Home | Review Archive | The Bucket 'Blog | Screening Log | Film Festival Coverage | Contact Danny


  The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

Starring: Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, Emily Watson, David Morrissey

Directed by: Jay Russell

Produced by: Douglas Rae, Robert Bernstein, Barrie M. Osborne, Charlie Lyons

Written by: Robert Nelson Jacobs

Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing

     Who would’ve guessed, in months prior, that the very CGI creature that would arrive on the 2007 Holiday Film Scene and save families from the dreadful antics of a certain trio of singing chipmunks would be none other than the Loch Ness Monster? Sure, The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep’s version of the mythical figure is a cute high-pitched-yelper named Crusoe, but the discovery is unexpected nonetheless. In Crusoe and pal Angus MacMurrow (Alex Etel), a young Scottish lad who finds the monster’s egg washed ashore and hatches it in secret, director Jay Russell and writer Robert Nelson Jacobs find a magical tale sure to appeal to every demographic. The movie is told in a very old-fashioned manner, but makes wonderful use of technology, turning Crusoe into one of the most compassionate works of animation you’ll ever witness. In large part, this is because the story that surrounds him is so well-defined, beautifully set amidst the historical-context of World War II. (Troops are stationed at Angus’ home, at the allowance of his Royal Navy sailor of a father who is meanwhile busy hoarding of U-Boats himself, making it even harder for the boy to conceal his otherworldly new friend.) But a lot of The Water Horse’s success is realized solely in the simple pleasures endowed upon the material by its convictive cast, which is filled with actors who believe in its magic. Leading the pact, Alex Etel shines even more than he did in Danny Boyle’s Millions, crafting a sympathetic gentleness to Angus that is heartwarming. Supporting him are Ben Chaplin, Brian Cox, Emily Watson, and (an especially devious) David Morrissey, all turning in fine work of their own. The Water Horse may not be able to match the aforementioned Alvin at the Chipmunks in terms of box office take, but it sure deserves to. This is an elegant, exhilarating, and lovable tale for all ages.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 1.3.2008

Screened on: 12.27.2007 at the Edwards San Marcos 18 in San Marcos, CA.


The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep is rated PG and runs 111 minutes.

Back to Home