This classic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s work reunites Fry and Laurie alongside a brilliant voice cast for a whimsical animated adventure. The restless spirit of Sir Simon Canterville has been haunting his castle, tirelessly searching for a courageous heir who can break the Canterville curse by performing a heroic act. When an American family moves in, they find the ghost’s antics amusing, but it’s a young girl in the family who holds the key to releasing him – if she dares.
Featuring Freddie Highmore (known for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”), Toby Jones (“Indiana Jones 5”), Hugh Laurie (“House M.D.”), Imelda Staunton (“Vera Drake”), Stephen Fry (“V for Vendetta”), Miranda Hart (“Spy”), and Emily Carey (“House of the Dragon”), “The Canterville Ghost” is helmed by directors Kim Burdon and Robert Chandler, with a script crafted by Giles New (“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”) and Keiron Self (“My Family”).
“The Canterville Ghost” starts off on a promising note, setting up a spooky atmosphere as the eponymous ghost attempts to terrify his unsuspecting victim. The animation is visually appealing with vibrant colors, and the musical score masterfully balances playfulness and eeriness. However, the introduction of an exuberant American family with a handful of boisterous children disrupts the initial gothic ambiance.
From that moment onward, the film becomes rather loud and irritating, seemingly targeting a much younger audience than the one I represent. While children might embrace this approach, as an older viewer situated outside the intended demographic, it tested my patience beyond its limits.
Thankfully, once the primary characters and narrative take shape, the movie settles into a more enjoyable and engaging experience. “The Canterville Ghost” is likely to captivate very young children but might leave accompanying adults yearning for a different viewing experience.