The Thief Lord (PG)

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The Independent Culture

In this dreary kids fantasy adventure, adapted from Cornelia Funke's best-seller, two orphan brothers escape from their wicked step-parents and stow away to Venice, where they quickly fall in with a gang of pre-pubescent burglars. Disastrously, the characters have English accents. But an even worse crime is that it bangs on about the beauty and magic of the Serenissima, and yet it contrives to make the city look like a graffiti-smeared slum.