Watch Before Viewing Inkheart December 10, 2008 Before checking out Inkheart this weekend, Movies.ie recommends the following fantasy titles: Another month, another children’s book adaptation. This time from the brainchild of Cornelia Funke – Germany’s answer to J.K Rowling. In “Inkheart”, a young girl’s father has the power to bring characters from books to life by reading those books aloud. When a power-hungry villain from a rare children’s fable kidnaps the man, his daughter bands with a group of friends both real and imagined to set things right. JUMANJI (2005) Jumanji is a visually elaborate fantasy about an enchanted board game that opens a magical portal to a jungle universe. Two young children, Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce), discover the game in an abandoned home and suddenly are greeted by Alan (Robin Williams), an adult who has spent his life trapped inside the game since playing it at age 12. Alan’s only hope for freedom involves finishing the game, but this proves rather dangerous, as Judy, Peter, and Alan find themselves running for their lives from huge rhinoceroses, evil monkeys, vicious lions, and other terrifying jungle beasts. Director Joe Johnston, whose special-effects background previously came to good use in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, used groundbreaking computer imagery to simulate the thrills. HOOK (1991) Steven Spielberg filters J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan through a distinctly 1990s sensibility in Hook. Peter Pan has become Peter Banning (Robin Williams), a 40-year-old mergers and acquisitions lawyer with a permanent scowl on his face and a cellular phone in his belt. Banning has lost any memory of being Peter Pan, and he is also in danger of losing his wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) and two children, Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott). Peter and his family travel to London to visit Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith) who recalls Peter’s lost youth and asks him, “Peter, dear, don’t you know who you are?” With Peter’s children asleep in the same bedroom where the original Peter Pan story began, there is a blinding flash. Peter comes into the room to discover a note from Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), informing Peter that he has kidnapped his children. Granny Wendy now tells him who he really is and encourages him to re-discover his happy thoughts, transform himself into the Peter Pan of the past, and go rescue his children. With the encouragement of Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts), Peter recalls the birth of his son and once again takes wing. Then it’s off to Never Land to rescue his kids THE NEVERENDING STORY (1984) After almost 25 years, this classic children’s fairytale gets a well deserved re-release this year . In it Bastian, a lonely schoolboy alienated from his father and bullied by his peers, retreats to an attic where he becomes engrossed in the book ‘The Neverending Story’ – a tale of a magical kingdom born of human fantasies (the appropriately named Fantasia). But as humanities faith in the power of imagination wanes so too does Fantasia. It falls to Bastian to prevent the great storms of Nothingness from destroying this once great land. Choc-full of memorable creatures – from flying dragons to swamp monsters, this exhilarating adventure story holds it own against current family films with a worthy moral message – as true today as when it was first released way back in 1984. THE PAGEMASTER (1994) A young boy overcomes his obsessive fears by discovering a love for books in this animated fantasy adventure. In a live action wraparound, Macaulay Culkin stars as Richard Tyler, an easily bullied, nervous wreck of a kid who’s an expert on safety statistics. His mother and father (Mel Harris and Ed Begley, Jr.) don’t know how to inspire their son to embrace life boldly. Barely able to leave the house, Richard ventures out one day, but he gets lost in a storm and ends up at a mysterious library. Inside, he slips, knocks himself unconscious and finds himself in a cartoon realm where books come to life. Guided by Adventure (Patrick Stewart), Fantasy (Whoopi Goldberg) and Horror (Frank Welker), Tyler experiences the adventures of classic novels such as Moby Dick and Treasure Island, and he even meets some famed fictional characters, such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Leonard Nimoy). Through his experiences in the pages of the legendary books, Richard confronts his phobias and learns to face life more courageously. The Pagemaster was directed by Joe Johnston, a former special effects supervisor and production designer who later directed Jumanji (1995) and October Sky “Inkheart” is in Irish cinemas from Friday, December 12th.