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Water Babies, The (1978, James Mason, Bernard Cribbins)



Lionel Jeffries’ film, based on the classic Victorian children’s tale by Charles Kingsley, stars Tommy Pender as Tom, a chimney boy, sent up the chimneys of a mansion by his cruel master Grimes (James Mason). Grimes then sets about stealing the silver but, discovered, blames it on Tom. Fleeing, the lad falls into the river and is sucked down but finds he can breathe and talk to the fish. Seeking to return to the real world, he searches for the other water babies to find the secret but first he must face a shark that has captured them to gain his release. Part live action, mainly animation.

production details
UK | 92 minutes | 1978

Director: Lionel Jeffries
Novel: Charles Kingsley

James Mason as Mr. Grimes / Voice of Killer Shark
Bernard Cribbins as Mr. Masterman / Voice of Eel
Tommy Pender as Tom
Samantha Gates as Elly
Jon Pertwee as Salmon
David Jason (voice)
Una Stubbs (voice)