Film / The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

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How do you keep a secret this big?

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (known sometimes as just The Water Horse), is a 2007 family fantasy film loosely based on a book by Dick King-Smith, directed by Jay Russell and co-produced by the same company who co-produced The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the last film to be co-produced by Revolution Studios. The plot revolves around Angus MacMorrow (Alex Etel), a boy who lives with his mother and sister in a mansion on the shores of Loch Ness. One day while looking for shells in the tidepools, he discovers what appears to be a large egg in the sand. He takes it home and puts it into his father's shed, but when he comes back to check on it later, he finds that it hatched a mysterious creature that he decides to call "Crusoe" after Robinson Crusoe. Thus begins an adventure in secrecy and discovery that entangles itself in the age old mystery of the Loch Ness Monster.

Tropes present:

  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his giant water beast.
  • All Animals Are Domesticated: Averted. Crusoe seems to have a real bond with Angus, but is still quite untamed, and the climax heavily implies that he eats Churchill the bulldog.
  • And That Little Boy Was Me: The story of the old man to the tourists ends with shaking hands and telling them his name: Angus MacMorrow.
  • Armies Are Evil: Subverted; Captain Hamilton and his troops are portrayed as gung-ho, suspicious, and uncompromising, yet are still sympathetic.
  • BFG: The heavy artillery cannons brought by the Royal Artillery, designed to sink submarines.
  • Death by Childbirth: Apparently every water horse only lays one egg, and dies before they can see it hatch.
  • Disappeared Dad: Angus's dad was part of the Royal Navy. Unfortunately his ship sunk and him reported missing, which causes Angus to enter a state of denial. The original novel, however, appears to advert this.
  • Egg MacGuffin: The brief role of the titular water horse before it hatches.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Averted. While the Loch Ness Monster legend's only scientific answer is a surviving dinosaur species living in Loch Ness, Crusoe is never referred to as a dinosaur, but rather a water horse, which is the mythological equivalent to the dinosaur theory.
  • Framing Device: The main story is presented as an old man telling his tale to tourist couple in a Scottish pub.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Likely the fate of the story, at least for Captain Hamilton and the rest of British Army's point of view.
  • Gentle Giant: Crusoe, so long as he likes you.
  • Historical In-Joke: The famous supposed photograph of the Loch Ness is explained by two fishermen who did manage to see it, but were unable to catch it in action but needed to get evidence for a quick buck.
  • I Call It "Vera": The men of the Royal Artillery affectionately calls one of their cannons "Victoria".
  • Oh Crap!: Captain Hamilton and Anne both get one when they hear the urgent report of one of the torpedo boats under attack and assume a German U-Boat attack, but actually Crusoe retaliating against the squad attacking him.
  • Parental Substitute: Angus comes to see Lewis as a fatherly figure even before he comes to terms with his real father's death.
  • Poor Communication Kills: During the climax of the movie, the weather and faulty radio prevents Captain Hamilton from calling off the artillery barrage when the soldiers mistake Crusoe for a German U-Boat.
  • Setting Update: The book takes in 1933 when the real Loch Ness Monster was first spotted. The movie puts this setting to WWII with the focus of The Home Front in Scotland.
  • Shellshocked Veteran: Lewis was a Naval gunner with the scars to prove it, both physical and emotional.
  • Single Specimen Species: The eponymous species, in a non-magical, non-Fridge Logic way. It's explained that each water horse lays a single egg and does not live to see it hatch. Whether there has always been only one water horse is not stated, but that's what the legends say and it certainly seems to be that way now.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Somewhat averted in that the story actually tries to make Crusoe into the legend of the Loch Ness monster, meaning that he's what its actually based on. This would mean that his parents were probably the monsters sighted many many years before his birth.
  • The So-Called Coward: After several unpleasant exchanges with Lewis and calling him a coward, Captain Hamilton tries to dig up dirt on his service record only to find it exceptionally clean, with an honourable discharge to boot. If anything, Lewis was pretty much a hero compared to the rear-service Hamilton.
  • Soldiers at the Rear: While Captain Hamilton insists that their position is the front lines of the war effort, his subordinates snicker behind his back saying that they are far and relatively safe from the real thing.

Alternative Title(s): The Water Horse

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/TheWaterHorseLegendOfTheDeep