Box art for Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

children & family


When Mr. Magorium (Hoffman), the proprietor of a magical toy store where all the toys are alive, announces that he will at long last hand over the reigns of his empire to his faithful cashier (Portman), the store decides to throw an unusual tantrum.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    37%
  • Audience Score
    55%

common sense

ON for kids age 6
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
0 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
0 out of 5

Sweet magical tale will feed kids' toy cravings.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sweet, family-friendly fantasy is brimming with product placement, though most of it's in context (you can't really make a movie about a magic toy store without toys...). Plus, the positive messages about friendship, trust, finding your potential, and believing in yourself overshadow most of the branding. There isn't any violence, but the store does throw a temper tantrum that sends toys flying after patrons (the red walls also fade to gray, and the toys lose their spark and color). A significant death, while presented in an idealized way to fit in with the tone of the film, is handled gently and poignantly; there are some sad scenes, but it's peaceful overall (though really young kids may need further explanation of how death really works). A young boy is looked at as a loner and has trouble making friends with other kids.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about product placement and commercial tie-ins. Did your kids notice how many toys were featured in the movie? Why were some more obvious than others? Where else have your kids noticed ads and other marketing for this movie? Also, why do you think Eric felt that he was different than the other kids? Did your child relate to his character? Families can also use the movie as an opportunity to talk about death. What does it mean? How do you cope with it? Is dying always sad? Why or why not? How is it different in real life than the way it is in the movie?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The trailers make the movie look like the ickiest kind of whimsy, accompanied by obstreperous special effects, but the film itself is gasp-worthy.

- Alonso Duralde, MSNBC, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Like the store, the movie is chockablock with playthings -- puns, graphics, and music -- that make the life lessons easier to absorb.

- Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, Friday, November 16, 2007

Rotten: ... never quite as magical as it wants to be.

- Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

1 star

I've seen it once and the movie is so not memorable. Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman have better things to do than be in this movie. The only good thing that came out of this movie was Kermit the Frog's cameo.

- coollala0910, Monday, August 16, 2010

4 stars

An extremely underrated kids film that I have waited far too long to see. Dustin Hoffman plays a character that you can easily fall in love with, and Natalie Portman alongside him, plays the perfect role to add that much more spirit to the film. It's never dull (ironic), it's fun, witty, charming, and beautifully crafted. The CGI is funny but it's a kids movie, so who cares. It's harmless fun entertainment that hopefully people of all ages will enjoy, because I sure did. Jason Bateman plays a very boring and straightforward character who ends up actually being delightful. This film is not a just a fun kids movie, but it has loads of spiritual meaning on the outside. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium soars with imagination!

- fb733768972, Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2 stars

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium isn't without magic, Dustin Hoffman is really good as the title character and its use of special effects is non-gratuitous and well balanced. It also approaches the subject of death really nicely and probably could be shown to kids as a tool on how to deal with bereavement. Unfortunately though, there are holes. Natalie Portman's performance is far from magical, the whole production seems rushed and you can't help but feel you've seen this movie before. Great for young kids, although there may be tears before bedtime. Best bit: Kermit the Frog cameo! The world would be a better place if at least one Muppet stared in every film, don't you think?

- SirPant, Monday, December 20, 2010