Several things popped out at me as I watched this movie:
  • Both of the lead characters love their wives and children;
  • Helen Mirren can be VERY funny...
  • Brendan Fraser is in a LOT of family-friendly, CGI-heavy movies!

Brendan Fraser ("The Mummy" franchise, "Crash" and "The Quiet American") plays a man called "Silvertongue," who, when he reads fairy tales out loud, causes fictional characters to materialize in the real world. Problem is, when that happens, people from the real world are swapped with those from the land of fiction. He inadvertently caused his wife's disappearance when their daughter was only six or seven and he has been on a quest ever since to find that same book again and reverse the process.

His daughter, played by Eliza Bennett ("Nanny McPhee" and "Perfect Life"), has become a "tween." She travels all over the world with him as he searches out antiquarian bookstores. He refuses to tell her why but she knows it is important to both of them.

A third character, called "Dustfinger," played by Paul Bettany ("The Secret Life of Bees" and "Wimbleton"), is a fictional character who landed in the real world by mistake and very much wants to help our hero find that book so he can get back to his own family in the fictitious world (played by Bettany's real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly). Failing that, at least they can try to locate the author, played by Jim Broadbent ("Iris" and "Moulon Rouge!") and look for the original manuscript.

As they narrow down their search, it is obvious that there will be some danger involved, so Fraser takes his daughter to her great-aunt's house. The great aunt is played to eccentric perfection by Helen Mirren ("The Queen" and "Gosford Park").

Fictitious characters abound: Toto and those dreaded flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz; a unicorn; Rapunzel; one of the thieves from Ali Baba; etc., etc....

Expect lots of Computer Generated Imaging, a mild "tween" flirtation, steadfast husbands who seek lost wives, and of course, a happy ending.