Sunday, May 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Secret of Moonacre

Let it be known: I watched the The Secret of Moonacre. This is the movie of The Little White Horse. When I saw this movie, I was very excited. While reading the book, I commented several times to one of my sisters and my mother, "This would make a good movie."
Was I disappointed? Well, yes and no.
Yes: To watch this movie and enjoy it, everyone who is a fan of the book (all two of you) must NOT watch it thinking, "I am watching the movie of The Little White Horse." You must watch it thinking, "I am watching The Secret of Moonacre." If you do this, you will enjoy it.
I started watching the movie with Mindset #1. I was thinking how different and weird it was. About 5-10 minutes into the movie, I switched to Mindset #2. I enjoyed it.
No: As for its quality as a movie, it was fairly good. It came out in 2008, but must have been a small production because I was unable to find a review for it on my favorite movie review site,, or So, I, myself, shall write a review.


NOTE: The following review may contain spoilers. If a major spoiler is given, this symbol shall be put at the beginning of the section: *S*
NOTE #2: This is the first review I've ever written, so forgive me for any oversights.

When 13 year old Maria Merryweather's father dies, leaving her orphaned and homeless, she is forced to leave her luxurious London life to go and live with Sir Benjamin, an eccentric uncle she didn't know she had, at the mysterious Moonacre Manor. Soon Maria finds herself in a crumbling moonlit world torn apart by the hatred of an ancient feud with the dark and sinister De Noir family. Maria discovers that she is the last Moon Princess and, guided by an unlikely mix of allies, she must overcome her family's pride in order to unearth the secrets of the past before the 5000th moon rises and Moonacre disappears into the sea forever.

Positive Elements: They really emphasize how destructive pride is. Pride has torn apart the whole area of Moonacre, separating families that were once close as peas in a pod. Maria, by contrast to the others, tries to be humble and tries to get the families to reconcile. At first, she just wants to run away from the weird, magical, strange world of Moonacre. But after talking to Loveday, she steps up to plate and does her part in healing the broken ties of the Merryweathers and the De Noirs.

Spiritual Content: God is mentioned and prayed to in the book. In the movie (naturally), He is not referred to once. They DO mention "giving the pearls back to nature" and how "nature gave the first Moon Princess the pearls". A little weird, don't you think?

Sexual Content:
  Some of the ladies' costumes are a bit low cut. (SPOILER HERE) Once, when escaping from the castle of the De Noirs', Maria takes off her dress. Because this is in 1842, she has 300 layers of undergarments, so the clothes she is left wearing are not any less modest than the clothes I wear on a regular basis. Her governess is, of course, horrified.

Violent Content:

Crude or Profane Language: D--n is said twice. D--ned is said once, too, though this time it is in context and is not used as a swear word.

Drug and Alcohol Content: We see Sir Benjamin, the De Noirs, and Miss Heliotrope drinking a reddish liquid which might be wine, but that's the only thing that even touches the borderline.

Other Negative Elelments: Miss Heliotrope has indigestion, and burps several times (loudly). I think this was unnecessary.

Book likeness:
               Costumes: The costumes were not what I pictured from the description in the book; however, they were probably more true to the period and they fit the movie well.

               Set: Perfect. Perfect for both movie and book.

               Actors: They portrayed the characters that were written for them well, though some did not portray the book-version well. For example: Robin did a good job at his part in the movie, but he would not have done a good job if the movie Robin had been like the book Robin.

               Script: Here is where they messed up. It was a good script. It was interesting. The set, costumes, and actors were all splendid. But the script was not a whit like the book.

I think this movie is worth seeing for about 10 and up. If you were expecting a copy of the book, you'll have to make you own. But standing on its own two feet and not leaning on the book, the movie is surprisingly sturdy.


  1. I watched the movie, and it was incredible! Thanks for doing a great review of it. I've never read the book, but I'll have to.

  2. Yeah, I really enjoyed it! I highly recommend the book.

  3. By the By, would you be interested in writing reviews for the Reflections blog? Multiple people can contribute to a blog. Just wondering! :)


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