The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

You can never go wrong adapting a story by Dick King-Smith, one of England’s finest writers for children. Drawing on just about every tough and tender rite-of-passage fairy tale worth its salt, The Water Horse (2007) stars Alex Etel as Angus, a Scottish boy who picks up a strange egg that soon hatches into a translucent little fellow with broadly the same narrative function as E.T., except that it quickly morphs into a huge beastie that’s happiest when underwater with a bereft lad on its back. Hovering in the background are WWI, a personal tragedy, and a terrific ensemble that includes Emily Watson, plump and worried as Angus’s mother, and Ben Chaplin as a mysterious handyman waging class war on a snotty Home Guard commander. (PG) ELLA TAYLOR

Fri., Sept. 5, 2008

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