The Mystical Adventures of Billy Owens

  • Review Date: January 16, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Confusing and dull Harry Potter wannabe, with bullying.
  • Review Date: January 16, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters work together to stand up to a bully, to fight a giant skeleton, and to solve the mystery of various goings-on in their town, living up to one mother's maxim: "Friendship is the strongest bond." 

Positive role models

Billy Owens looks out for his friends as they undertake their many adventures -- both in school and in more fantastic realms. 

Violence & scariness

Some scary skeletons and a troll that might be frightening for younger viewers, though the computer animation is so poorly done that it's clearly pretend. Some instances of a bully pushing and shoving Billy and his friends. In one scene Billy is urged to "kill" a mystical creature who is threatening him and his friends.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

No profanity, but a bully character often calls Billy and his friends names like "loser," "geek," and "punk." 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this tedious and confusing attempt at making a Harry Potter-type film features some bullying and mild insults. There are also some interactions between kids and a troll and a giant sword-wielding skeleton that might be scary to younger viewers, though the animation quality makes suspending disbelief difficult.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

On his birthday, on the eleventh month of the eleventh day, Billy Owens (Dalton Mugridge) discovers he has magical powers not unlike a wizard after he and his two friends -- the funfact-spouting Mandy (Ciara O'Hanlon) and the allergy-suffering Devon (Christopher Fazio) -- run away from the clutches of the school bully and find themselves in a second-hand shop owned by a man named Thurgood (Roddy Piper). Billy is given a magic wand, and he must use it not only to stand-up to the school bully, but to rescue his town from mysterious vines, a dragon, a skeleton, and his evil wizard schoolteacher.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It says a lot when former professional wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper is the best actor in a movie, and that's exactly the case in THE MYSTICAL ADVENTURES OF BILLY OWENS. While the three kids themselves aren't necessarily unlikable, the film has such a slap-dash quality to it -- with unintentionally hilariously bad computer animation -- it is nearly impossible to care one way or the other what happens to Billy as he tries to save his town by using his recently discovered wizard capabilities. 

Furthermore, the storyline is incredibly confusing. Best of luck trying to help your child understand what's happening, between the mysterious vines, the hunter's moon, the codex, the spirit river, the troll, the dragon, the skeleton, and something about an altar of destiny. To say nothing of who does and does not have magical powers. At the end of the day, this is a poorly filmed, poorly executed attempt to get on board the Harry Potter train. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the phrase oft-repeated in the film: "Friendship is the strongest bond." What does that mean? What are some examples in your own life of friends being there when you need them? 

  • Why is Kurt's bullying behavior wrong, and besides magic wands, how else might Billy and his friends stand up to him? 

  • What are the qualities that make films and TV shows "good" and "bad?" What is the difference between good and bad acting, special effects, and storytelling? 

Movie details

DVD release date:July 21, 2009
Cast:Christopher Fazio, Dalton Mugridge, Roddy Piper
Director:Mark McNabb
Studio:MTI Home Video
Genre:Fantasy
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some scary moments

This review of The Mystical Adventures of Billy Owens 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

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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, okay 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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Kid, 9 years old April 26, 2014
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Billy Owens is't good

I have no review. It's that bad. Not a lot of violence,no sex,some scary incidents,and no language. The child acting is't great but the adults are terrible. But night guard at the library is a little funny. A terrible copy of Harry Potter!

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