Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Movie Poster Image
Sweet magical tale will feed kids' toy cravings.
  • G
  • 2007
  • 94 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 35 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Strong positive messages about believing in yourself and others, as well as working together and staying open to the possibility of "magic" in everyday life. A significant death is handled gently; there's some sadness, but overall the characters learn from it and become stronger.

Violence & Scariness

In one chaotic scene, the store throws a temper tantrum -- toys are tossed from shelves, others fall or explode, some attack store patrons (one child is tied up, a woman ends up with a squid on her head, a dragon breathes fire, etc.). So there's some mild peril for a few moments, but nothing serious. Some bickering between characters.

Sexy Stuff
Language

One use of "crap" and a few mild insults -- "insufferable fool," "ninny," etc. Henry is affectionately called "Mutant." Mr. Magorium uses a lot of big words, which many kids may not understand (of course, given how fast he talks, they may not really notice them, either).

Consumerism

The Wonder Emporium is brimming with toys of every size, shape, and color, and many are recognizable brands: Curious George, Easy Bake, Playmobil, Legos, Silly Putty, Lincoln Logs, Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Ugly Doll, Slinky, and more. Expect lots of retail tie-ins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sweet, family-friendly fantasy is brimming with product placement, though most of it's in context (you can't really make a movie about a magic toy store without toys...). Plus, the positive messages about friendship, trust, finding your potential, and believing in yourself overshadow most of the branding. There isn't any violence, but the store does throw a temper tantrum that sends toys flying after patrons (the red walls also fade to gray, and the toys lose their spark and color). A significant death, while presented in an idealized way to fit in with the tone of the film, is handled gently and poignantly; there are some sad scenes, but it's peaceful overall (though really young kids may need further explanation of how death really works). A young boy is looked at as a loner and has trouble making friends with other kids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 year old Written byprcardi July 8, 2016

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 quirk... Continue reading
Adult Written bynina08 April 9, 2008

Magical Tale about a sensitive subject

It was entertaining and the subject of transitioning from death to another world wasn't heavy or overdone. We liked the way to story played out, I think in... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byrobinrunner April 7, 2011

kid-friendly and plenty of fun for the family.

Fantastic movie that any one no matter what age can watch. SPOILER: kids learn how to deal with the death of a person who was close to them when Mr. Mogorium di... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMadelineMini April 1, 2015

Nothing inappropriate, great for all ages!

I saw this movie when I was 6 and I love it still! It's a movie about an old man named Mr. Magorium, he owns a magical toy store and his employees are Moll... Continue reading

What's the story?

Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman), the 243-year-old owner of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, has decided that his time in the store has run its course. He attempts to hand his life's work over to his manager, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) -- to both her dismay and that of the store itself. The magic building proceeds to throw something of a temper tantrum -- toys caroming off the shelves, walls fading from vibrant red to sad gray. Meanwhile, stuffy accountant Henry (Jason Bateman), a non-believer in all things magic, has been brought in to help get Mr. Magorium's finances in order so he can leave the store in good standing. With a little help from Mahoney and 9-year-old resident loner/store-clerk Eric (Zach Mills), Henry finds that life doesn't have to be all work and no play.

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about product placement and commercial tie-ins. Did your kids notice how many toys were featured in the movie? Why were some more obvious than others? Where else have your kids noticed ads and other marketing for this movie? Also, why do you think Eric felt that he was different than the other kids? Did your child relate to his character? Families can also use the movie as an opportunity to talk about death. What does it mean? How do you cope with it? Is dying always sad? Why or why not? How is it different in real life than the way it is in the movie?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate