Saturday, January 24, 2015

Strange Magic is a bit strange

Movie:  Strange Magic

PG , 1 hour 39 minutes

Grade:  B-

In a Nutshell:   This fanciful animation features music from the past six decades in a whimsical search for true love inspired by Shakespeare’s William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream   The ILM animation itself is truly amazing, and reminds me of the impressive look of Avatar. 

The story was created by George Lucas, a master at creating interesting worlds, but the script doesn’t have much depth.    The family flick has all of the ingredients that should make it great, yet strangely, it isn’t.  Strained magic? While flawed, I still enjoyed it.  Little girls who love fairies and singing will too.

Uplifting Theme:
·         “Everybody deserves to be loved.” – narrator
·         “There are no shortcuts to love.  Just sayin.” - Griselda
·         “Never judge something or someone by how he or she looks.” - King

Things I liked:
·         After discovering Elijah Kelley for the first time on Hairspray , I thought we would see him everywhere because he was so fantastic.  Well, we don’t get to see him in this movie, but he voices the adorable character Sunny.
·          I love everyone’s hairdo’s, freckles and ears.
·         Stay seated in the theater half-way into the rolling credits at the end of the movie for a funny add-on about Roland.
·         I love small details in animation, like the whispering mushrooms.

Things I didn’t like:
·         The character development is pretty weak.
·         The pacing seems to be designed for an audience with ADD.
·         The music is fun, but sometimes feels out of place.  It takes you from a sweet, romantic melody in one moment to a 70’s acid trip the next.  I won’t be surprised if the movie soundtrack outsells the actual movie.  Fans of the Electric Light Orchestra should especially enjoy the eclectic mix of love songs.
·         I adore Kristin Chenoweth, but her character’s design didn’t match her voice at all.
·         Alan Cumming voiced the Bog King whose accent vacillated between Scottish and classic rocker.
·         I thought the psychedelic kaleidoscope ending was odd.  I suppose even strange…magic.

Funny lines:
·         “Too bad you can’t see me.  My hair is doing that thing we both love.” – Roland (Sam Palladio)
·         “He loves the crown and his hair, not necessarily in that order.” – Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood)
·         “Watch for grotesqueries at every corner.” – Roland
·         “Don’t you have a comb?” – Griselda  (Maya Rudolph)
·         “Both princesses..es..sss.” – Roland
·         “I wanted a wedding.  Now I’m getting a funeral.” – Griselda

Tips for Parents:
·         The Bog King is menacing , mean, and sometimes scary.

·         There are some creepy insects that will probably make your little girls squeal.

Here's the trailer:


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