A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
While visiting a farm in England, teenagers Nellie and George -- she a discontented teenager and he an enthusiastic younger boy -- make the acquaintance of a fairy oak in the wild wood, and are ushered into the intrigues of fairyland. There, a rivalry between the Prince and his shape-shifting brother is afoot. At first, the children become the unwitting accomplices of the evil brother, but soon they wise up to his dastardly ways, thanks to some insider information from a hobgoblin and a company of sprites. With the help of the children, the fairy Prince regains his immortality, defeats his brother (though the last we hear of him, he's plotting his escape from the ice dungeon, setting the stage for Faeries II), and marries his sweetheart, a human he has transformed into a fairy princess.
Is it any good?
The plot of FAERIES is anything but original: bumbling but triumphant humans in fairyland, the rivalry between good and wicked brothers for the throne, the destiny that is true love. But it's a proven product, and many characters in this fairy tale are appealingly sharp and droll. Kids pay attention, even though the Prince himself is a disagreeable combination of braveheart and milquetoast.
The production's biggest drawback is the startlingly realistic scenery upon which animated characters float. It looks and feels fake, like a bad diorama. Fairy tales should transport, but this technique just confuses things. When the landscapes are animated, however, they're often eye-catching; spectacular flaring colors of fairyland, and the green rolling fields of the English countryside. Here, and with the bright company of fairies, the animators get to impressively stretch their legs.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: January 1, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: September 26, 2000
- Cast: Dougray Scott, Jeremy Irons, Kate Winslet
- Director: Nick Hurran
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures
- Run time: 75 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: General Audiences
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