This magical adventure begins when the five Butterworth children are shipped off to live in their eccentric Uncle Albert's (Kenneth Branagh) mansion, after their parents leave to serve in World War II. Robert (Freddie Highmore), the most adventurous of the children, discovers a forbidden and magical seaside. Together, the siblings unearth a Psammead, an ancient, irritable sand fairy named "It," voiced by the hysterical Eddie Izzard, who can grant wishes that last only until sunset. Countless misguided wishes turn into adventurous and humorous mishaps. But when news of their father's death reaches home, the kids realize there are more serious things to wish for. This moving and beautiful film is based on E. Nesbit's children's classic by the same name. (Ages 6+)
Director John Stephenson has headed Jim Henson's Creature Shop, one of the best-known special and visual effects houses, since its inception in the 1980s. The stunning, onscreen result of his research in animatronics and computer animation can be seen in numerous films, including 101 Dalmatians, Babe, Lost In Space, Pinocchio, and Animal Farm, which he also directed. In 2000, Stephenson was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his contribution to the British film industry.