TMB’s Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium Review

Doug gives his quick review of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Or you can read his review here:

Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium was not the movie I wanted to review this weekend. I had no desire to see it because the trailers have been horrible, and the buzz has been worse. I went by myself to a matinee so I could give my international friends a “heads up”. I must have looked like a ped going into this movie alone; and buying a lone tab energy drink at the concession stand probably did not help my defense.

The movie focuses on Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) the eccentric tinkerer, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) the store manager, Henry Weston (Jason Bateman) the accountant and Eric Applebaum (Zach Mills) the lonely kid that plays with toys all the time.

The story follows the Magorium’s transition of store ownership to Molly Mahoney, in order to do this, an accountant is needed and that is where we are introduced to Henry Weston. The sentient store seems to flourish because of Magorium’s presence and when his departure nears, the pouty building begins to act up and the “magic” of the place fades away.

The Good

The store itself was like something that would be run by Pee Wee Herman. It had tons of moving toys, magical books and other mystical phenomena that customers just seemed to accept as normal. As a character in the movie, the store was never explained enough for me to understand the mood swings – but it was neat to see. Kids may enjoy the film for all the eye candy and the film includes life lessons for both young and old.

The Bad

Every five minutes it seems like gears are being shifted into a life lesson or moral. The music slows down and people reveal something to one another that will help them along the game of life. Not only does this get annoying but it is the same life lessons over and over; Don’t give up on your youth, Believe in yourself, The power is in you, Chase your dreams. We are pounded with these sentimental moments and seldom are we entertained. Magorium will start to get ridiculous and then slam out of gear into endearing mode.

The story just always seem to stall, for most of the movie you are just hanging around some people in a toy store as they encourage each other, and deal with their problems. Nothing bothered me greatly, but viewing this film was akin to watching a nice family eat at Denny’s.


This is a movie that kids may enjoy if they have low expectations or really enjoy it when toys come to life. You should probably wait for this on rental, and see Beowulf this weekend. 4/10

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