The Little Vampire (2000) starring Jonathan Lipnicki, Rollo Weeks, Richard E. Grant, Jim Carter, Alice Krige, Anna Popplewell, Dean Cook directed by Uli Edel Movie Review

The Little Vampire (2000)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jonathan Lipnicki as Tony Thompson in The Little Vampire (2000)


"The Little Vampire" is not a Disney movie but it has a very similar style to the live action Disney movies from the 90s. What does that mean? Well it means that "The Little Vampire" is very much a movie which whilst technically a family movie clearly targets young children with a variety of visual elements from costumes to characters. But that means that for any adults who find themselves watching there is very little to entertain despite being pleasantly inoffensive.

With his family living in Scotland as his father sets up a golf course for Lord McAshton (John Wood) young Tony Thompson (Jonathan Lipnicki) finds life hard as he has no friends, gets bullied at school and keeps on having nightmares about vampires. But one night he gets to meet Rudolph Sackville-Bagg (Rollo Weeks) a real vampire who ends up in his room after being chased by vampire hunter Rookery (Jim Carter). Becoming best friends Tony not only learns all about the vampire's plight but has a connection to their past which leads him to try and help his new vampire friends in the search of an amulet and to escape from Rookery.

Jim Carter as Rookery in The Little Vampire (2000)

I mentioned before that "The Little Vampire" has a Disney feel about it and that is very prevalent when it comes to the story as Tony basically helps the vampires against the bad guy Rookery. Why is Rookery bad? Well because he is dressed in black and smokes cigars whilst the vampires are good because they only drink cow's blood and are nice to Tony. What follows is to be honest quite uninteresting and for adults predictable as Tony along with Rudolph end up on a few adventures before Tony saves the day. It probably does work for young children because it is simple and familiar but for those same reasons it is a bit dull for adults.

But to be honest "The Little Vampire" is all about the visual humour and it does have its share of amusing gags and characters. From the gothic charm of Rudolph's parents and Tony's parent's naivety to vampire cows and a comically sinister grave digger there are some truly funny scenes which will make even adults smile. But again there is just as much which is simple and familiar which will be fine for the young target audience but will leave adults bored if stuck watching it.

And then there is the acting and whilst the trio of Richard E. Grant, Alice Krige and Jim Carter provide plenty of over the top laughs the actual casting of Jonathan Lipnicki as Tony is a bit dull. The trouble is not what Lipnicki does because he plays the cute bespectacled kid quite nicely but it is too similar to what he did in his previous movies. In truth Dean Cook who plays Rudolph's brother Gregory makes more of an impression and the way he made his character have a comical in your face attitude reminded me of a young Dexter Fletcher.

What this all boils down to is that "The Little Vampire" I am sure works for its target audience of little children but is so familiar in style and humour that offers little for any adults who find themselves watching other than some entertaining characters.

Tags: Vampire Movies