I caught “The Spiderwick Chronicles” sometimes last week or maybe the week before that, I can’t really recall, but didn’t have the time to blog about the movie until now.

The movie “The Spiderwick Chronicles” is adapted from a series of illustrated children’s fantasy books of the same name, written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. I saw the books at MPH before and I would have bought them if, well, they have a lot more words haha. These books are totally meant for children with beautiful illustrations, and, I believe, a fantastic read for them.

Similarly, if you haven’t watch this movie yet, you should because it’s a marvellous one! Basically, the story begins when a recently divorced Mrs Grace, together with her children Mallory (eldest sister) and twin boys Simon and Jared, moves into the Spiderwick Estate, which is given to her by her elderly aunt Lucinda. By accident, Jared finds the Spiderwick’s Field Guide, a work by the late owner of the estate and their great-granduncle, Arthur Spiderwick. Even though an attached note warns him not to read it, he does so anyway. That’s when an invisible but powerful surge came out from the opened book, through the house and spread throughout the entire forest. The deed has been done. Now the evil, powerful, shape-shifting ogre, Mulgarath who lives in the forest knows that the book has been uncovered again. He wants the book for himself because the secrets that lie inside the book and tell everything of every kind of mythical creatures that live in this world can help it destroy all of them, as well as humans, so that it can rule the Earth. It sends out its evil but a bit thick-headed troop of vicious goblins to snatch the book and the three siblings face great danger ahead. Nevertheless, with the help of the house brownie (Thimbletack, who was supposed to guard the book safely anyway but failed to), a hobgoblin (Hogsqueal), their great-aunt Lucinda, a griffin (Arthur Spiderwick’s pet) and of course, Arthur Spiderwick himself, the children managed to protect themselves and their mum, and the book, and everyone else successfully.

the very kaypoh Jared

 

It’s a children’s book, so what do you expect but a very happy ending? 🙂

Perhaps because I hadn’t expect too much from the movie, I walked away from the theatre at the end of the movie incredibly entertained by it. It’s a truly interesting movie because firstly, there’s the mythical factor. Well, I grew up reading tons of Enid Blyton’s books, so creatures like pixies, goblins, brownies, fairies, elves, trolls and dwarves have a special place in my heart. Do I believe in them? Well, I won’t go around all day long trying to spot any, but I don’t think I’ll dismiss the slightest possibility that these creatures may live among us in our world. Maybe they are really invisible and most of us can’t see them. A few people have claimed that these creatures exist and they can see them. Would you believe them? I would read such accounts with a big pinch of salt but unless proven impossible, hey, there’s always the possiblity.

 

So if you enjoy Harry Potter, Narnia, The Golden Compass, etc as much as I do, then I think you’ll love this movie too. But I do wish that the movie has elaborated and focused more on the different types of creatures. I mean, the field guide looked terribly fascinating with so many drawings and specimens. Surely there’s a lot more than just the brownie, goblins, a few fairies, a griffin and an ogre. (-.-) In the books, they talk about unicorns, elves, pixies, knockers (whatever these are) and far more!

Stupid and ugly goblins

I think what I hadn’t expect most from this movie was the humour.

It was such a hilarious movie. I think I pretty much laughed my guts off from the start of the movie till the end. But there were a couple of touching moments too, which I’ll get to in a minute. I don’t want to spoil the movie for you if you haven’t watch it and are planning to, but here’s one very funny dialogue:

Mallory Grace to Thimbletack: What happens when Mulgarath gets the book?
Thimbletack: I die. You die. We all die. Bye-bye.
Mallory: (turns to Jared; voice quavering slightly) What does he mean, ‘we all die’?
Jared: I think he means…we all die.

WAHAHAHA. Super funny. Thimbletack provided many laugh-till-you-drop moments even though he was very uptight most of the time (wait till you see him transform into a boggart, that was hilarious) but I think the ugly pig-like hobgoblin Hogsqueal, who doesn’t look at all like the kind and trustworthy thing that he really is, totally steals the show. I mean, just look at the ending, Hogsqueal totally rocks when he..hmm..can’t reveal more as it’ll be a MAJOR spoiler haha. But I honestly didn’t expect that kind of ending. It was damn funny but realistic enough at the same time. 🙂

  

Besides the humour factor, there is also an emphasis on family. Firstly, there is the tension and misunderstanding between Jared and his mum due to the divorce between his parents. It was warming to see how they cleared the air in the end. Secondly, there is the father-daughter bond between Arthur Spiderwick and his daughter Lucinda. This part was really kind of saddening though, and a bit applicable to the mindset of modern parents and their relationships with their children as a result. Arthur spent his whole life on the Field Guide (in fact Lucinda said that it was his life), neglected his then eight-year-old daughter and was brought away and captured by Sylphs for 80 years. For those good 80 years, Lucinda had to spend it without the love and care of a father, and being taken as mental when she tried to explain her dad’s capture by the Sylphs whom no one else could see. At the last part (can’t help it! spoilers ahead!), the Sylphs appear, bringing Arthur to see Lucinda, but he can’t stay long as he cannot remain outside of the faerie realm without turning to ash. Lucinda asks to be taken with him instead, so the Sylphs transform her back into her six-year-old self and spirit the two away, hand in hand, beaming blissfully.

It was so hard not to have tears roll down my face at that point. *sigh* Far too many parents spend their time at work, thinking that they should earn more money for their children so that they can have what they need and go to college etc, but they forget that their children will want and need more of their time, rather than money and material comforts, to listen to them, talk to them, care for them. Of course, material needs are important too but as compared to parents’ love and concern, I think a child will always opt for the latter.  

To sum up, “The Spiderwick Chronicles” is a fascinating movie with credible performances from the child actors and actress, beautiful CG effects, lots of laughter and some tears, some food for thought, and a brief escapade into an exciting, imaginary mythical world. A MUST-WATCH. 🙂

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