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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium 2007

Molly Mahoney is the awkward and insecure manager of Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world. But when Mr. Magorium, the 243 year-old eccentric who owns the store, bequeaths the store to her, a dark and ominous change begins to take over the once remarkable Emporium...

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 7.9


Imdb rating: 6.2



Very good movie, under-rated on imdb. A Must-watch indeed.

only 15 minutes long

geman language audio

In only his second produced screenplay, after last year's well-received Stranger Than Fiction, Zach Helm's has already turned to directing with Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a G-rated film he also scripted. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a family-oriented fantasy along the lines of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryMr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is often too safe, too bland, and too innocuous for its good, offering visual gloss and the occasionally inventive idea to captivate small children, but not much else for anyone over ten, except an overdose of wistful whimsy and saccharine sentimentality.

Nestled between two commercial buildings on a busy street sits Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, a magical, fantastical toyshop unlike any other, where kids can look, touch, run wild, and not have to purchase anything. True to its name, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is owned and operated by the eccentric Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman). Mr. Magorium claims to be 243 years old, something others seem to assume is just a harmless delusion. The emporium's manager, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), a classically trained pianist, struggles between her love for the emporium and Mr. Magorium and her desire to become a full-fledged composer. Naturally, her insecurities and doubts about herself and her abilities stand in the way of achieving her goals.

The emporium is also the second home to Eric Applebaum (Zach Mills), a lonely nine-year old. Eric seems incapable of making friends his own age, but makes due with Mr. Magorium and Molly. Everything changes when Mr. Magorium announces that he's "departing" for parts unknown and giving title to the emporium to Molly. She's not sure she wants it and even if she does, she's unsure whether she has Mr. Magorium's magic touch. Mr. Magorium hires an uptight accountant, Henry Weston (Jason Bateman), to comb through decades worth of messy records and receipts to help with the transition.

To give moviegoers the sense that they're watching a modern-day fairytale, Helm divides Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium into chapters, each one read off by Eric. Leaving aside how much he does or doesn't know, based on his age or his actual involvement in the film's events, the chapters or Eric's sporadic narration add little. Heavy with puns, most of them awkward even by the standards of a ten-year old, the chapter breaks don't add much. In fact, they're just one example among many where Helm went wrong in trying to conjure up a modern-day fairytale. Re-using the uptight accountant character, someone who just needs to relax a little and live, like Helm did for Stranger Than Fiction, here playing the second lead, is another, as is an underwritten part for Natalie Portman that doesn't even bother addressing why she seemingly has no friends or family outside of Mr. Magorium or Eric.

The most egregious error Helm commits was in allowing Hoffman deliver his lines with a lisp, walk with Rainman-like hitch to his step, and giving his character wince-inducing idiosyncrasies (e.g., he lives with a zebra, he's absent minded, sleeps upside down, models his hair style after Einstein, and wears the same shoes until they wear out, calling Henry a Mutant, because it sounds, vaguely like the word accountant). The first time Mr. Magorium calls Henry a Mutant, it can be forgiven as a minor misstep by a first-time filmmaker. After the third, fifth, or seventh time, with Molly and Eric chiming in, it becomes nothing less than annoying and frustrating, especially coming from a filmmaker whose first film didn't have dialogue problems.

Any way you break it down, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a disappointment. It's shot through with whimsy from the first frame to the last fade-to-black and it's undermined by an overly sentimental message about believing in oneself and believing in a benevolent unseen world (thanks Walden Media). Adults will probably find all the sugarcoated whimsy too much to sit through. Only the ten and younger set won't be too jaded to enjoyMr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Then again, the similarities between Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are hard to ignore or dismiss offhandedly. Assuming the target demographic has already seen Tim Burton's adaptation of Dahl's novel or the earlier adaptation starring Gene Wilder, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium will leave pre-teens bored, unsatisfied or both.
"If Willy Wonka wasn't cool, and owned a toy store instead of a chocolate factory, he'd be Mr. Magorium."

Read the full review by clicking below:

Mister Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Initial Reaction: The eight Wonder of the World?

Main Characters

Mr. Magorium: He's the owner of a toy store. He's played by Dustin Hoffman.

Molly Mahoney: She's his assistant played by Natalie Portman.

Henry: He's an accountant played by Jason Bateman.

Plot Summary

The movie is divided into several chapters, each of which is introduced by a cute kid's voice.

The movie starts off with Molly meeting with Mr. Magorium. The shop owner wants to hire an accountant because he hasn't been keeping track of his books.

They work in a store that's alive -- every toy in the store is magical, and the store's doors, windows and stairs have minds of their own.

But moments after that, Mr. Magorium unleashes a bigger surprise on Molly; he wants her to take over the store because he has to "go away."

The store doesn't like the idea of Mr. Magorium going away, so it throws a fit; the colorful walls turn gray, the toys stop doing their magical things, and the store throws balls at the customers, forcing them to leave.

Molly's not too thrilled either; she thinks she's not good enough to fill Mr. Magorium's shoes, so she takes him to a hospital to see why he has to "go away."

To make matters worse, Henry steps in and says that the books for the store have been cooked; there are many inaccuracies in the store's budget.

If Mr. Magorium goes away, what will Molly do with the store?


Main Characters

I like Mr. Magorium and Molly. Mr. Magorium is like Willy Wonka (if Wonka went into toys instead of candy), and Molly's the levelheaded lady who needs to keep him under control.

But I found Henry bland -- accountants can have some quirks, too. SCORE: 7

Supporting Cast

There's nothing wrong with the rest of the cast, but I found nothing special about them, either. SCORE: 5


There's one major problem I have with the plot: the film never says why Mr. Magorium has to "go away," or why he picks that particular day to "go away."

Besides, there's a subplot about a shy boy that never gets resolved. SCORE: 2


This would have a sitcom feel if Mr. Magorium and Molly were related. SCORE: 5

Violence Factor

When the store goes crazy, it threatens to harm the customers, but most of those bits are played for fun. SCORE: 8

Other Moral Issues

I think there's talk about life and death and about moving on, but the film simplifies it too much. SCORE: 3

Final Score (out of 60): 30 % Score: 50%

Two great leads can't save this film from two very bad plotlines.
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
MMWE is the family movie of the year. Yes, this movie is magical. It's colorful, bright, imaginitive and fun. A movie to be watched. Yesiree.

Of course, I can't write this review without pointing how unbelievably bland the story and screenplay is. It careens off course and collides in a heap of nothingness.

But, I still loved it! Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman had so much charisma, this movie was actually funny, the characters interesting! I would recommend this wholeheartedly. I suppose it wasn't made THAT fantastically well, seeing as the direction and visual effects left a little to be desired. But this is still . . . magical.

An 8.5. Really. I'm serious. And I definitely don't consider this a guilty pleasure. :D
This movie is definitely one for the lighthearted, imaginative movie-goer. The plot of this "G" rated movie is... a magical old man wishes to pass his Wonder Emporium to his brilliant young apprentice. However, the store, being magical, gets angry and the movie follows the ups and downs of the people who work in the store. In my opinion, this movie was kind of a let down. Although Natalie Portman delivers an admirable performance, Dustin Hoffman it seems, tries too hard to be believable. I was expecting more from the script and some sort of comedic relief from Jason Bateman, but he was just another character to thicken the plotline. I will say that I took my little brother and he really enjoyed it. So if you have an extra hour and a half, take your children or brothers and sisters to see this "magical" movie.

Though a bit of a shameless Willy Wonka spinoff, Emporium works as a charming, quaint movie, though lacking in a few key areas. The storyline was a bit deeper then expected, and it certainly earned it's 'G' rating. At many times, though, it turns into a CGI fest that can be a bit overwhelming and distracting from the actual characters. Also, while a 'family friendly' movie, most of the story is lost to younger viewers, while it remains only mildly interesting to adults. Unfortunately, though the story was set up nicely, it wasn't quite carried out. It appears that the script wasn't fully finshed, and the ending was slapped on at the last minute. Several plotlines were simply left hanging- what about the girl's song? Did she ever finish it? What about the wood box? How did she finish it? What about the woodenbox? How did it help? And why was it flying? Why did the tax man pass out? Why didn't she remember it? And why did she suddenly change her mind about the fate of the store?

It just ended with Natalie Portman waving her hand around, with sparkles making everything all bright and happy again. The End.

No one in the theatre expected the sudden ending either, wondering 'That was it?'. Be on the lookout for a sequel, however.
Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman star in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium about a 242 year old man who owns a magical toystore that is run by the lovely Molly Meloney. Dustin Hoffman's performance as the toy afficionado was the sparkle that the film had. Portman's character was good as well, but she wasn't able to hold her own in the film until the ending, but the ending was underwhelming, leaving me to question what had become of Molly Mahoney. did she finally finish her concerto? it is funny in most parts, but it is still moderately entertaining
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