Spiderwick Chronicles

Directed By: Mark Waters Starring: Freddie Highmore

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Product Overview

From the beloved, best-selling series of books comes an extraordinary fantasy adventure, revealing the unseen world that exists all around us. From the moment the grace family moves into a secluded old house peculiar things start to happen.


Studio Paramount
SKU 207938737
UPC 097361325941
UPC 14 00097361325941
Format DVD
Release Date 1/17/2012
Rating Rating
Based On A Novel
Family (General)
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Based on the bestselling series of children's fantasy novels of the same name by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES follows the adventures of the Grace family, newly transplanted from New York City to an inherited home in the remote New England woods. Angry with his mother (Mary-Louise Parker) about the move, the sulky Jared (Freddie Highmore) begin to explore the strange old house, and discovers a magical tome written by his great, great uncle Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn). Soon Jared and his twin brother, Simon (also played by Highmore with the aid of seamless special effects), are drawn into a realm of goblins, boggarts, and ogres--a reality that coexists with the human world. By the time the boys' older sister, Mallory (Sarah Bolger), is in on their secret, the siblings are steeped in a conflict with the evil shape-shifting ogre Mulgarath (Nick Nolte), who will stop at nothing to get Spiderwick's book.^Directed by Mark Waters (THE HOUSE OF YES, MEAN GIRLS) and scripted in part by lauded filmmaker John Sayles (THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH), SPIDERWICK succeeds as an engaging kid-oriented movie that also offers up genuine thrills and chills for adults. Highmore and Bolger impressively mask their British and Irish accents, respectively, and display a convincing brother/sister bond, while Martin Short and Seth Rogen provide comic relief as the voices of unlikely CGI allies. Intentionally smaller in scope than other like-minded literary adaptations such as THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and THE GOLDEN COMPASS, SPIDERWICK is rooted in a beautifully earthy, antique aesthetic that provides the perfect setting for its likable protagonists and bizarre-yet-naturalistic creatures.
Box Office "[U]niquely relatable. Its characters are modern American kids with contemporary problems, and it offers a whimsical world..." 03/01/2008 p.49
Total Film 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's prettily photographed by Caleb Deschanel and the creatures are genuinely fantastic." 05/01/2008 p.50
Empire 3 stars out of 5 -- "From its opening, James Horner's spot-on score and some great production design on the SPIDERWICK house will put even adults right where it want you -- part E.T., part LABYRINTH, with a dash of THE GOONIES." 04/01/2008 p.62
Sight and Sound "[I]t's a gutsy, feisty, no-nonsense adventure, aggressive enough to push the bounds of a PG film. The frantic action links together real and imagined worlds." 05/01/2008 p.85
Mark Waters
Freddie Highmore
Cast & Crew
Albie Hecht - Producer
Caleb Deschanel - Cinematographer
David Strathairn - Actor
Freddie Highmore - Actor
Holly Black - Based On Books By
James D. Bissell - Production Designer
James Horner - Original Music By
Joan Plowright - Actor
John Sayles, et. al. - Screenplay
Mark Waters - Director
Martin Short - Voice Of
Mary-Louise Parker - Actor
Michael Kahn - Editor
Nick Nolte - Actor
Sarah Bolger - Actor
Seth Rogen - Voice Of
Tony DiTerlizzi - Based On Books By
Tony DiTerlizzi - Executive Producer
Vincent Brabant, et. al. - Art Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2008
Catalog ID 132594
UPC 00097361325941
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 97 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review It's time to declare the search for the next Harry Potter over and give J.K. Rowling and her boy wizard the title of ultimate family fantasy franchise in perpetuity. Perhaps that will keep audiences from suffering through more underwhelming wannabes like The Spiderwick Chronicles. After a year that saw Stardust, The Golden Compass, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, and the anticipated arrival of another trip to Narnia, no one has yet to top Hogwart's or those who dwell inside its hallowed halls. Spiderwick is no different. It's all a big, implausible CGI orgy, lacking the necessary context to engage its audience...Still, if you like your fantasy on the frilly side, if you want nothing but monster money shots and effects-laden action scenes, The Spiderwick Chronicles will definitely satisfy such one-sided needs. There's no greatness or gravitas here, just a Goonies for the post-millennial crowd, complete with lots of short attention span flash. It's also indicative of what's wrong with all the proto-Potter positioning. There is much more to Rowling's magical realm than dragons, derring-do, and Dumbledore. Sadly, those looking to mimic its success seem to forget that. The Spiderwick Chronicles sure does.
Reviewer Bill Gibron
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review The Spiderwick Chronicles is the latest in what could be considered "starter" fantasy tales. The set of five books, written by Tony DiTerrlizzi and Holly Black, falls into the same category with respected offerings like C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain, and (of course) J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorceror's/Philsopher's Stone...The Spiderwick Chronicles is arguably geared for a slightly younger crowd than the other stories but it stands up well to cinematic conversion. The finished product will enthrall the target audience without boring those who chaperone them to theaters...The Spiderwick Chronicles books are recommended for ages 7 and up and that seems a reasonable range for the movies. There are some scary moments but they're not that scary and the violence is muted by the ways in which it is shot and presented. The Spiderwick Chronicles is not great fantasy, but it's on more solid ground than The Golden Compass and will seem less baffling to some. There's enough here to keep adults engaged, which is an important component of any motion picture that wants to be known as "family entertainment." I would place The Spiderwick Chronicles comfortably in that category.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
DVD, Dolby, Digital Audio, English, Dolby Digital (5.1), No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Highmore,Freddie
Label Paramount Home Video
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer The film underscores the power of reading, and applying what we read to problem-solving.
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle ...[a] superb cast, superior special effects, a sparkling musical score and a fantasy-filled plot.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal ...strong performances...accomplished direction...smart, bright language...[and] stylish cinematography...
Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald ...funny and scary and touching in all the ways the best children's pictures are...
Richard Corliss, Time ...a notch above "The Golden Compass" and "Narnia."
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times A well-crafted family thriller that is truly scary and doesn't wimp out.
Tasha Robinson, Chicago Tribune A fast-moving adventure with more than dynamic glitz to recommend it.

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