By Ranny Levy – Founder/President of KidsFirst!
The Legend of Longwood – A Thrilling Adventure Filled with Horses and a Plucky Heroine Crumbling castles, frightening spirits, beautiful horses and a plucky, fearless heroine all come together in this magical “quest” film, set in the starkly beautiful landscapes of rural Ireland. Mickey Miller is a thoroughly modern 12-year-old New Yorker who has little enthusiasm for her mother’s plan to take her and her little brother to start a new life Longwood, a windswept town in Ireland. However, their arrival coincides with the return of the Black Knight, a legendary ruler whose appearances always mean that something evil is going to happen. Realizing that she is directly linked to the story of the Black Knight, Mickey and her new friend Sean – along with Silver, the wildest, most untameable horse in the stalls of a nearby castle – set out to redeem the knight. But first she must save a precious herd of white horses and thwart the plans of a greedy, ambitious woman – a mighty handful even for the bravest girl! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Gerry O., comments, “The Legend of Longwood is a wonderful dramatic story that will be enjoyed by most who sees it.” Carissa P. adds, “This movie is a very good watch, being both very heartwarming and captivating.” See their full reviews below.
The Legend of Longwood
Reviewed by Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
It is not too common that a small production company makes a wonderful film with a nice story line, cast and nicely done overall. The Legend of Longwood is a wonderful dramatic story that will be enjoyed by most who sees it.
The main genre of this film is drama with a sense of adventure and fantasy thrown in. Also, they include from time to time a bit of comedy making the story enjoyable, yet thrilling.
The story begins when a young girl named Mickey (Lucy Morton) is torn away from New York where she lives with her family because they have to move to Ireland on almost the opposite side of the world. She arrives sad and depressed. To add to the problems of leaving New York, she leaves behind the memory of her passed away horse which is the only connection she has to her dad. (If you want to find out more about he dad, you have got to watch the film!) She and her family settle in and she soon learns about a legend and starts a massive and dramatic adventure along with a discovery which leads to a very unexpected ending.
This film is a wonderful production with nicely executed shots and story plot. You never expect what happens so it is just a thrilling thing to watch. The director, Lisa Mulcahy, really excels at creating a compelling story with everything in perfect position. The only con I have is that the acting with some of the younger talent is a bit dull at times. Also, they move through conversations so fast that I missed important parts of the story, making me wondering what happened later.
My favorite scene is when a elderly lady tells Mickey the story of the, ‘Mysterious Black Knight’ which is a 300-year-old legend. It is shown through animated pictures and narration and becomes a very, if not the most, important part of the story.
This film really has nothing too mature for kids, so I recommend it for ages 9 to 18. I also give it 4 out of 5 stars because, although it is very nicely done in terms of directing, story and camera shots, it lacks somewhat in terms of acting skills and feels rushed at times.
The Legend of Longwood
Carissa P, KIDS FIRST! reviewer
This movie is a very good watch, being both very heartwarming and captivating. The film is full of lots of suspense and drama as the main protagonist, Mickey, aims to figure out the mystery of the new town she moved to.
In The Legend of Longwood, young teen Mickey Miller has to confront the mystery of the new Irish town her family has moved into. Upon moving, Mickey immediately gets sucked into the curse that the town of Longwood has been under for centuries. The 300-year-old curse concerns a man the people call a Black Knight, who is trying to find his lost baby daughter. Mickey has to try to understand how her amulet given to her by her dead father, the snooty rich palace woman her mother works for, and the seven palace horses all combine to stop the curse and save the town of Longwood.
The most impressive performance is given by Lucy Morton, the actress who plays the protagonist Mickey. Mickey displays extreme courage, integrity and perseverance throughout the whole film as she constantly gets reprimanded for seeking an end to the curse. Without Morton’s impressive range of emotions and slight nuances in body language, Mickey’s strong character would not be as evident. A strong performance is also given by Fiona Glascott, who plays the money-hungry antagonist named Caitlyn.
One moral of the movie is to have courage in the face of adversity. Mickey outdoes even the adults in trying to bring stability and peace to her town. This proves that even adults need to understand that perseverance and motivation are two key traits that all people need to have, no matter how dangerous or difficult a deed appears to be.
The creators of the film took very wise advantage of natural settings to portray Ireland in an honest manner. The locations of wild, grassy areas and woods are what make the film extremely realistic. Other careful touches that contribute positively to the film are the lighting techniques used to make each actors’ expressions easy to comprehend and the lack of overbearing music, which often overwhelm dialogues in some movies.
This movie is perfect for family movie night. Kids and parents could watch a very fascinating movie that is interesting from beginning to end. I recommend it for ages 10 to 15 since it has suspense that some younger kids would dislike. I give the film 4.5 out of 5 stars. It is available now on DVD wherever DVDs are sold.
Ranny Levy – Founder and President
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