Upside-Down Magic

Movie review by Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Upside-Down Magic Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 7+

Confident female lead stands out in book series adaptation.

NR 2020 96 minutes

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 31 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 12+

Ableist, racist, fatshaming, ...

While the books were already a little ableist: Up until book 3, the last to have been published in my country so far, there was no inclusion of the kids who are ... well, I hate the term, but in this case 'differently abled' fits. They are in a seperate class and always have to overcome ableism - because that's what this is. Yes, we have to stop treating it as 'just fantasy'. If you have kids that do not fit in the so called norm of abilities being segregated, bullied or otherwise excluded, this is ableism! But in the books they at least have a school that accepts them, gives them an empowering teacher, and lets them take part in school activities - even punishes the kids bullying them. They're still reproducing an ableist system where disabled people are always separated from others, which is extremely hurtful to us disabled people, being even locked in workshops when we worked our butts of for master degrees at the university, just because we don't fit into our capitalistic system. But ... again, at least the books made sure there was SOME empowerment. In the movie everything is worse. This kids, the allegory for disability, are seen as a danger to society and are just 'kept' like animals, being bullied by their teachers, and worse - all disabled kids are also either PoC or fat - and the fat boy is introduced as something to be mocked. So instead of just ableist, this movie is also racist and fat-shaming. And kids are being left alone with their problems. Admittedly, this is rather close to the reality for disabled kids. Or at least, it was for me. But reproduction of this, showing that the kids have to do everything themselves, have to be better and work harder than abled kids, ... This is retraumatising for disabled people and does NOTHING against our society's ableism, but portray it as normal. (And that nobody else cares about this, shows that abled parents don't even care about ableism.)
1 person found this helpful.
age 11+

Not like the book at all- don’t bother! Not good!

We were excited to watch the movie after loving the first book. Don’t bother watching the movie, they demeanor kids that are different, it has creepy dark magic parts that are not even part of the story in the book. Too scary for even an 8 year old, and really sad they didn’t follow the original story which was really good. Disney just wasted money on this! We will stick to reading the rest of the books and forget about this movie.

This title has:

Too much violence

Movie Details

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