For the Halloween season, Nerds & Beyond is getting spooky, shining some light on a few of our favorite spooky TV show episodes or movies. Today it is my pleasure to bring the nostalgia in full force as we revisit one of my personal favorites, The Little Vampire.
This charming but often forgotten little movie from 2000 is one that I’m sure is hiding somewhere in the back of your memory. The storyline follows Tony, a boy whose family has just made a big move from the United States to Scotland for his dad’s job. Soon after the move he starts having very detailed nightmares about vampires and a certain gem. One fateful night, as Tony pretends to be a vampire in his bedroom with paper fangs, ketchup, the whole nine yards, a bat flies in his window looking for some shelter. Much to the surprise of Tony, the bat transforms into a boy, and not just any boy, but a vampire named Rudolph! The two become fast friends and it is revealed that Rudolph’s family have been searching for the gem in Tony’s dreams for the past 300 years.
Rudolph’s family have been hiding in the shadows looking for the only way they could to regain their human lives: the gem and a comet that only comes around every few hundred years. As their search for the gem continues, the boys encounter a vampire hunter that will stop at nothing to find the family and destroy them once and for all. Rudolph’s vampire family seek to help the boys but are too weak to fly, so they do what these vampires do best, turn on the charm and get Tony’s parents to drive them.
While all of this is going on the colony of vampires meet up at the cliffs and wait for the two boys to arrive with the gem that will give them all the mortal life they dream of. Just when everything comes together and it seems it will all work out perfectly, Rookery, the vampire hunter, flies a blimp and blocks the comet’s light and begins attacking the vampires!
Taking a cue from their son, Tony’s parents decide enough is enough and give Rookery two proper punches to the face that he more than deserves. As Rookery falls off the cliff to his fate, the comet’s light hits the gem and Tony must make the wish for his new friends. Tony and his parents watch as a fog slowly covers all the vampires and they disappear one by one. Viewers are left to wonder what happened as we watch Tony and his family carry on with their lives and visit their local market. Soon, we see a moving van and Tony notices the new family moving in has a son who looks oddly familiar; it’s Rudolph! The family doesn’t seem to recognize Tony until he whistles, the call for help that Rudolph and his sister Anna taught him. The call seems to trigger their memories and the movie comes to a close as we see the two families run towards each other with smiles on their faces.
On this adventure we meet many colorful characters that leave a lasting and comedic impression. First, I have to bring up the scene stealing vampire cows, the image of them flying after the vampire hunter will leave viewers laughing long after the credits roll. Another small but stand out role that stuck in my brain for the past 21 years is the graveyard caretaker. Don’t ask me why, but watching this little old man defend his graveyard, get used for bait, then get turned into a vampire and waddle off into the night just entertains me to no end!
Now for a little, where are they now? This movie had a majorly stacked cast that have gone on to do many remarkable things after The Little Vampire. Let’s start with Tony himself, played by Jonathan Lipnicki. This kid seemed to be everywhere in the late 90s and early 2000s with movies like Jerry Maguire and Stuart Little to name a few. Since taking a break from the spotlight as a teen, Lipnicki continues to be an actor. However, he focuses more on smaller movies and occasionally TV shows.
Another actor that you may recognize is Richard E. Grant, who played Rudolph’s father Fredrick. Grant has a career many actors idolize with awards and roles, most recently in Star Wars and the Marvel series Loki. His face is very well known.
Our last actor to catch up with is Anna Popplewell. She played Rudolph’s sister by the same name, Anna. After The Little Vampire, Popplewell went on to star in the Narnia franchise and The CW hit show Reign.
If you find yourself thinking, “oh yeah I loved that movie,” then you can find The Little Vampire for rent on Amazon Prime. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Nerds Gets Spooky articles and follow Nerds & Beyond to stay up to date on your favorite fandoms!