Customer Reviews: The Treasure Seekers
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on May 25, 2007
Yet again, the film making industry has utterly demolished a great story! Read the book. It's a great family book about the Bastable family, and the children do have many adventures attempting to "restore the fallen fortunes of the House of Bastable", but they do not do it by lying or constantly fighting. They learn a lesson with each adventure instead.

This movie production, however, deviates so far from the book as to be ludicrous. Instead of the father being a businessman ruined by grief, he is an incompetent absent-minded inventor. The children lie. The children are disrespectful of authority. The oldest character, Dora shows teenage angst that never appeared in the book. The minor character of the authoress is turned into a feminist doctor. Why did they have to take the values of the Victorian family out and make a movie about today's societal problems?
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on January 16, 2014
The first thing I look for in a period movie is the authenticity of the clothing and the items of everyday use. This movie was right on the mark there for it captures the environment of era. Then it has a plot that is not boring or pointless, and has humor, camaraderie, and family support and love. It was also very touching to see the children all pull together to help a distressed father through a very difficult time in their lives. Unlike a Disney film, where the children are made to appear smart while the adults appear dumb, this film captured the true character of adolescent behavior, i.e. kids will be kids. This movie is a feel good movie but not recommended for those desiring blood, gore, foul language, or sex. It is a great family movie with a lot of feeling.
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on May 1, 2013
This was a cute story about a well off family who is no longer so well off because the Dad is an inventor and has all resources tied up in his inventions. The kids all try to find ways to contribute to the family income. One son sells his poetry. A daughter tries to get a job while one brother tries to get a bank loan.

A caring woman doctor enters the story and provides friendship, medical care and eventually financial means for the inventor to patent his inventions.

A very young Keira Knightley has a small part as a princess looking for some normalcy.
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Edith Nesbit was a prolific author who churned out dozens of stories for children during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite their settings in Victorian/Edwardian England, with vocabularies and adventures that seem quaint today, her stories are still humorous and deeply affecting. In the 1990s at least two of the more famous stories were filmed by British television: The Railway Children and The Treasure Seekers.

I think the production of The Railway Children is better developed and more emotionally mature, but there is much in The Treasure Seekers for children and adults to enjoy. The five Bastable children live in London. Their mother is dead and their father is an eccentric inventor, hard at work on a promising idea that unfortunately hasn't generated any income. The children embark on a series of adventures to raise money and keep their home and furniture from being repossessed. This is a children's story, after all, so eventually everything does turn out well, but there are some good morals drawn and lessons learned along the way.

Keira Knightley is featured prominently on the cover of this DVD, but the small role she plays here as an 11 year old princess is completely out of proportion to the amount of publicity she gets. The child actors who play the Bastable children are very good, even if the two oldest seem a little too old for their roles. There is a fine caste of adult stars, including Ian Richardson, Gina McKee, Nicholas Farrell, and James Wilby, all of whom do a superb job. Edwardian London with its customs, mores, fashions and new technologies like motor cars is very well depicted, too.

I read The Treasure Seekers as a child many years ago and still enjoy turning through its pages every now and then. This film is a fairly faithful depiction of the story, and will be well worth watching for many years to come for both children and adults.
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on November 14, 2007
This charming film is loosely based on a classic story by E. Nesbit, a wonderful children's author whose English Victorian Age stories are still read today. As in many of her stories, 5 kids are left to their own amusement while a parent struggles to earn a living. In this case, their father is an inventor, who has been at work for 6 years in an effort to create a refrigerator. However he is in serious debt, and in risk of losing everything. He is also struggling with the loss of his wife. The kids are determined to help and take on several well-meaning attempts that usually create more trouble than help for their father.
The film is humerous and loaded with invention. While it is fairly difficult to adapt the book to film in any case, the film is very watrchable on its own. Great acting, accurate period costumes, cars and homes combine to give the viewer a nice immersive sense of the beautiful era of Victorian England. The film has wonderful values, and we all felt great after watching it. Other E. Nesbit stories that have been adapted to film are "5 Children and It", "The Phoenix and the Carpet", and "The Railway Children".
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on August 23, 2006
A rip-roaring family-friendly adventure, not only wonderful for children, but their parents will enjoy it too. An interesting factoid is that Keira Knightly (as a child) has a brief appearance as the mysterious princess. This scene seems totally superfluous to the plot, but it's true to the book.
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on February 27, 2015
I love this movie. The British have made another fantastic movie. The father has to pay off a mortgage or lose his house and property to a bailiff. The father proves that his refrigeration machine works. He gets money and contracts to pay off his debt. The whole family and a lot of other people collaborate to help the inventor out. Yes, I am going to buy this movie as soon as my own financial life has stabilized.
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on July 25, 2014
This is a wonderful movie about 4 children who do their best to help their widowed father who is a 19th century inventor, to overcome the financial travails which come with an individual who is dedicated to their work but receive no assisance outside the family to achieve their goals.
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on May 17, 2016
A really fun story told in the spirit of an old fashioned English tale. Great photography, lovely characters, very quaint setting. The children are obstreperous but lovable and have the father's best interests at heart. A good family choice.
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on May 7, 2015
I did not like this movie. They changed the entire plot of the book, and eliminated several of my favorite characters. They took out Dickie, and the Indian Uncle, Pincher, and many more. They also made jolly old Albert's Uncle, a young, creepy stalker of Dora. I will not watch this movie again.
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