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Director: Jay Russell
Starring: Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, Emily Watson, Priyanka Xi, David Morrissey, Brian Cox
CGI meets the formulaic story of a boy’s relationship with an unusual creature. This has been done with dogs, bears and even killer whales, but has never been done with the Loch Ness Monster until now. The graphics are enjoyable, though the story is a little disjointed and lacks the emotion that these features can deliver (Anyone else seen Old Yeller?). The stock characters are bland, but sufficient, and dialog is standard family film fare.
The story here begins in a modern day Scottish pub with an elderly stranger (Brian Cox) offering the real story behind a famous picture of ‘Nessie’ to a couple of tourists. He tells the story of a serious, water-fearing young boy named Angus (Alex Etel) living with his mother and sister in a country inn along the shores of Loch Ness, while his father is off fighting in WWII. One day while wandering near the Loch, Angus finds a strange egg, that soon hatches into an even stranger little water creature. Angus’ attempt to raise the baby sea monster are complicated by his mother, a regiment of soldiers billeted at the inn and their new handyman, Lewis (Ben Chaplin).
The Water Horse is an ordinary family animal film, where the animal happens to be a mythical creature (Remember Harry and the Hendersons?). If you (or your little ones) enjoyed features like Free Willy, then this is an inoffensive, but ultimately forgettable choice. Nessie fans will probably want to see it, too, and will enjoy the CGI on the creature and the building upon the Loch Ness legend, but for a better choice (for Nessie fans, not family viewing) check out The Incident at Loch Ness.