Secret Magic Control Agency

Movie review by
Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media
Secret Magic Control Agency Movie Poster Image
Fairy tale-inspired story has peril and positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2021
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 7 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can connect the classic fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel with the characters and aspects of the film's plot.

Positive Messages

Family, especially orphaned siblings, must stick together and support each other no matter what. Teamwork gets the job done. Good deeds are rewarded, while bad deeds and trickery aren't.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gretel has worked hard to be a straight-A student and rise as one of the kingdom's top secret agents. She models discipline and dedication and believes she has achieved her dreams all on her own by being completely self sufficient. When she learns she's had help she didn't know about, she's apologetic for being presumptuous and ungrateful. Hansel works as a charlatan and magician, selling people false amulets and other goods, but he has a kind heart and helps others in need. He consistently puts his sister and the greater good above his own interests. A female character is an inventions whiz. Baba Yaga and Ilvira behave selfishly and are willing to hurt others to get what they want. Diverse characters.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoon violence that includes explosions and fires, slaps and punches, falls and crash landings, electrocution, freeze guns, and animated food and animals attacking human characters. Hansel and Gretel are transformed into kids and threatened repeatedly, given cookies laced with a sleeping agent, dropped into a candy oven and a sticky vat of cookie dough, caught in a collapsed home, and nearly turned into fish. They barely escape most situations, and they do so using weapons like a potion shooter, an uncontrollable flying machine, and explosive devices. Human characters fall on their heads and black out, get launched into space, and are kidnapped or held hostage.

Sexy Stuff

Hansel is dazed by the attractive mermaids in a paradise realm and makes plans to wow the "single ladies" of the kingdom. Ilvira is a buxom female in a tight dress and red lipstick who is using magical cookies to bewitch the kingdom and trick the king into marrying her. She and the king kiss a couple of times.

Language

Childish taunts include "hustler," "cheat," "charlatan," "con artist," "thief," "brat," "jerk," and "liar." A French-sounding chef yells "Mon Dieu!" Some potty humor.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of magical potions that can transform people and animals and can also animate objects, including food items, or put any of these to sleep, bewitch them, and make them behave in different ways.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Hansel and Gretel-inspired Secret Magic Control Agency has nonstop action and cartoon violence, as well as some potentially scary situations and characters. As in the original Brothers Grimm tale, orphaned siblings Hansel (voiced by Nicholas Corda and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld) and Gretel (Courtney Shaw) -- in this case, adults transformed temporarily into kids -- are taken in by an old witch in the forest who plans to put them to sleep and eat them. She gives them drugged cookies and sharpens a knife in preparation. That's just one scene, and the siblings have resources to escape thanks to Gretel's secret agent training and magical devices like a flying machine. But the two are also threatened by a variety of humans, animals, magical creatures, and animated objects. There are explosions and fires, slaps and punches, ovens and vats, falls and crash landings, electrocution, freeze guns, magical potions, and more. The siblings manage to not only escape unscathed, but also save the kingdom and be given special status by the king, learning in the process how much they love and must rely on each other. Childish taunts include "hustler," "cheat," "charlatan," "con artist," "thief," "brat," "jerk," and "liar." There's some potty humor, and a buxom female in a tight dress and red lipstick tricks the king into marrying her. She and the king kiss a couple of times.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHarry Potter's ... April 12, 2021

Not worth watching and story really bad

This movie was written badly. My Daughter hated it. My son thought is was okay. the story is about hansel and gretel. The king was kidnapped and hansel and gret... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 and 9-year-old Written byTarrah P. April 9, 2021

Not bad, but not good either

I can't point to anything objectionable (aside from some sibling name-calling and a buxom villain), it's just a painful convoluted story that has VER... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymangagirlxx April 4, 2021
Film is mediocre. It has it's pros, but there are cons as well. The animation is quite good and the plot is actually creative. However, most of the jokes f... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymaccarooni April 9, 2021

Good for Kids

It's pretty sweet. Kids would definitely enjoy. What I enjoyed the most as a teen is the character development of the two protagonists. I recommend this no... Continue reading

What's the story?

As a top agent with the SECRET MAGIC CONTROL AGENCY, Gretel (voiced by Courtney Shaw) is called upon by Agent Stepmother (Georgette Reilly) to save the kingdom when the king is kidnapped under mysterious circumstances. The only requirement is that she work with her estranged brother, Hansel (Nicholas Corda and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld), a popular magician and charlatan who scams his followers out of their money. As the siblings travel through various magical realms in the kingdom, they face down threats of every kind, including an old witch who wants to eat them (as in the original fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel). They discover the king is being held by a disgruntled former palace chef who has an evil plan to bewitch the kingdom with magic cookies and lure the king into marrying her so she can be queen. Hansel and Gretel will have to get over their differences and work together to save the day.

Is it any good?

Kids will likely respond well to the attractive animated realms and heroic tale of two siblings in this film. They'll probably also get a good giggle out of some of Hansel's antics or goofy animated characters, like the mommy-loving giant dough-ball or the cupcake that poops pink frosting when it gets scared. Secret Magic Control Agency is aimed squarely at this very young audience, who also likely won't mind the at-times confusing assortment of ideas and characters thrown together here. The animated worlds in this Russian-American production are sumptuous and complex, and the action is often set to inspirational music.

As with many streaming films trying to grab viewers' attention in the first few minutes, the opening sequence is action-packed, involving a stuffed banquet that comes to life and kidnaps the king. But the film gains when it slows down a bit, allowing the characters -- especially secret agent Gretel and her wayward but gold-hearted brother Hansel -- to develop. One scene in particular, where the siblings argue then come to some realizations and a new understanding of each other and their shared history, offers a bit of depth and a nice contrast to the nonstop action. There's also a clever nod to the Brothers Grimm in the ending. It's unfortunate the creators felt the need to over-stuff their otherwise attractive package.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Secret Magic Control Agency borrows from the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, and what has changed in the story. Did you like the changes? Why or why not?

  • What do the siblings learn about each other and themselves in the process of working together to save the kingdom? How do they use teamwork?

  • Do the animated characters and realms of this film remind you of any you've seen in other movies? If so, which ones?

  • Have you ever heard of the traditional character of Baba Yaga? Where could you find more information about her?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fairy tales

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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