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Harvie and the Magic Museum

Movie review by
Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media
Harvie and the Magic Museum Movie Poster Image
Animated adventure has stereotypes, cartoon violence.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 86 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain, rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Bravery is valued. But the lead character also actively chooses to break rules. Character is addicted to computer games and treats real life as though it is one. A father-son relationship is strained but gets resolved.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Harvie is a troublemaker. He's often disobedient and comes across as selfish and arrogant, with his main motivation being self-reward. There's some stereotyping in that he remains the hero despite these flaws. Monica is portrayed as bookish and nerdy, which Harvie mocks her for.

Violence & Scariness

All the violence is cartoonish and slapstick. Punching and kicking. Character is hit over the head with a book. Crossbow is repeatedly fired. Dragon breathes fire on a puppet, which causes it to fall apart. Character falls from a great height and is momentarily unconscious. Characters are turned into puppets. Child is separated from their parent. One character is dangled from a balcony; another is pushed but is saved before they hit the ground. Character disappears into a puff of smoke after being defeated.

Sexy Stuff

Kiss on the cheek. Flirting.

Language

"Jerk" and "brat." Characters are told to "get lost." One fart joke; a dog urinates on a plant for comedic effect.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Two characters drink what's presumably bottles of beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Harvie and the Magic Museum is a Czech (dubbed into English) animated family adventure with some cartoon violence. Characters often find themselves in peril, but the action is slapstick rather than scary. In one scene, the main character, Harvie, falls from a great height and is briefly unconscious, which may trouble younger viewers. There's a fire-breathing dragon, a knight who fires a crossbow, and some fighting, including punching and kicking. Both Harvie and his friend, Monica, are stereotypes -- Harvie being the misbehaving, rule-breaking hero and Monica the bookish, nerdy, sensible one. Harvie also comes across as selfish, and his sole motivation is one of self-reward. Expect some toilet humor, including a fart joke and a scene in which a dog urinates on a plant. Mild language includes "jerk" and "brat."

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What's the story?

HARVIE AND THE MAGIC MUSEUM tells the story of Harvie (voiced by Wilson Davis), a mischievous boy whose sole purpose is getting into the hall of fame for his favorite computer game. But when he and his best friend, Monica (voiced by Sarah Natochenny), discover magical puppets in the museum, Harvie turns his attention to a new mission -- to become the best puppet master in the world. Yet after Harvie accidentally resurrects the previous puppet master, Bastor (voiced by H.D. Quinn), it's not just Harvie who's in danger, but the whole city.

Is it any good?

Perhaps the biggest problem with this animated adventure is that the lead character, Harvie, is so unlikable. From the first scene of Harvie and the Magic Museum, in which he speeds his way through the city on his bike, knocking two girls into a fountain, to ignoring his dog's pleas to go for a walk, Harvie is difficult to warm to. Furthermore, the portrayal of his friend, Monica, as a bookish teacher's pet -- something Harvie continuously pokes fun at -- feels outdated and lazy.

Younger viewers may enjoy some of the set pieces -- Harvie and Monika's first ride on the dragon is the most notable -- and there are a couple of laugh-out-loud moments. But there are better family adventures available and certainly ones with less obnoxious lead characters.

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