Join us on an Oscar Wilde adventure where being scary is not what it used to be! As the nineteenth gives way to the twentieth century and scientific invention brings forth new ways of traversing and seeing the world, a modern American family moves into their recently purchased, country home, Canterville Chase, in England, only to find it is haunted by a ghost. Sir Simon de Canterville has been haunting the grounds of Canterville Chase successfully for over three hundred years, but he meets his match when he tries to scare out the new arrivals.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Zoe C. comments, “The new animated film, The Canterville Ghost by British director Robert Chandler honors the author’s geniality with a beautiful film that is not just entertaining and fun to watch but also captivates with the characters adventures and dilemmas.” Sydney S. adds, “I really like the animated film, The Canterville Ghost. It definitely got me into the Halloween spirit. It’s an enjoyable watch, sprinkled with mysteries and comedy, plus a compelling plot and likable characters.” Avalon N. wraps it up with, “The Canterville Ghost’s animation style is absolutely incredible. It has the perfect amount of realism mixed with animation that creates the perfect combination that makes the film even more interesting. The plot and characters’ relations are absolutely hilarious and stunning.” See their full reviews and interviews below.
The Canterville Ghost
By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
The new animated film, The Canterville Ghost by British director Robert Chandler honors the author’s geniality with a beautiful film that is not just entertaining and fun to watch but also captivates with the characters adventures and dilemmas.
The humorous short story The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde has been adapted into different forms like films, radio, TV episodes and even an Opera since its release in 1887. True to the original book, the story follows a modern American family that moves to their recently purchased country home, Canterville Chase in England. The Otis family consists of Dad (David Harewood), Mom (Meera Syal), two twin wild sons (Jakey Schiff, Bennett Miller) and Virginia (Emily Carey), a rebellious and determined teenager. Soon they discover the old mansion is inhabited by a ghost who has been wandering its corridors and rooms for over 300 years – Sir Simon de Canterville. The subsequent encounters are unexpected as the past repeats itself.
Although the animation doesn’t offer innovations, this film is absolutely charming, and is very well done. The concept of haunted houses is typically a crowd pleaser. Most audiences can’t deny the pleasure they feel by being scared, especially when they are in a safe place like a movie theater. The Canterville Ghost captures this thrill in its production design and the narrative storytelling offered by co-directors Kim Burden and Robert Chandler.
The vibrant colors and color palette really caught my attention. I love how the animation is filled with details in costume design. One of the aspects I most enjoyed is the camera work, from the oscillating shots that make you feel like a POV of Sir Simon, to some camera placements that feel like somebody’s watching from a hidden place. The characters are funny and I love Virginia’s journey from not wanting to be in the house to her intrepid relationship with Sir Simon. Stephen Fry delivers the perfect emotion voicing Sir Simon de Canterville. He not only has the perfect gravitas for the most iconic character in the film, he has previously interpreted Oscar Wilde. Emily Carey portrays her role as defiant, brave and determined – with Virginia in total command.
The film’s message is to value people of all persuasion and to make the most of your lifetime. The Canterville Ghost has the perfect tone for young audiences and will delight grownups with its amusing narration.
I give The Canterville Ghost 5 out of five stars and recommended it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. The film opens in theaters nationwide on October 20, 2023 – right on time for Halloween celebrations.
The Canterville Ghost
By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
I really like the animated film, The Canterville Ghost. It definitely got me into the Halloween spirit. It’s an enjoyable watch, sprinkled with mysteries and comedy, plus a compelling plot and likable characters.
The Otis family just moved into a new home that’s notorious for housing the ghost Sir Simon de Canterville. He has successfully haunted every resident up until now. Will the family be the exception?
The main characters are Sir Simon de Canterville (Stephen Fry), Virginia Otis (Emily Carey), the Duke of Cheshire (Freddie Highmore), Lucretia Otis (Meera Syal), Hiram Otis (David Harewood, Louis Otis (Jake Schiff), Kent Otis (Bennett Miller) and Mrs. Umney (Imelda Staunton). The characters are all so loving and respectable toward each other, which makes the story very enjoyable. Their genuine interactions show that the family cares so much for each other. Each of the characters has unique personality traits. I especially like Virginia, who is both strong-willed and kind hearted. Her anger reflects her passion, and I admire her ambitious mindset. I also appreciate that the writers adapted those personality traits into a female teen, which gives inspiration for young girls. Virginia is forced to move away from all her friends, so she needs time adjusting to her new life. It’s a lot to handle, but it adds to her character development.
Also, the twin brothers, Louis and Kent, are two peas in a pod, but get into a lot of trouble. It’s amusing to watch their shenanigans, like when they toss around a ghost’s head as if it’s a football. This film is based on the novella by Oscar Wilde. The movie brings this beloved story to life and makes it entertaining for the younger generation. I applaud the producers and directors, Robert Chandler and Kim Burdon, for adapting the story into an enjoyable watch. The animation is incredible and extremely realistic. The quality is great, as well. When the house is on fire, the flames look real. Speaking of the house, this setting is magical and reminds me of a haunted house at night. My favorite part of the film is when all of the members of the Royal Society start flying around in a circle on the ceiling. The Canterville Ghost makes them fly, which made me laugh because all of them are completely afraid. The guest’s costumes are elegant and royal, from puffy dresses to fancy suits.
The message of this film is that love is all you need. Sir Simon de Canterville states, “Love is the greatest adventure of them all.” It’s also about letting go, forgiveness, friendship, and family.
I give The Canterville Ghost 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12. The Canterville Ghost releases in theaters October 20, 2023.
The Canterville Ghost
By Avalon N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
The Canterville Ghost is a hilarious and entertaining movie. It has lots of twists and turns and definitely showcases some very funny plot points throughout the film.
The storyline follows an American family who moves into a manor called Canterville Chase in England. However it turns out their manor has been haunted for 300 years and there’s a ghost named Sir Simon de Canterville attempting to scare them out. None of the family is scared by the ghost though and he must continue to find ways to try to freak them out. The ghost also tries to break his curse of being stuck haunting the manor for all eternity and this family might just be his way out.
The Canterville Ghost’s animation style is absolutely incredible. It has the perfect amount of realism mixed with animation that creates the perfect combination that makes the film even more interesting. The plot and characters’ relations are absolutely hilarious and stunning. All the characters have such diverse and interesting connections to each other such as Sir Simon de Canterville (Stephen Fry) who is the ghost haunting the manor. The diversity resembles the diversity in our own society and communities. It’s almost like they are real people. The characters themselves are also very relatable. Such as this one character named Virginia Otis (Emily Carey) who does not want to move and does everything she can to try to get out of it.
Despite ghost movies being a relatively common concept, this one takes a whole new turn that definitely spices up the story. Such as the one at the very beginning where you find that the family is a lot harder to scare than the ghost thought. It is also not such a scary movie which makes it more suitable for younger kids. The beginning is a little hard to understand as it takes off without a lot of context. It does make more sense once the story develops.
The message of this film is that you have to stop and smell the roses and not be too impulsive or you might get really hurt.
I give The Canterville Ghost 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 plus adults. It will be released in theaters on October 20, 2023.