MR. MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM

Godless Magical Happiness

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: November 16, 2007

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie
Portman, Zach Mills, and Jason
Bateman

Genre: Fantasy

Audience: All ages

Rating: G

Runtime: 94 minutes

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

Director: Zach Helm

Executive Producer: Joseph Drake and Nathan Kahane

Producer: James Garavente and Richard
Glladstein

Writer: Zach Helm

Address Comments To:

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman/CEO, News Corp.
Peter Chernin, President/COO of The Fox Group
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen/CEO
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Website: www.fox.com

Content:

(PaPaPa, FRFR, Ro, M) Very strong syncretistic pagan worldview where all religions are considered equal with strong false religious elements including reincarnation and main character plans to die and go to “Heaven, Nirvana, Elysium” and possibly “return as a bumble bee,” plus Romantic elements where three main characters are encouraged to find the magic within so they can keep a magical store open; no foul language, violence, sex, or nudity; no alcohol, smoking or drugs; and, assorted magic including magic store throws a temper tantrum.

Summary:

MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM is an entertaining movie terribly flawed by a false depiction of the afterlife and an emphasis on pursuing happiness apart from God. The movie features a magical emporium where toys come alive and play with you, but the heart of the story is 243-year-old Mr. Magorium attempting to pass on the store and his false metaphysical notions about magic and Heaven before he dies.

Review:

MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM is a well-made, entertaining family movie terribly flawed by an emphasis on pursuing happiness apart from God. The movie features a magical emporium – the ultimate toy store where toys come alive and play with you. The heart of the story, however, is 243-year-old Mr. Magorium (played by Dustin Hoffman) attempting to pass on the store before he dies.

Dealing with death is problematic enough in a movie aimed at children. It is grossly mishandled when Mr. Magorium is asked if he’s going to Heaven. He announces that he’s going to Heaven, Elysium and Nirvana and that he may come back as a bumble bee. When presented with a profoundly Christian question, his syncretistic, mixed response implies that all religions are equal and that he believes in reincarnation (coming back as a bee). Were this the only offense it would be bad enough, but his lessons about the purpose in life smack of godless self-centeredness.

The movie stars Natalie Portman as Molly, the store manager to whom Mr. Magorium plans to give the store. She does an excellent job portraying someone who lacks confidence yet exudes charm and innocence. She is easy to root for as Mr. Magoruim attempts to pass his store and his beliefs to her. She is assisted by 9-year-old Eric (Zach Mills), the store’s most dedicated customer and by Henry “the Mutant” (Jason Bateman), an accountant hired to assist with the legal and financial issues involved in giving the store to Molly. The movie is the story of these three people acquiring the “faith” necessary to operate the store after Mr. Magorium’s death. The faith is not in God. It is a journey to “find the magic within yourself.”

At times, the movie is adorably cute. Even the end credits are cute. The supporting threesome mentioned above carry the movie. Hoffman tries to be cute, but comes across as Rainman on drugs. He’s just plain annoying.

Walden Media focuses on making children’s books into movies. They hit a home run THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA. CHARLOTTE’S WEB was a solid double. MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM is a foul ball. To hit the sweet spot, you need to be clean and entertaining while imparting a truly moral message but not offending people with a biblical worldview. This one is clean as a whistle (no sex, violence or bad language), entertaining enough to tug on your heartstrings, but morally and theologically misguided. If you wouldn’t send your child to learn from some Hindu guru, or the next reincarnation of Buddha (much less the future reincarnation of a bumblebee), you shouldn’t send them to this movie.

In Brief:

MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM is an entertaining movie flawed by false depiction of the afterlife and an emphasis on pursuing happiness apart from God. The movie features a magical emporium – the ultimate toy store where toys come alive and play with you. The heart of the story is 243-year-old Mr. Magorium attempting to pass on the store and his false metaphysical beliefs before he dies.

Dealing with death is problematic enough in a movie aimed at children. It is grossly mishandled when Mr. Magorium is asked if he’s going to Heaven. He announces that he’s going to Heaven, Elysium and Nirvana and that he may return as a bumble bee. When presented with a profoundly Christian question, his response implies that all religions are equal and that reincarnation is true. Were this the only offense it would be bad enough, but the movie’s life lessons smack of godless self-centeredness. This one is clean as a whistle (no sex, violence or bad language), entertaining enough to tug on your heartstrings, but morally and theologically misguided. If you wouldn’t send your child to some Hindu guru, you shouldn’t send them to this movie.