The Water Babies

Year: 1978
Production Co: Ariadne
Director: Lionel Jeffries
Writer: Michael Robson/Lionel Jeffries
Cast: James Mason, Jon Pertwee

Before seamless CGI animation, before even the combining of cel animation with live action ( Pete's Dragon and Dot and the Kangaroo were the Avatars of their day), even having a movie go from live action to cartoon was an inventive visual storytelling tool.

A young boy lives an ordinary life in Victorian-era England as an apprentice chimneysweep, and when he dives into a lake to avoid capture after being accused of theft, the cartoon starts and the boy finds an Alice in Wonderland-like world of fish and sea creatures much like the people's he's just escaped from.

An evil shark and eel duo are holding all the children (the water babies of the title) imprisoned, and the hero has not only to escape but free his new friends in the process.

The star power of James Mason and Jon Pertwee are among the cast just like the animated family comedies feature big names.

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