Based on the book The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge, the story begins when 13 year-old homeless orphan Maria Merryweather (Dakota Blue Richards, The Golden Compass) must leave London to live with her handsome but Rochester-like Uncle Benjamin (Ioan Gruffudd) in the picturesque but crumbling Moonacre Manor. The movie was filmed in Hungary, and the sets, costumes and locations are fabulous to look at. Director Gabor Csupo (Bridge to Terabithia) revels in all of the colorful surfaces and details, and the viewer will, too.
There is a family feud between the Merryweathers and their neighbors on the other side of the forest, the De Noirs. There are star-crossed lovers and a black lion and a Moon Princess who has cursed both families unless someone pure of heart can break the curse before the 5000th moon rises. Maria must sort through her family history and magic and mythology to get to the truth.
|Maria checks out her new digs|
|Robin and Maria form an uneasy truce|
|Loveday shows Maria her fabulous underground lair|
Lately we seem to be seeing movies that we like which lead us to the books they were based upon, instead of the usual, other way around. After seeing and enjoying The Secret of Moonacre I definitely would like to read The Little White Horse with my daughter. It will be interesting to see if the sumptuous visuals from the film carry over as we read, or if we become entranced with the words and imagine a whole new set of images and characters.