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Family Adventure Series: 4 Movies [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

King of the Wind
The Neverending Story III: Escape from Fantasia
Young Bastian again seeks refuge from the problems of the real world in the mystical land of Fantasia in this second, inferior sequel to the sleeper 1984 hit The Neverending Story. The set-up is familiar, as Bastian Bux (here played by Jason James Richter), who has moved to a new town, again rediscovers the magical book that serves as the portal to Fantasia and finds solace in the power of imagination. Unfortunately, Bastian is having problems with a group of bullies known as the Nasties, who discover the boy's secret and steal the book. Their meddling wreaks havoc, ultimately releasing Fantasia's bizarre creatures into Earth's dimension. Naturally, it's up to Bastian to retrieve the book and return the Luck Dragon, Rock Eater, talking tree, gnomes, and other assorted creatures to their rightful home. Visually less impressive than its predecessors, and extremely distant from the Michael Ende book that was the series' original inspiration, The Neverending Story 3 made little impression on audiences or critics, who generally agreed that the film was the weakest of the series. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

A Wrinkle in Time
A pair of misfit siblings travel across time and space to save their father from enslavement in this made-for-TV adaptation of the classic children's novel by Madeleine L'Engle. Meg Murry (Katie Stuart), a tomboy who fits in with neither the kids nor the teachers at her New England middle school, feels bereft when her scientist father vanishes, leading to unsavory speculation from small-town gossips. But thanks to Charles Wallace (David Dorfman), her gifted but idiosyncratic younger brother, Meg befriends Mrs. Who (Alison Elliott), Mrs. Whatsit (Alfre Woodard), and Mrs. Which (Kate Nelligan) -- three cosmic beings who lead Meg, Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O'Keefe (Gregory Smith) on a journey to the sinister planet Camazotz, where Dr. Murry (Chris Potter) has been captured by the coercive power known as IT. Afflicted by hubris and naïveté, young Charles Wallace falls under IT's thrall, forcing Meg, Calvin, and their allies on a dangerous flight across time and space. But thanks to the healing touch of a kindly monster known as Aunt Beast (Ellen Dubin), Meg is able to face her own insecurities and attempt a final rescue of her loved ones. Originally broadcast May 10, 2004, on ABC, A Wrinkle in Time was released as an installment of the long-running Wonderful World of Disney. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

Into the West
Mike Newell directs Jim Sheridan's screenplay (based on a story by Tim Palmer) in this enchanting and magical modern-day fairy tale. Gabriel Byrne plays Papa Reilly, a widower who lives with his two young sons, Ossie (Ciaran Fitzgerald) and Tito (Ruaidhri Conroy), in the slums of Dublin. There seems to be no hope for their bleak existence until the children's grandfather (David Kelly) arrives. Accompanying him is a beautiful and imposing white stallion named Tir na nOg, a magical creature from ancient Irish legends. The stallion takes a shine to the boys and they love the horse in return. But a legion of corrupt police plot to impound the horse for the purpose of selling it to a rich businessman. Ossie and Tito sneak off to rescue Tir na nOg. Grabbing the stallion, they get their father and, as the police chase after them, they make their way west. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

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