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Genre: Children/Fantasy
Starring: Emily Watson, Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, Brian Cox
Director: Jay Russell
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2008




- Deleted Scenes
- Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes:
Myths And Legends
The Story
The Characters
- Setting the Scene
- Water Work
- Creating Crusoe



Languages: English/Spanish/
Subtitles: English/Spanish/
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 52 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment
Official Website:




When a lonely young boy named Angus discovers a large, mysterious egg along the shores of Loch Ness, no one is prepared for what lies within. He soon discovers, that the strange, mischievous hatchling inside is none other than The Water Horse, the loch's most mysterious and fabled creature. But with the Water Horse growing ten times its size every day, Angus finds it increasingly difficult to keep his new friend a secret.


In every decade, there will always be at least one movie that defines the true meaning of friendship. Remember “E.T.”, “Free Willy” and “The Sixth Sense”? Okay the last one might not qualify as one but still it’s hard to beat a boy and his ghostly confidante.

In 2007, we have a movie called “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” which chronicles the relationship between a boy and his pet, the Water Horse aka Loch Ness Monster named Crusoe. Set in the midst of World War II, the young protagonist, Angus played by Alex Etel (“Millions”) is a lonely boy who pins for his lost father and has problems communicating with her mother, Anne (Emily Watson). One day, a strange looking egg which Angus found, hatches into an even stranger creature and thus developed an unusual bonding between the two.

The storyline is highly predictable. Boy-found-creature, Boy-bond-with-creature. Boy-lose-creature and blab blah blah…it’s like a rehash of “Free Willy” but instead of a whale, you get a gigantic CG Loch Ness. To please the younger audience, “Water Horse” has its slapstick moments in the beginning particularly Crusoe’s antics with Churchill the Bulldog. And to please the parents of the younger audience, director Jay Russell (“Ladder 49”) and screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs (“Chocolat”) cough up a clunky love affair which has a Captain (David Morrissey) and handyman (Ben Chaplin) vying for Anne.

I don’t belong to either of the above category so I got to fix my eyes on the convincing visual effects conceived by Weta Digital and the lush cinematography of New Zealand (which replaced Scotland as the main shooting location). I was mildly entertained in the end but it could have been better if Russell has weaved more urban legends about the Loch Ness into the tale just for the kick of it.

Adapted from the original Dick King Smith’s children novel, “The Water Horse” is an undying tale suitable for family home entertainment. If you ask a kid what he or she wants for a pet? I wouldn’t be surprised they spurt out the word “Crusoe”.


“The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” DVD comes with a number of features including eight deleted scenes. None of them deserved to be in the final cut but still worth a peek.

In “Myths & Legends”, the original ancient Celtic legend in which Loch Ness is derived from is discussed and some interesting anecdotes are also shared by Naturalist Adrian Shine and also an interview with a man who actually lives by the sea hoping to stake out the Loch Ness creature. Unbelievable but true.

The cast members, producer and director talks about how the movie came about and more in “The Story” featurette.

In “The Characters”, Jay Russell and the various key cast members such as Alex Etel, Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin talks about their interaction with each other during the shooting process and their onscreen characters.

The movie was shot mostly at Queenstown, New Zealand. It’s not just a place where Hobbits roam but also the Loch Ness. “Setting the Scene” will show you that.

“Water Works: Creating the Water Horse” shows you how Alex in actual fact has to bond with some bluish looking equipment and bluish looking men in a water tank for most of the time.

Throughout the whole movie, Crusoe was created digitally by Weta Digital but Weta Workshop did built a weird looking puppet onset to interact with the actors in some sequences. “Creating Crusoe” also shows you how the designs of Crusoe came about in this 14 minutes feature.


Despite a couple of night scenes which feature Augus interacting with Crusoe, the visual is surprisingly crisp and the colour scheme is never too dull.

Presented with a choice of English, Spanish, Portuguese and Thai 5.1, the bass at times might be too strong for the younger kids during scenes of ‘peril’. The dialogue on the other hand is crystal clear with much of the cast speaking in a charming British accent.



Review by Linus Tee


. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (Movie Review)

. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep by James Newton Howard (Soundtrack Review)

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This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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