• Publication date: July 1, 2011

A Great Adventure Remains Unseen � Literally The Spiderwick Chronicles: A Book That Speaks a Thousand Worlds

After his parents underwent a turbulent separation, Jared Grace (Freddie Highmore) and mom Helen (Mary-Louise Parker) left their native New York and moved to her deceased father's dilapidated mansion. Once property of her aunt, Helen inherited the home but had no use for it until recently. It needs some work, but is suitable to live in.

After his parents underwent a turbulent separation, Jared Grace (Freddie Highmore) and mom Helen (Mary-Louise Parker) left their native New York and moved to her deceased father's dilapidated mansion. Once property of her aunt, Helen inherited the home but had no use for it until recently. It needs some work, but is suitable to live in.

Jared is not very excited about relocating to the Spiderwick Estate and would prefer New York City's fast-paced environment and the company of his father. Instead his twin brother Simon (also portrayed by Highmore) and fencing-obsessed sister, Mallory (Sarah Bolger) join him.

Shortly after arrival Jared and his siblings discover an old fashioned dumb waiter. None of the kids are sure exactly where it goes, and neither Simon nor Mallory are courageous enough to find out. Jared, on the other hand, enthusiastically jumps onto the small elevator and rides it to its destination.

It turns out that the shaft is a pathway to their grandfather's hidden study and, judging by the room's appearance, no one has entered it in years. Jared explores the room and notices an intriguing book with a note affixed, warning potential readers not to open it. Like any inquisitive young boy he immediately rips the note off to take a peak.

With the warning removed the title is revealed: A Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around, a guidebook written by Jared's granddad, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn) prior to his disappearance 80 years ago. Unwittingly, Jared has just removed the guide from its protected place and initiated a battle between the seen and unseen.

Amongst the unseen are goblins, ogres, and trolls with varying shapes, sizes, and dispositions. Some like Thimbletack (Martin Short) are harmless and good-natured. Others, namely Mulgrath (Nick Nolte) and his goblin soldiers are pure, unadulterated evil.

For years Mulgrath dreamed of world domination. Without Grandfather Arthur's field guide, however, the ogre has never possessed the knowledge necessary to do so. Now only one young boy prevents the ogre from moving forward, and he is incapable of defending the book alone. But with a little help from Helen, Simon, Mallory and his invisible friends Jared might just save the world after all.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is based upon the identically titled series of children's books penned by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. At the box office the picture garnered close to $163 million in ticket sales internationally; DVD and Blu-ray sales were similarly brisk and earned an additional of $27 million of revenue. With both figures combined the film recuperated twice its $90 million production cost.

Year: 2008

Duration: 96 minutes

Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Starring:

Freddie Highmore

Sarah Bolger

Mary-Louise Parker

David Strathairn

Joan Plowright

Director: Mark Waters

Rating: Rated PG for scary creature action and violence, peril, and some thematic elements.