Although this family film's production values are less than lavish, it offers an intriguing blend of old and new mythologies. Professor Aisling (Beau Bridges) extols the virtue of imagination while teaching theoretical science, but his optimistic outlook isn't very effective at home, where his daughters, Cassie (Chantal Conlin) and Miranda (Heather McEwen), are still deep in mourning for their late mother. Aisling’s personal philosophy "There’s more to Life than what one can see." gets a practical workout, when Sebastian the Elf (Kristian Ayre) and Malachi the Dwarf (Colin Heath) drop by from another dimension. The little people inform Aisling that there's a portal between Aisling’s world and the Land of Imagination, and that it's narrowing daily. Transported with his daughters to Fairy Island in Avalon, Aisling learns of a prophecy that names his family as saviors of the bond between reality and fancy. After the Fairy rulers exhort the Aislings to locate a vanished dragon, the family must battle the Trolls, who are plotting to estrange mankind from the unseen world. The Aislings travel to far-off lands and encounter the Minotaur (Mark Gibbon) and Medusa (Kira Clavell), who become their comrades in arms. This mystical cause helps Cassie and Miranda come to grips with their grief. Professor Aisling finds the skull of the extinct dragon, but the trolls steal it, intending to use its intrinsic magical properties for some nefarious purpose. Aisling must somehow retrieve these empowered bones in order to blitz the Trolls. Can Aisling count on his family to vanquish the forces of darkness? Based on James C. Christensen's popular children's book, Voyage of the Basset, this lengthy mini-series incorporates ancient Greek favorites like the Minotaur into a contemporary morality tale about the power of faith. It would be nice if the various quests weren't quite so familiar, but the Aisling family's journey involves more sophisticated relationships and challenging ideas that most small-fry fare.
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