This adaptation of Cornelia Funke’s kids’ story unravels within a pretty Venetian setting and involves ‘Oliver Twist’-inspired child thieves, a long-nosed roof-top-flitting Peter Pan figure and a magical merry-go-round with the power to reverse or advance the ageing process. The convoluted plot centres on two orphans on the run from their cantankerous uncle and aunt. They hook up with the Thief Lord (Rollo Weeks) and spend most of the film evading their relatives’ hired private dick before a wooden wing belonging to said merry-go-round leads towards a predictable fantasy finale. The story’s dull, the dialogue’s empty, the performances are pretty crummy, the editing’s slipshod, the score’s bombastic, and for some reason everyone speaks with an unmistakably British accent – except for one extra, a maid, who answers the door with a genuine Italian accent. What’s that all about? Most disappointing.