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Inkheart (film) facts for kids

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Iain Softley
Produced by
  • Cornelia Funke
  • Ileen Maisel
  • Dylan Cuva
  • Sarah Wang
  • Iain Softley
  • Ute Leonhardt
  • Toby Emmerich
  • Mark Ordesky
  • Andrew Licht
Screenplay by David Lindsay-Abaire
Music by Javier Navarrete
Cinematography Roger Pratt
Editing by Martin Walsh
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures (International)
Entertainment Film Distributors (United Kingdom)
Eagle Pictures (Italy)
Release date(s) December 11, 2008 (2008-12-11) (Germany)
December 12, 2008 (2008-12-12) (United Kingdom)
January 23, 2009 (2009-01-23) (United States)
Running time 106 minutes
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Italy
Language English
Budget $60 million
Money made $62,450,361

Inkheart is a 2008 fantasy adventure film directed by Iain Softley, produced by Cornelia Funke, Dylan Cuva, Sarah Wang, Ute Leonhardt, Toby Emmerich, Mark Ordesky, Ileen Maisel and Andrew Licht, written by David Lindsay-Abaire, music composed by Javier Navarrete and starring Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis, and Eliza Bennett. It is based on Cornelia Funke's 2003 novel of the same name.

Produced by New Line Cinema, the film was released theatrically on December 12, 2008, in the UK and January 23, 2009, in the US by Warner Bros. Pictures. Inkheart received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $62,450,361 on a $60 million budget.

Inkheart was released on DVD and Blu-ray in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2009. On January 12, 2009, a video game based on the film was released for the Nintendo DS.


Parents Mortimer "Mo" Folchart (Brendan Fraser) and his wife Teresa "Resa" Folchart (Sienna Guillory) read the fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood" to their baby daughter Meggie, as a red velvet hood appears out of nowhere. Twelve years later, Meggie (Eliza Bennett) visits an old book shop in Europe with her father, unaware that he is secretly looking for a copy of the book Inkheart. Shortly after Mo finds the book, Meggie encounters a horned marten outside the shop; it tries to bite her fingers. A man (Paul Bettany) suddenly appears from the shadows, claiming to be an old friend. Mo comes out of the shop, recognizing the man as Dustfinger, who quickly asks him to "read him back into the book". Mo flees with Meggie.

Mo takes Meggie to visit her great-aunt Elinor (Helen Mirren) in Italy. There he tells Meggie that nine years ago, reading to her from Inkheart, he inadvertently freed Dustfinger, a fire dancer, due to a gift he possessed from birth. Unfortunately, the book's villain, Capricorn (Andy Serkis), and one of his henchmen, Basta (Jamie Foreman), were also freed. Fleeing with his infant daughter, Mo realizes Resa has been taken into the book. Dustfinger arrives with Basta, who captures the group, destroys Elinor's library and takes Inkheart. They are taken to Capricorn's new castle in the real world.

During their imprisonment, Mo explains his gift to Meggie and Elinor, stating that when he reads a person or an object out of a book, someone from the real world is sent into it, hence his wife's disappearance. Capricorn forces Mo to use his gift, acquiring treasure from one of the stories in The Arabian Nights, and imprisoning Farid (Rafi Gavron), one of the 40 Thieves. Dustfinger, who was promised a return into the book, is betrayed by Capricorn. Nevertheless, the group escapes using the tornado from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Elinor leaves to recover what is left of her library as the other head for Alassio, the town of Inkheart's author, Fenoglio (named in honor of Italian writer Beppe Fenoglio), who may have another copy, following Meggie's proposal. Dustfinger is initially afraid of learning his fate in the book, but later joins them. When they meet Fenoglio (Jim Broadbent), the author's ecstatic reaction to seeing his creation alive leads Dustfinger to learn he dies at the end, trying to save his marten, Gwin. Angry, he berates Fenoglio before eventually telling Mo that Resa is trapped in the castle and has lost her voice.

Mo and Dustfinger take Fenoglio's car; Farid stows away in the trunk. At Fenoglio's house, Meggie begins reading out loud, bringing Toto from The Wizard of Oz. Basta bursts in with his men and takes the group to Capricorn. Elinor, having decided to stay, realizes something is amiss and pursues them. At the castle, Capricorn orders Meggie to bring the Inkheart's monster, Shadow, threatening to harm her mother if she does not comply. Mo sneaks into the castle. Dustfinger is captured, but escapes after Meggie informs him of Capricorn's intentions.

Mo attempts to free Meggie and others, as Capricorn forces her to bring the Shadow. Dustfinger returns to the castle with Farid, setting it alight. The distraction allows Fenoglio to give Toto a rewrite he made to help Meggie stop Capricorn's plan. As Elinor arrives with the creatures Capricorn imprisoned, Meggie writes out the story on her arm. As she reads out her creation, Capricorn turns into ashes as the Shadow devours him, his henchmen vanish, the Shadow explodes, and all the read-out creatures back are returned where they belong, including Toto. In addition, she grants Fenoglio's wish to live in the world he created, while reuniting her and Mo with her mother and restoring her voice. Dustfinger is also safely read back into Inkheart, where he is reunited with his wife Roxanne. In the real world, Farid reveals he kept Gwin with him, thus allowing Dustfinger to avoid his fate and have control over his destiny. As Mo and his family leave with Farid, Meggie agrees to teach him how to read while Farid agrees to teach her how to use the dragon breath, the fire breathing ability of Dustfinger's which Farid learned.


In other media

Video games

On January 12, 2009, a video game based on the film was released for the Nintendo DS. On Metacritic the game has a score of 36% based on 8 critic reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".

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