Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Strange Magic

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Uneven animated musical is stranger than it is magical.

Movie PG 2015 99 minutes
Strange Magic Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 10+

Awkward at first, but better the more you watch it!

I ain't gonna lie, I am a sucker for a good musical! But the first time I watched the movie I felt it was rather choppy and the musical pieces were from so many different years and genres that it was a little hard to follow. But then I watched it again and I liked it, then I watched it again, and I fell in love with it. It is one of those movies you have to watch more than once to appreciate. The story is very short, but the music is very catchy and the characters are funny. I don't think the themes are too heavy for children but there is some things that younger children should not be exposed to. Ex. cheating on someone, kidnapping, some strange flirting at the end of the movie. But it's not bad compared to some other "kids" shows I have watched. Overall I think the artists who sang were very good and the animation is very beautiful. I still think all the music should have came from the same time period to make sure the genres kinda flowed together better, but as I said, the more I watched it the more I understood why they chose the songs they did. I think kids will enjoy this movie, but as an adult you can too!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 5+

Cute Family Night Movie

The movie was really sweet. Loved the story line and the animation is wonderful. (Think Epic, Sinbad and Prince of Egypt animation.) We love the songs as well. My 5 and 8 year old enjoyed it as well. They really liked Sonny and the rabbit/mouse looking creature. There was no language or nudity. Just a few kissing scenes. No drinking of alcohol but there is a love potion that gets thrown on fairies and other creatures. Songs are more pop and rock songs. (No language in the songs tho.) I would definitely recommend for a cute family night movie.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19 ):
Kids say (20 ):

Strange Magic doesn't deliver on any level -- as a romance, as a musical, or as a fairy adventure. Some of the Glee-style mash-ups seem like they'd work (Elvis' "Can't Help Falling in Love" and Beyonce's "Crazy in Love"), but they don't, and others are just head-scratchingly bad ("C'mon Marianne" and "Stronger"). The filmmakers deserve kudos for attempting to expose kids to classic songs they're unfamiliar with in addition to Top 40 fare they've probably heard again and again, but the music feels forced into scenes rather than being seamlessly incorporated.

Despite -- or perhaps because of -- George Lucas' involvement, Strange Magic is just too much, trying too hard but underperforming in the end. Some of the characterizations are cringe-worthy (the Bog King's mom -- played by Maya Rudolph -- feels like Fran Drescher-meets-Mrs. Costanza) and the action unexciting. The admittedly uplifting message (love is more than skin deep) is sweet, but Strange Magic is a bizarre story that's unlikely to find a place in your kids' heart.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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