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The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition) (2008)

Freddie Highmore , Mary-Louise Parker , Mark Waters  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Freddie Highmore, Mary-Louise Parker, David Strathairn, Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright
  • Directors: Mark Waters
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (358 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0017I04RI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,941 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

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. Unable to expl

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Graces June 18, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)

1. Helen Grace moves into the Spiderwick Estate with her three kids, Mallory, Simon and Jared. Simon and Jared are twins (played by the impressive Freddie Highmore)
2. It doesn't take the kids long to find a secret room, a locked chest and a book marked "Do NOT read"
3. You can guess what happens next
4. Up pops a tiny Brownie named Thimbletack (Martin Short) who changes into a Boggart when riled up.
5. He gets riled up a lot
6. There's an evil Ogre named Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) who commands an army of Goblins, and really, really wants the aforementioned book
7. The Ogre can change his appearance, and is at his most frightening when he looks like Nick Nolte.
8. During the machinations and shenanigans to protect the book, the kids meet a scene stealing Hobgoblin named Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen) who has a talent for expectorating and a penchant for bipedal, endothermic vertebrate animals that lay eggs (also known as birds)
9. The kids set off on a quest to find the author of the book, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn)
10. When they get back, they have to quickly work out a strategy for repelling Goblins and an Ogre who looks like the Grinch on steroids.
11. Exciting yet somewhat disturbing altercation ensues
12. Just desserts are served for the grand finale.

The movie is based on the five books that make up The Spiderwick Chronicles, but barely touches book three, Lucinda's Secret and never touches book four, The Ironwood Tree.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spiderwick Chronicles February 22, 2008
Helen Grace (Parker) and her kids Mallory (Bolger) and twins Jared and Simon (both Highmore) are starting fresh after Helen's separation from the kids' father. They are moving into the Spiderwick Estate, a mansion that Helen inherited from her Aunt Lucinda (Plowwright). The estate has an interesting history though. 80 years ago, Arthur Spiderwick (Strathairn) wrote a "field guide" to the world around him. This guide includes all kinds of fantastical creatyres. By writing it, he unleashed some terrible forces and now an army of goblins is amassing. Led by the ogre Mulgrath (Nolte), they seek to take the book away from the protection of the house. The kids are all that stands between Mulgrath and world domination.

"The Spiderwick Chronicles" is a surprisingly well done movie. For a movie that covers five books, there isn't a feeling that much was lost in the translation. There is a lot of action that keeps the moving quickly. The child actors do a good job in the roles, especially Highmore in dual roles. The story is not complex, but is not simple either. Plus, it deals with serious issues like divorce, a topic that many kids will relate to. "The Spiderwick Chronicles" is an excellent move for kids from about 6-7 on up to adults. I highly recommend this film.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun fantasy flick February 16, 2008
The Grace family moves into an old family estate, long uninhabited - or so they think. In fact the house has an inhabitant. More to the point, the woods around the house have their own trolls and gnomes, unfriendly ones, who want something that's inside the house.

So starts this kids' fantasy, with a big element of "the grownups just don't get it." In this case, young Jared not only finds that thing that the invisible ouside beings want, he also perceives their threat first. A kid-empowerment fantasy ensues, with the grownups (including a teen sister in a half-grownup kind of role) finally catching on just barely in time.

If you want a bit of fantasy without overt violence (or not much), and with people keeping their clothes on, you came to the right place. There's a suitably scary buildup at the end, with some great CGI effects like those toad-like outside beings. Maybe it's not memorable, but it's fun anyway.

-- wiredweird, reviewing the theatrical release
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting February 16, 2008
Without boring you with a long drawn out review, I just wanted to say it's a wonderful tale. It's a fastasy adventure for all ages.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Condensed, but creative eye-candy February 18, 2008
Condensing 5 books into one film can hurt storylines and make for lots of undeveloped characters. But the archetypes in Spiderwick are so familiar (like the abbreviated Potter movies) that it is less of a disadvantage than you would think. We, as objective movie viewers have to let go of the expectation for the Holy Grail of the perfect book-to-film translation and face that the mediums are apples and oranges. This is an easy task for me this time because I haven't read any of the Spiderwick series. But having said that, my children and I, enjoy the film. The look of the "world" created in the spirit of the books were originally stylized enough to make it a departure from the world of Hogwarts (which is no small accomplishment when you also have trolls and griffins.

Typical of the archetypes of the genre, you have the child-outsider of a broken (or bent) home who blunders into a magic world, along with quirky, sometimes ill-mannered, but ultimately well-meaning siblings and finally the single parent who doesn't believe a word-of it. The kid opens a book he shouldn't (like who would read a book that has "Do not open" on the cover, it should have read: don't open infested with Lice!" that would have kept `em out!) and then spends the film trying to make things right and bonding with his estranged family.

Production is pretty eye-candy using visual designers of the Henson school of creature making. John Horner (the not-Williams) composes a face paced soundtrack that matches the speed of the story and slows appropriately of the sappier moments of the movie. The cast is a watchable bunch of not-overly attractive kids, along with some voice cameos like Martin Short and Nick Nolte, not without distinction, plays the badie (physically sometimes) well enough.

We enjoyed the film and, if there isn't higher praise than this let me know, we were inspired to check-out the Spiderwick Chronicles book series at our local library to fill in all the plot holes.
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