bring to light some modern issues and in one clever time travel scene they get to meet the five characters from Nesbit’s book. I found myself laughing out loud at times and did identify with the bookish, Ros. As the foreshadowing librarian tells Ros, “ No one’s too old for wishes.” Four Kids and It is showing in Queensland now in time for our school holidays and will be screening Australia wide from 24th September.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).