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"MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM"
(2007) (Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Mild *Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Mild None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None None Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Dramedy: After the whimsical owner of a magical toy store announces he's leaving, his protégé has doubts about whether she can run the shop without him.
PLOT:
For several hundred years, Mr. Edward Magorium (DUSTIN HOFFMAN) has been building toys, and for the past 113, he's been the owner of "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium," a toy store figuratively and literally filled with magic. Yet, as much as the 243-year-old enjoys the place, he realizes it's his time to leave, and thus wants his 23-year-old protégé and current manager, Molly Mahoney (NATALIE PORTMAN), to take over.

A former pianist prodigy, Molly is stuck in her current life, unable to compose the great symphony of which she's always dreamed. Accordingly, her self-doubts extend to taking over the toy store where the tattooed and mustached Bellini (TED LUDZIK) creates the toys down in the basement.

Among those who admire his work is Eric Applebaum (ZACH MILLS), a 9-year-old kid with a penchant for hats who has a difficult time making new human friends, preferring to hang out with real and toy animals. Following his mother's advice, however, he decides to reach out to Henry Weston (JASON BATEMAN), the always-working accountant who Magorium has hired to do his books in anticipation of Molly taking over.

Henry doesn't have time for Eric and he certainly doesn't believe that the store is magical. Yet, when that very establishment adversely reacts to news that Magorium will be leaving them for good, Henry begins to question his doubts, all as the venerable toy man tries to reassure Molly that all will be well without him there.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Much younger ones will likely be drawn in by the magic toy store plot.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
Presumably for not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DUSTIN HOFFMAN plays the eccentric, 243-year-old owner of the toy emporium who's realized it's time for him to depart and hand over the reins to Molly. Completely comfortable with his fate and always one to enjoy the little things in life, he tries to reassure Molly that everything will be okay when she takes over the store.
  • NATALIE PORTMAN plays his 23-year-old manager and protégé, a former piano prodigy in her youth who's currently stuck trying to write her own symphony and is uncertain whether she can run the emporium without Magorium being there.
  • JASON BATEMAN plays the accountant brought in to do Magorium's books, an always-working man who initially doesn't believe the toy store is literally magical, but eventually has a change of mind and heart.
  • ZACH MILLS plays the 9-year-old boy who's always hanging out at the store (to which he wears a different hat everyday), but has a hard time making new friends, especially of his own age.
  • TED LUDZIK plays the tattooed toy maker who lives below the store.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this G-rated dramedy. One minor expletive is heard, as are some colorful phrases. Various instances of potentially imitative behavior are present (including a kid stomping down on an adult's foot), and a few moments might be a little unsettling or suspenseful to the youngest of viewers.

    Thematic elements include the anticipated (but tastefully handled) death of a major character. Beyond that, the film contains little to nothing of note in the other categories. Nevertheless, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in front of them in what looks like a hotel lobby.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear a toilet flushing sound in a miniature toy version of an outhouse used by toy construction workers.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A kid stares at Henry and then stomps down onto his shoe.
  • A girl tells a boy that Eric is weird.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Younger and/or more sensitive kids will be the most affected by the following:
  • Parts of the wall in the toy store start to blister, thus worrying Eric (and maybe younger kids), but we later learn that this is just the store acting up due to being upset about Mr. Magorium leaving it soon (and forever).
  • In a room filled with all sorts of bouncing balls, a boy causes a huge kickball to tip off its base and then start rolling toward him (when Mr. Magorium opens the door, the boy is slightly embedded in the ball at the door, but this is played for laughs).
  • The magic in the toy store starts to act up, malfunction and fail, causing chaos and overly dramatic panic among the kids there (who run around in a zany fashion).
  • Spoiler Alert: Mr. Magorium keeps saying that he's leaving forever (meaning he's dying), and Molly is quite upset about this. Nevertheless, he reassures her it is and will be okay. We then see him throw a paper airplane around his store, sit on a stool in the middle of the store, and then say goodbye (the camera pans down his clothed body to his shoes where the paper airplane lands, indicating his death). We then see his headstone at his funeral.
  • Some kids may be concerned when the store has lost all of its magic and thus color, and that Molly is considering selling it.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Drat," "Stupid zebra," "Flap doodle" (or something sounding close to that), "Holy cow," "Why for the love of mustard?" "Mutant," "No way," "I suggest you stop this petulance," "Fun and mental is fundamental," "Strangely weird and weirdly strange," "Rats," "Ah, crap," "How cool," "Bunkum," "Pure horseradish," "You…ninny," "You're being positively dreadful," "Morning becomes electric," "Well, plank you (about being given a wood plank), "Because I'm a jerk" and "Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey."
  • Some kids may be enticed to imitate Dustin Hoffman's affected performance (including a slight lisp).
  • Bellini has various tattoos.
  • A kid stares at Henry and then stomps down onto his shoe.
  • Due to Mr. Magorium joking about the genesis of the word "accountant" (saying the last part comes from mutant), most everyone calls Henry "mutant" (but not in a mean way).
  • Mr. Magorium asks Molly what's short, amazing, and says "ouch," and then playfully pinches her on the shoulder to get her to say "ouch."
  • Mr. Magorium slaps his own thighs and then bangs his knees together, with Molly then doing the same.
  • Mr. Magorium and Molly bounce on beds in a store.
  • Mr. Magorium and Molly set clocks in a clock store to all ring at the same time.
  • Mr. Magorium and Molly dance on a roll of bubble-wrap (to make it sound like tap dancing).
  • Eric wears different hats every time we see him.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of heavily dramatic and some suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 crap and 1 use each of "What in God's name" and "My Lord."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Molly shows a little cleavage in a dress.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Toys and how they inspire the imagination of those who play with them.
  • Kids who have a hard time making new friends.
  • The comment that all stories we love must come to an end.
  • The comment that despite supposedly being smarter than they were as kids, grownups don't believe what they did as kids.
  • We hear that Mr. Magorium has run his business without a business license or ever filing a tax return (although he's more oblivious to this than doing anything to skirt the law, etc.).
  • The message about not forgetting how to pretend.
  • The message about living one's life to the fullest.
  • The comment that your life is an occasion, so one should rise to it.
  • Spoiler Alert: Mr. Magorium keeps saying that he's leaving forever (meaning he's dying), and Molly is quite upset about this. Nevertheless, he reassures her it is and will be okay. We then see him throw a paper airplane around his store, sit on a stool in the middle of the store, and then say goodbye (the camera pans down his clothed body to his shoes where the paper airplane lands, indicating his death). We then see his headstone at his funeral.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A kid stares at Henry and then stomps down onto his shoe.
  • Astonished by a spinning and flying block of wood, Henry passes out and falls to the floor (we don't see the impact).



  • Reviewed November 12, 2007 / Posted November 16, 2007

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