Based on the novel by BABE author Dick King-Smith, THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP is set in Scotland during World War II, and focuses on Angus (Alex Etel), a young boy who discovers an unusual egg at Loch Ness. When the egg hatches to reveal a dinosaur-like creature, Angus finds that he has a unique pet--a mythical "water horse," which he names Crusoe. Complicating matters are Crusoe's fast growth rate and soldiers stationed near the lake, factors that make it very tricky to keep the friendly beastie a secret.
A thoroughly likable family film directed by Jay Russell (TUCK EVERLASTING), THE WATER HORSE provides an intriguing spin on the classic boy-and-his-dog tale. While Etel, who won over audiences in MILLIONS, ably carries the movie, he is supported by a topnotch ensemble that includes Emily Watson as his mother, newcomer Priyanka Xi as his sister, and Ben Chaplin as a good-natured handyman. Primarily sharing the screen with Etel, however, is the Loch Ness Monster-in-the-making, which is wonderfully rendered by Weta, the company behind the digital effects for THE LORD OF THE RINGS films. Both cute and--in his larger state--intimidating, Crusoe strikes up a surprisingly believable relationship with Angus, providing the heart of this beautifully photographed story.