Arthur Ransome’s beloved tales recounting childhood adventures are told anew on the big screen. The twelve books were named after the title of the first one in the series and set between the two World Wars. Despite some deviations from the original plot, including the renaming of central character Titty to Tatty. This schoolboy’s tittering embargo is not well received by the family of Mavis (Titty) Altounyan who inspired the original character in the novel. However, one not-so-subtle tweak is the addition of Russian spies. handy in the dumbing down dept. Luckily, the Lake District setting is portrayed in all its beauty, serving to remind us of ‘hills and streams and trees’.
As for simple penknife and string adventures, this is a delicious treasure set in what we think of as a time of assured innocence
“A good-natured, if self-conscious period adaptation that grafts on a new grownup (dumbed down) plotline of treachery” (Guardian)
“There’s a period-appropriate honesty to it, easily mistaken at first for earnestness or nostalgia. It sets it apart from any other family film you’ll see this summer” (Telegraph)
Quite right Telegraph. Pat yourself, but not so vigourously as to induce pleasure.