HORRID HENRY: THE MOVIE (Theater Release UK 2011)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.0|5.0 Stars ìì

Horrid Henry—could have been a truly outstanding children’s film. But, unlike films like The Cat In The Hat, The Lorax, and Horton Hears a Who!, that completely capture the spirit of the Dr. Seuss’ stories for outstanding movie experiences, Horrid Henry fails to capture the essence of the original Horrid Henry book series. In that failure, it also fails as a movie. Script writer Lucinda Whitely and Director Nick Moore have created confusion in their character presentation. The focus should be 96 percent on Horrid Henry’s character. Instead, the film waivers between too many good, strong characters who seem to overpower the persona of Horrid Henry. If the producers had chosen to present this film as an animated film rather than a live action film they may have been more successful as children’s books often do quite well in the animated format. Of course, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the perfect example of a children’s book that presents itself beautifully in the live action format while the Horrid Henry film short circuits from its beginning. This film needs the author’s critical input. That missing author input which was so significant to the success of movies like Mary Poppins and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series makes a sequel to Horrid Henry undesirable. Watch for Actress Angelica Huston’s (from Adams Family and Adams Family Values) performance as Horrid Henry’s home room teacher. She’s great, as usual.

Storyline

Henry (Theo Stevenson) goes to school without his homework. Henry has his friend, Brainy Brian (Reuben Lee), forge a note for his teacher with the explanation that he doesn’t have his daily homework because it was destroyed. Miss Battleaxe (Angelica Huston) knows the note is forged and puts Henry in after school detention. Later, when the school fails its inspection, Henry initially rejoices; but as the full impact of the closure is realized, finds that he must save his school, the teachers, and its students.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Nick Moore for his directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Paul Brett, Allan Niblo, James Richardson, Tim Smith, James Swarbrick, Mike Watts, and Nigel Williams for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Vic Van Wrinkle (Richard E. Grant), Miss Lovely (Parminder Nagra), Dad (Mathew Horne), Ed Banger (Noel Fielding), Great Aunt Greta (Prunella Scales), Soggy Sid (David Schneider), Demon Dinner Lady (Jo Brand), Mum (Siobhan Hayes), Rich Aunt Ruby (Helen Lederer), Miss Oddbod (Rebecca Front), and Prissy Polly (Kimberley Walsh).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. There is more entertainment value in Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Matilda.

Ben Meyers

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