A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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.
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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).
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Products & Purchases
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.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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