Parents' Guide to

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Sweet magical tale will feed kids' toy cravings.

Movie G 2007 94 minutes
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 7+

Perfect for a very specific target

This was an excellent movie experience for both myself and my 9 year old daughter. The movie keeps the parent entertained with the vocabulary, banter, and quirkiness of Mr. Magorium. That all, however, will be largely lost on kids (kids outright - probably young teenagers are also going to be unable to follow and catch the gems in the dialogue). The wonder of the toy shop is the main draw for the children. The movie does a great job spreading out the novelties of the shop over the course of the movie. Thus while there isn't a large variety in scenes (the whole thing was probably shot on something like 5 sets), they have something new to offer with every visit. This is less likely to be enjoyed by children accustomed to Disney, Pixar, and the like movies. The action and drama is mostly simple and subtle. We rarely watch movies (a couple or few a year) and never watch television. So children with a higher threshold for action and adventure will quickly become bored. On the other hand, you need to be old enough to follow the dialogue and not simply the visual action. A lot of the drama is delivered in conversation. The director did a good job giving cues to help the child remember the character and their quirk (Molly's fidgety fingers, Zach's hats, Henry's "just" and briefcase, and Magorium's shoes). Still, the child has to learn mostly from dialogue that one of the characters struggles with self-confidence, another with friendship, one with empathy, and the last with the prospect of death. There is also a lengthy and touching scene that has to be read (the text is large and usually only a few words or a short phrase). This was perfect for us because it had no profanity (some euphemisms, and a comedic, name-calling moniker - "Mutant"), no sexual innuendo or dress, and mild violence (a chaotic scene where toys and animals get out of control, latching onto or otherwise scaring kids and parents into a exiting mob). The most dominant issue was the death one. It was dealt with in a fantastical manner - Mr. Magorium has obviously had an unusual and mythological life, his "death" is no different. The one other possibly objectionable issue was a very brief mention of Heaven. Magorium equates Heaven with Shangri-la, Elysium, etc and even jokes that he might be reincarnated. This is delivered quickly and with humor. There is no way of telling if he was joking, and there is no explicit message there. What made this so perfect for us, however, is that it wasn't targeted at advanced movie watchers. There were no experimental camera angles, slow motion, disordered sequences, or flashbacks. This was perfect for a 9 year old home school girl who rarely sees television and movies, who reads avidly, whom has been sheltered from serious or adult themes, and was looking for a special - magical, even - movie viewing. I doubt my 5 year old girl would have got very much from this. My 7 year old would probably have enjoyed it almost as much as my 9 year old, although it would have been harder for her to pick up on the nuance and developments delivered through dialogue.
age 5+

GREAT MOVIE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS!

Amazing movie. Great for kids to watch. I prefer to watch more 13+ content, but this was really good.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (10 ):

There's definitely plenty here to captivate kids' imaginations. With a central character who feels a lot like a kiddie version of one of Tim Burton's quirky creations, Zach Helm's MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM is a fun movie that will delight young kids -- and leave their parents fielding requests for lots of holiday toys (preferably magic ones). The unlikely friendships formed in the film create a story filled with magical wonderment and strong messages about believing in yourself and others.

But while the movie has some exceptionally sweet and tender moments, it falls short on really delivering the magic that's referred to so often in characters' conversations throughout the film. It has a lot of strengths -- a talented cast, a fabulous set, impressive special effects -- though it somehow doesn't quite add up to a true childhood classic.

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