Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

  • Review Date: March 3, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Sweet magical tale will feed kids' toy cravings.
  • Review Date: March 3, 2008
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
10
11
12
13
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15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
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
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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. Despite the fact that all of the movie's strengths -- a talented cast, a fabulous set, impressive special effects -- somehow don't quite add up to a true childhood classic, there's definitely plenty here to captivate kids' imaginations.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:November 15, 2007
DVD release date:March 3, 2008
Cast:Dustin Hoffman, Jason Bateman, Natalie Portman, Zach Mills
Director:Zach Helm
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byStarstonight April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Innapropriate for Kids dealing with death in their lives...

I let my 6 and 12 year olds watch this movie (without doing the research) by themselves. I read the back and checked out the G rating and thought "Oh, this is fine". The back of the box says that the boss is going to retire, not DIE. My children lost their grandfather and are dealing with death and what it really means. My son is all of the sudden (I thought) freaking out again about my death and thinking that I am going to die and leave him. I just watched the movie and now I know why he is again freaked out. Had I had known that Mr. Magorium was slated to die and not just retire, I never would have allowed him to watch the movie. My daughter yes, that I why I suggest that this movie is for older kids and not those who are dealing with a real death in their lives. It's not sweet and trancendant...it's death and has thrown my family back to having to reassure my son that if Nana picks him up at daycare it's because Mom is working and not because she is dead.
Teen, 13 years old Written byrobinrunner April 7, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

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 dies. Positive messages make up the movie, and all the employees of the emporiom are good role models.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byshanno15 May 24, 2009
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

My review

I thought this movie was cute,colorful,and entertaining. The only bad language is the word crap, and Mr.Magorium says he's leaving, you dont see him die, but he says his goodbyes, and then a funerul is shown.

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