The latest in the find-the-next-Harry Potter genre, The Spiderwick Chronicles rises above much-treaded ground with fun adventure and a sense of wonder. It is also one of those Hollywood rarities (particularly in the kid’s genre): a successful use of CGI to enliven its world with characters rather than just add cheap flash.

When the Grace family inherits their great-uncle’s mansion, Jared stumbles upon a mysterious book, which unlocks the invisible world of fairies, ogres and mythical creatures wreaking havoc all around us. It also brings down the wrath of Nick Nolte (scary thought) as an evil shape-shifting ogre.

The script, partially written by John Sayles, isn’t totally successful in mixing in serious familial angst, but knocks it out of the park as a fantasy adventure that isn’t afraid to be a little scary for kids.

Grade: A-

The Spiderwick Chronicles – (Two-Disc Special Edition) is currently available.