Edith Nesbit was a prolific author who churned out dozens of stories for children during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Despite their settings in Victorian/Edwardian England, with vocabularies and adventures that seem quaint today, her stories are still humorous and deeply affecting. In the 1990s at least two of the more famous stories were filmed by British television: The Railway Children and The Treasure Seekers.
I think the production of The Railway Children is better developed and more emotionally mature, but there is much in The Treasure Seekers for children and adults to enjoy. The five Bastable children live in London. Their mother is dead and their father is an eccentric inventor, hard at work on a promising idea that unfortunately hasn't generated any income. The children embark on a series of adventures to raise money and keep their home and furniture from being repossessed. This is a children's story, after all, so eventually everything does turn out well, but there are some good morals drawn and lessons learned along the way.
Keira Knightley is featured prominently on the cover of this DVD, but the small role she plays here as an 11 year old princess is completely out of proportion to the amount of publicity she gets. The child actors who play the Bastable children are very good, even if the two oldest seem a little too old for their roles. There is a fine caste of adult stars, including Ian Richardson, Gina McKee, Nicholas Farrell, and James Wilby, all of whom do a superb job. Edwardian London with its customs, mores, fashions and new technologies like motor cars is very well depicted, too.
I read The Treasure Seekers as a child many years ago and still enjoy turning through its pages every now and then. This film is a fairly faithful depiction of the story, and will be well worth watching for many years to come for both children and adults.