Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles Local Scene About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of
"Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

Genre: Fantasy
Director: Zach Helm
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.magorium.com

Opening Day: 13 December 2007


Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. In fact, it's a magic toy store and everything in it comes to life - including the store itself. The Emporium only asks one thing of its customers; you must believe it to see it.

Movie Review:

“But this is just a store,” protests Henry Newton (Jason Bateman), the boring accountant in his buttoned down suit and buttoned down hairdo. “I’m sure to you it is,” so says the waif-like, almost gaunt, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), trusted assistant at Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. See, Henry is a “just guy”: to him, a toy store is just a toy store. It couldn’t possibly have any magic. Or could it?

And so the story goes, as the 243 year old Mr Magorium (Dustin Hoffman), a lispy, mildy gay version of Willy Wonka, teaches us the meaning of magic. Indeed, the movie’s producers work hard to create a sense of wonder. It really does feel like a children’s book, as the store literally comes to life with its Whatchamacallits and Whodathoughts. It’s a deliberate contrast to everything else outside the store, which is drab and ordinary. Just like your imagination, it’s a place you can go anytime you like. In the end, Henry himself, convinced of the store’s magic, sums it all up: “I believe that you can make it be anything you want.”

While the actors are sometimes overshadowed by the impressive sets, they nevertheless make a decent stab of things. Portman, despite her ill-fitting hairdo, is a sweet, almost adorable presence here. In her eyes, she hides an unknown pain beneath a child-like exterior. She also has real chemistry with the highly experienced Hoffman. You can feel her pain as she protests that she isn’t ready when Mr Magorium leaves the store to her. “Lightbulbs die, my sweet. I will depart,” Bateman plays against type here as the boring Henry a.k.a Mutant

At its heart, Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is an allegory about innocence and wonder. It’s a simple story about the delight of simple pleasures: jumping on a bed, dancing on bubble wrap in a park. In this fable where children are like adults and adults are like children, former child stars Portman and Bateman are aptly cast (even their names rhyme!). “I cannot be a kid anymore”, protests Mahoney to the precocious Eric (Zach Mills). But the point is, we can all afford to be children every now and then. And a wonderful scene between Henry and Eric, where no words are spoken but so much is said, speaks volumes about what we lose when we are too busy being adults. “I never stop working,” Henry writes. Even the store is just like a child: vulnerable and fragile. When Mr Magorium goes, all the colour literally goes out ot the store.

In the end though, the movie tries just a bit too hard to charm and amuse, though it succeeds most of the time. “It just needs a little magic” can apply to the movie itself, which never quite manages to rise to greatness.

Movie Rating:

(Some decent performances coupled with wonderful sets make for a quaint little fairy tale)

Review by Nicholas Yong


. Enchanted (2007)

. Zathura (2005)

DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.