All parent member reviews for The Illusionist

Parents say

(out of 9 reviews)
age 11+
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Educator and Parent of a 9 and 9 year old Written byDtownmom March 13, 2011
My kids (9yr old twins) and I are used to seeing off-the-mainstream films at our local independent theater. However, this movie was extremely depressing and left one with no hope or faith in people. The young woman comes across as greedy. All the down-on-their-luck performers get further down-on-their-luck - to the point of ending up as a drunken homeless person nodding in an alley. The note the illusionist leaves the young woman at the end of the movie shows his ultimate bitterness. (This was the turning point that made one of my daughters burst into tears). Not a feel good movie! While the animation is lovely, the story is one of hopelessness and despair, and shows that while sometimes people can be kind to one another, it is ultimately every man for himself.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 year old Written byDeb_Aura February 2, 2011

Quietly beautiful, be prepared if going with the under 10 crowd.

This is a very unusual but beautifully made film with many subtly heart-stopping images. Thanks to the review here I was able to prepare my 8 y/o about the lack of dialogue and the drinking. We were well prepared for its themes and melancholy mood. It held his attention throughout, which means it is a very good movie. I'm glad we saw it with one exception: I was very surprised the capsule here did not mention that one of the characters is about to hang himself but doesn't because of an encounter with Alice.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bykhan2705 February 16, 2011


4.5/5 The Illusionist is one of a dying breed of stage entertainers. With emerging rock stars stealing his thunder in the late 1950s, he is forced to accept increasingly obscure assignments in fringe theatres, at garden parties and in bars and cafés. Then, while performing in a village pub off the west coast of Scotland, he encounters Alice, an innocent young girl, who will change his life forever. Watching his performance for the excited villagers who are celebrating the arrival of electricity on their remote island, Alice is awestruck by his show and believes his tricks are real magic. Though they don?t speak the same language, the two lonely strangers quickly bond through small kindnesses. Fascinated by The Illusionist, Alice stows away on his departing ship and follows him to Edinburgh. There, they quickly fall into a father - daughter relationship, with Alice keeping their home at a boarding house for vaudevillians, while he goes to work in a small local theatre. Enchanted by her enthusiasm for his act, The Illusionist rewards Alice with increasingly lavish gifts he has 'conjured' into existence. Desperate not to disappoint her, he cannot bring himself to reveal that magic does not exist and that he?s driving himself to ruin working all night jobs to buy her gifts. As The Illusionist grows older, Alice grows up. She falls in love with a young man and is no longer so enchanted by The Illusionist?s conjuring. She moves on with her life, and The Illusionist no longer has to pretend. Untangled from his own web of deceit, he resumes his life as a much wiser man. well this movie was something i was waiting to watch from the very beginning, when i saw its trailer, i knew exactly how this movie was gonna be not like anyother ordinary animated movie. and also it is foreign movie. and i also predicted its nomination for Oscars in the Best animated category. i saw this movie with very high hopes and very huge expectations. and it surpassed my expectations. this movie is one of the best animated movie ever made. i mean a wonderful and magnificent piece of art. this movie is very slow moving, it has very long scenes and not much actually happens in it but that is the beauty of this movie, i am so shocked and very amazed by how good the movie is and how well they made it. people will find it very boring and will not swallow or digest the movie. but if they concentrate on the beauty of the movie they will like me, fall in love with it. well i really can't talk about the acting performances because it is a animated movie. but this movie is directed by Sylvain Chomet. talking but actors remind me of their voice acting but um, wait a minute, this doesn't have voices. this is a silent movie, well not completely. you will find some isolated one word talks like thank you or hi but not full sentences or dialoges. still you can understand and feel exactly what is happening in it. i mean you can even feel what is going on in the characters mind and what they are feeling. the movie has been made in a very brilliantly masterful way, excellent direction. screenplay is well written in a very intelligent and genius way. the movie is very simple and also heartbreaking. its really emotional and depressing. i got really emotional watching it. as i said it is a silent movie but it has great sound effects and background score is so good. it is a remarkable movie, visually stunning. watercolors, amazing charming movie. such a magical experience. visuals are so good. the scenery and cities are shown in such a good way with hand drawn animations that i think are good than the real. a classic movie, classical way. brilliantly written. i loved it. MUST WATCH.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Adult Written byGomez February 9, 2013

Not for sensitive kids

The music and cinematography were lovely, however, this film has adult themes that are a bit too heavy for children. It is certainly not for sensitive ones. My 9 yo boy was completely distraught over pet and owner separation/abandonment. I regret watching it with him.
Parent Written byrobertosborne@c... December 28, 2012

Don't bother watching this overrated film!

This film is incredibly sad. It has almost no comedy. My 10 year old son was crying when the movie ended. It's a story about struggle, failed relationships, and disappointment. In one scene, a man was on a chair with a noose around his neck! I rated the movie as one star just to be nice.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byBlue-Bunny November 18, 2011

An animated masterpiece...

Few movies touch the soul like this one. The story was compelling and in a word, heartbreaking, but also sweet. The animation was brilliant and the backgrounds were, well, brilliant. I've never seen art quite as good as this in other animated movies (well, of course, I'm exaggerating a bit, but nonetheless, it was still very well done). I would even call it a "gem" or a "masterpiece". My only complaint would be the lack of a happy ending. I literally cried. But hey, who says everything has to end happily? The movie had no dialogue (well, a little, but not that much), so younger kids may not find it entertaining, they'll probably be bored. Older children and up will probably find this movie appealing. Not a lot of violence, but one man contemplates suicide by preparing to hang himself, but is interrupted (phew). He is later seen kicked by children, while drunk on the sidewalk. One use of "dammit". A few scantily-clad women, but not too much. Some characters smoke and one guy in particular appears throughout the movie drunk, bumping into things, acting sluggish, etc. In the end, the movie was somewhat disappointing, but was still very enjoyable. The music was great. I applaud whoever made this film. I look forward to more from him in the future.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byDeckerc September 27, 2011

depressing but good

Its sad i honestly could cry right know. you need to be older to understand it cuz imma kid and i don't understand it. (ignore the adult beside me) THE BUNNNNNNNY D: WAHHHHHHHHH it cant live out in the wild!!!!!!!! its a pet!!!!!
Parent Written bybill colins August 20, 2011

Emotional Art-house Noir

The quality of the animation and the depiction of the characters is the real winner here. Wonderful expression and artful animation however do not help sell the spiral of despair encountered in the film. While the movie is beautifully made and the characters standout the message is a rather morbid one. Alice is enchanted or enamoured but it quickly becomes apparent she is also selfish and expectant. The clown whose life is anything but cheerful, the ventriloquist whose most treasured possession is lost and the other sorry soles are a contrast to Alice’s evolving life and disregard for her benefactor. The film is worth watching however do not expect to walk away thinking and feeling light, uplifted and secure. Your thoughts may return to the clown and the sad reality that for people we encounter in our days, life sometimes is not all fun and games...........
Parent of a 5 year old Written byDaltsmom March 6, 2011

Magical movie

This movie is beautifully done. We took our 5 year old and talked to him beforehand about how quiet this movie would be. Very little dialogue or action scenes. It's more about the scenery and watching the characters. He liked it but got very antsy towards the end. I was impressed he sat through that much of it. I read about the hanging scene and distracted him with sour patch kids while that was going on. So glad I read the review here at CSM. I'm so thankful for movies like this. I love to take my son to the movies and it's nice to have something that's not full of shouting and screaming and cars blowing up. This would also be a great date night movie - leave the kids at home.