Sally Jane Black’s review published on Letterboxd:
Somewhere between a lovely but simple painting come to life and a bargain basement Disney knockoff, drawing from an old story from George MacDonald (a fairytale writer whose work needs to be more often adapted--he got the improbable tone of fairytales just right), and padded with bad music, bad plotting, and weird surfboarding sequences that sap the story of charm and intrigue, this film is not as bad as its reputation and not nearly as good as it deserves. It never delivers on the promise of magic (figurative or not), it sidelines its female lead at the end for no reason, and the character motivations are often inexplicable. It's not good, but it has moments that speak of something better, it has world-building, a sense of place. It feels both bigger and smaller than it should (you get the sense of a deep mythology, but also there are only three notable locations and no mention of anything more--this contradiction only heightens the setting's fairytale feel).
Kathleen's VHS Collection 2017: 10/100