With this year’s blockbuster release of How to Train Your Dragon 2, Peabody and Sherman and Rio 2, one might question how House of Magic would fair in the year of successful animated films. Surprisingly, even with little narrative development, House of Magic proves to be a whimsical film filled with loveable characters.
The drama kicks off right away with the young cat (voiced by Murray Blue) being abandoned by his owners, lured out of the moving vehicle, you can’t help but feel sorry for the furry creature. Left behind in the suburbs, the cat gets lost amidst the hustle and bustle of suburban life. While encountering speedy cars and raging dogs, he stumbles upon a spooky looking house to seek shelter. In this creepy mansion, the protagonist finds a home and is taken in by the owner of the house, Lawrence, a wacky, old magician (Doug Stone) who names him Thunder. Thunder finally feels at home with Lawrence, even being included in his magic acts. However, conflict arises as the magician’s conniving nephew Daniel (Grant George) plots to sell the house without his uncle’s consent. Together with a grumpy Jack Rabbit (George Babbit), a hostile mouse (Shanelle Gray) and various other automatons, the group embark on a valiant and adventurous mission to foil Daniel’s plans and save the house.
The Ben Stassen and Jeremy Degruson directed film makes an interesting move in utilizing American voices for the Belgian/Frence film; one that clearly pays off. Each character was quirky and full of personality, most notably the Jack Rabbit for his candor and surliness and the eccentric Lawrence. The fantasy film creates a perfect blend of adventure and belonging, emphasizing the entire film’s tone; wickedly adorable and magical.
The cinematography is bright and alluring, filled with captivating colours that is certainly eye catching. However, whilst the House of Magic had charming moments, the film lacked narrative development which unfortunately made the audience, kids especially, easily disinterested. All in all, House of Magic was a nice adventure with sweet, delightful moments. While the film was not a standout, I’ll certainly remember the house of comical magic and it’s crazy, endearing characters.
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