Starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Zach Mills, Jason Bateman
Written By: Zach Helm
Directed By: Zach Helm
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Buy on Amazon.com link
Mr. Magorium is a 243 year-old inventor, collector, innovator and owner of the most wonderful magic toy store in the entire world named after himself called “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”. If an item isn’t in stock, then it doesn’t exist and if it doesn’t exist then they’ll make it.
Dustin Hoffman stars as Mr. Edward Magorium in this magical tale that is one-third “Willy Wonka”, one-third “Toy Story” and one-third “The Wizard of Oz”. What I thought would be just another goofy kids movie turned out to be one of the most well written, heart-tuggers of the past few years.
The story focuses on Molly Mahone played by Natalie Portman, a once child prodigy pianist who now spends her days taking care of the children that occupy the Emporium on a daily basis. Her love of her job is great but she feels that she has come to a crossroads in her life and has come to the conclusion that she needs more out of life. Relaying her feelings to Mr. Magorium, he decides that the time has come for him to leave this world, mainly because he once bought a lifetime supply of his favorite shoes and now he’s on his last pair, but he intends on leaving the Wonder Emporium to Molly. Molly feels that only Mr. Magorium is capable of operating the store and, after the passing of Mr. Magorium, decides to sell the store. She just doesn’t have the magic and the twinkle to keep the store in her life. But Molly learns a valuable lesson, that believing in ones self can have magical results of its own.
By far, Dustin Hoffman steals this movie with his casual quirkiness and wise beyond age wisdom even though having a gorgeous talent such as Natalie Portman certainly does not hurt the cause. As I mentioned before, the movie is well written and much deeper than your everyday children’s movie even though that is it’s target audience. The toy store that was created for the movie is a masterpiece all on it’s own. Jason Bateman’s character of Henry Weston, the accountant or counting mutant according to Mr. Magorium, adds a grounded look to what you’re supposed to believe is a magical toy store. When he finally believes in what happens within the magical walls of the Emporium, you know that everything has finally been set straight and when Molly finally believes in herself and the magic within, the story comes to a close with a happy ending.
If there was anything that I would complain about, it would have to be some of the special effects, particularly the part with all of the balls flying around out of control. When you get just a glimpse of certain special effects for a short amount of time, you seem to overlook the shoddiness. The special effects at that particular part looked like they were out of a movie from 1988. Most of the other effects were fairly spot on and weren’t used as extensively as with that part which is probably why you could tell the difference.
“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” is a movie that is intended for kids but it is also a movie that all ages can enjoy. Much like the character of Mr. Magorium, the movie is cute, quaint, goofy, quirky, spectacular and wondrous. The movie is very well cast and while Natalie Portman is no slouch, Dustin Hoffman no doubt steals the show. If you’re a fan of movies like “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Toy Story”, then you should be intrigued by everything that “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” has to offer.
Strangely Weird and Weirdly Strange: The Magical World Of A Wonder Emporium Featurette
Zach Helm Pod
Sock Monkey Pod
Mortimer The Zebra Pod
Lincoln Man Pod
An Eccentric Boss And An Awkward Apprentice Featurette
To Meet Eric Applebaum, Start By Saying Hi Featurette
The Magical Toy Store Featurette
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
English, French, Spanish
Favorite Scenes: Dustin Hoffman carrying on a conversation with a zebra, the day-to-day operation of the Emporium, Mr. Magoriums last day on earth
Running Time: 94 minutes