THE MAGICAL LAND OF THE LEPRECHAUNS
The mini-series comes with an appealingly silly giddiness buggy races, leprechauns riding sheep, dances everywhere (the mini-series has clearly takes a few leafs from the Riverdance fad that was massive at the time it was made). It is all run over with a lively lilting score. There are some lovely locations (which ironically were shot in England rather than Ireland). Director John Henderson creates some appealingly imaginative fantastical touches butter spirits, a headless ghost, a frog that blows a bubble that encases it and gently carries it up through the air, a salmon leaping out of the river to spit in Randy Quaids face. The sequence where the leprechauns are tossed through the air to assail the fairy palace and the others all scale up on ropes is visually magnificent. The scene where the Fitzpatrick brothers give the leprechauns military training is a comic gem. The visual effects that allow miniature and full-size actors to be combined together are expertly done.
The script is predictable and one can see all the arcs that the characters will take Randy Quaid has an eminently obvious one of the man from the business fast lane who comes to discover the beauties of rural life; while you can equally easily see that he will inevitably get together with Orla Brady despite their prickly first meeting. The leprechaun/fairy romance across warring factions has been borrowed from Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet (1597). It all proves an enjoyable and appealingly lively concoction.
British director John Henderson has made various other tv work like The Borrowers (1993), Jack and the Beanstalk (1998), Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998), as well as films such as Loch Ness (1996), Me-Shee: The Water Giant (2005) and Tales of the Riverbank (2008). Screenwriter Peter Barnes has also written a number of other Hallmark productions, including Merlin (1998), Alice in Wonderland (1999) and Arabian Nights (2000).
Hallmarks other works of genre note are: the sf mini-series White Dwarf (1995), The Canterville Ghost (1996), Gullivers Travels (1996), Harvey (1996), the Christmas musical Mrs Santa Claus (1996), Murders in the Rue Morgue (1996), the childrens horror Shadow Zone: The Undead Express (1996), the medical thriller Terminal (1996), The Odyssey (1997), the cloning thriller The Third Twin (1997), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997), the monster movie Creature (1998), Merlin (1998), the sf film Virtual Obsession (1998), Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (1999), Alice in Wonderland (1999), Animal Farm (1999), A Christmas Carol (1999), the tv series Farscape (1999-2003), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1999), The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999), Arabian Nights (2000), the modernised Hamlet (2000), Jason and the Argonauts (2000), Prince Charming (2000), the mini-series The 10th Kingdom (2000) set in an alternate world where fairy-tales are true, the medical thriller Acceptable Risk (2001), The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (2001), Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story (2001), The Monkey King/The Lost Empire (2001), My Life as a Fairytale: Hans Christian Andersen (2001), Snow White (2001), the series Tales from the Neverending Story (2001), the fantasy adventure Voyage of the Unicorn (2001), the Sherlock Holmes film The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire (2002), Dinotopia (2002), The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002), the Christmas film Mr St. Nick (2002), the Christmas film Santa Jr (2002), Snow Queen (2002), the modernised A Carol Christmas (2003), Children of Dune (2003), the American Indian legends mini-series Dreamkeeper (2003), the childrens monster film Monster Makers (2003), Angel in the Family (2004), A Christmas Carol (2004), Earthsea (2004), 5ive Days to Midnight (2004) about forewarning of the future, Frankenstein (2004), King Solomons Mines (2004), the Christmas film Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus (2004), Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone (2005), Hercules (2005), the thriller Icon (2005), Meet the Santas (2005), Mysterious Island (2005), the disaster mini-series Supernova (2005), The Curse of King Tuts Tomb (2006), the disaster mini-series The Final Days of Planet Earth (2006), Merlins Apprentice (2006), the bird flu disaster mini-series Pandemic (2006), the disaster mini-series 10:15 Apocalypse (2006), the psychic drama Carolina Moon (2007), the psychic drama Claire (2007) and the ghost story Something Beneath (2007).
Full mini-series available online here:-