Latest Entertainment News Headlines

Review: Strange Magic

Strange Magic
01.23.2015
4 10

PLOT: In a musical inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the world of fairies, goblins and elves is explored with tons of pop songs, and a sugary sweet lesson of love.

REVIEW:
STRANGE MAGIC, a musical fantasy from Lucasfilm is an achingly sweet concoction of songs and feel good messages about love. The idea that love is blind and you should fall in love with what is on the inside, as opposed to the perfection and beauty on the outside is well and good, it’s just a shame the movie itself is so shallow. The all-too cheerful recreation of rock and pop songs including “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch”, “Wild Thing” and “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You” are huge bursts of happiness. Annoyingly so, the music is in constant rotation as a variety of characters break out in song. All of them are in some way affected by a secret love potion made by the Sugar-Plum Fairy (the second bad movie this week featuring the talented Kristin Chenoweth). There is a whole lot of talk about love, and how great love it, and how everybody should be in love… You get the picture.

The story begins introducing us to two different lands. One is ruled by fairies, and the other by a monstrous cretin known as the Bog King (Alan Cumming). Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood) is a princess that lives happily with the fairies and is planning on getting married to Roland (Sam Palladio). Her happiness is shattered however when she discovers her “true love” kissing another fairy on their wedding day. Well, screw love she says. Suddenly, Marianne is a tough singing, flying rebel with no time for romance. She is constantly fighting off her father from forcing her back on Roland, as well as trying to protect her flirty sister Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull). Meanwhile, desperate to get Marianne back and marry for the crown, Roland convinces an Elf named Sunny (Elijah Kelley) to find the Sugar Plum Fairy - who had been captured by the Bog King - in order to get her to make a love potion. And since Sunny loves Dawn, he thinks it is a worthwhile risk for everyone involved. And you can bet that this potion is going to get out of hand.

The message in this musical fantasy is all well and good. In fact, showing a young audience how important it is to look past the exterior is a marvelous lesson. Yet it is nearly impossible to get past the one-dimensional characters. Dawn is especially annoying when she is exposed to the love potion and falls in “love” with the Bog King. Her constant blurting out of “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” at her little Boggie Woggie is maddening. Even Marianne’s flip-flopping from tough girl to victim back to tough girl is a bit frustrating. Don’t even get me started on the ever so obnoxious Roland. I get it, he is a pompous ass, but can he at least have a moment that doesn’t feel calculated and false. As much of a great story this could have been, it’s lack of subtlety is infuriating. Young audiences don’t need something like this pounded into their membrane.

To be fair, STRANGE MAGIC is clearly not meant for me or most of our JoBlo readers. Even with George Lucas and Lucasfilm’s name attached, this is a movie that is meant for young girls. And to that extent, they probably have succeeded in making a bright and vibrant animated film for the target audience. It is at times quite a pretty picture. While there is far better animation out there, this features plenty of eye-popping images that sparkle and shine. Director Gary Rydstrom and the animation team have convincingly enough made for an occasionally intriguing world. Even still, it is not nearly as magical as the title would suggest.

Taking a little piece of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, a contemporary and classic list of hit songs, as well a shallow telling of loving what is on the inside, it is hard to connect to this cluttered menagerie. The oh-so-happy romantic tunes, or the “rock” tunes that make the series “Glee” sound hardcore, fail to inspire much more than a shrug from anybody old enough to know better. Some of the interpretations are fine, yet most drag on far too long. At times it seems that the characters are so sloppily written because they just had to connect something to a bunch of songs about a four letter word that starts with “L.”

As nice and good as the message can be, there is no real spirit here. The animation may be decent, and the cast is fine - although is it just me or did Cummings dialect keep changing - this is a poorly conceived musical extravaganza. STRANGE MAGIC is hardly more than what should have been a straight to video animated feature. At best, it is a tunefully cheerful collection of pop songs with decent animation. At worst, it is a meandering and dull hour and forty minutes of musical theatre that will be grating to anybody over the age of seven.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

3:24PM on 01/23/2015

who keeps approving these movies?

what studio executive still thinks these movies work? why would a studio waste money on something like this?

Delgo, Epic, Gnomeo and Juliet, Ant Bully, Ferngully, Arthur and the Invisibles, Battle for Terra, these movies barely make any money and are panned by critics. why did they think this movie would be any different?
what studio executive still thinks these movies work? why would a studio waste money on something like this?

Delgo, Epic, Gnomeo and Juliet, Ant Bully, Ferngully, Arthur and the Invisibles, Battle for Terra, these movies barely make any money and are panned by critics. why did they think this movie would be any different?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
12:01PM on 01/23/2015
Any one else notice all the ads for this say "from the mind of George Lucas" but NOT "from the creator of Star Wars" ?
Any one else notice all the ads for this say "from the mind of George Lucas" but NOT "from the creator of Star Wars" ?
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
3:21PM on 01/23/2015
What's the difference?
What's the difference?
3:21PM on 01/23/2015
What's the difference?
What's the difference?
7:05PM on 01/23/2015
@Vits 'Star Wars' is a much more recognizable brand than 'George Lucas'.
@Vits 'Star Wars' is a much more recognizable brand than 'George Lucas'.
12:10PM on 01/24/2015
It's funny you mention that because Star Wars is more recognizable to today's youth than the name George Lucas, or if not more interested than us cynical x'ers by seeing his name. Lucas to any one under the age of 30 is only elicits signs of hesitation since the prequel and KOTCS. But if you grew up on the sterile saccharine goop he's produced since '99 I guess you wouldn't know any better.
It's funny you mention that because Star Wars is more recognizable to today's youth than the name George Lucas, or if not more interested than us cynical x'ers by seeing his name. Lucas to any one under the age of 30 is only elicits signs of hesitation since the prequel and KOTCS. But if you grew up on the sterile saccharine goop he's produced since '99 I guess you wouldn't know any better.
11:37AM on 01/23/2015

Ugh, this looks bad.

LucasFilm is trying to be Pixar and they failed.
LucasFilm is trying to be Pixar and they failed.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More