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<Movie Details
1 July 2011 by Tim Evans

The scurrilous schoolboy with a penchant for stink bombs, teacher-terrorising and brother-baiting makes the leap to the big screen with a satisfyingly slapstick thump.

The bedtime favourite of thousands of pre-teens, Horrid Henry's combination of truculence and mischief-making has struck just the right rebellious note with a legion of nippers battling against lights-out.

Fans of his first foray into film will not be disappointed. Director Nick Moore (Wild Child) has ramped up the cartoon quality of the books (16m sales to date) to fashion the cinema equivalent of a Christmas panto.

Shrewd casting gives the likes of Anjelica Huston (deranged Scottish spinster Miss Battleaxe), Rebecca Front (hyper anxious headmistress Miss Oddbod) and Richard E Grant (scheming private school headmaster Vic Van Wrinkle) free range to uleash an arsenal of tics and grimaces.

Theo Stevenson is impressive as Henry, a pocket monster with an ingrained loathing of homework, girls and responsibility who finds himself with the fate of his school in his reluctant hands.

There's not much for mums and dads - this doesn't attempt any cute Pixar-style adult-pitched gags - but younger audiences will revel in the mischievous manipulations of a negative role model.