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
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 6
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
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

2 stars

I am a huge fan of the 1992 film "Toys", which is similar, but I consider 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" a sad miscalculation. This movie was quite flat; I wasn't moved by any of the actors' performances. I didn't laugh or cry as intended by the director. I couldn't sympathize with Natalie Portman's flat acting. Her beauty was limited by a short boyish haircut; she didn't have enough sparkle until the end; was that the point? I didn't understand her lack of belief in the magic if she had been working at the emporium since she was a little girl. Dustin Hoffman's Mr. Magorium character felt overacted, as he was trying to make him as oddball as possible. His lispy manner of speech came off as fake and annoying. I couldn't believe he was 243 years old or that the store had run so many years without paying any taxes. Dustin's bubble-wrap tap dance and hospital visit scenes were cheesy; but I liked his journey to the stars. I appreciated Jason Bateman's accountant character. He seemed like the only real person in the movie. It got annoying how the other characters constantly referred to him as a "mutant". I was hoping the plot would take him into a romantic relationship with the boy's mother or Natalie Portman's character, but it never went anywhere; romance was needed to balance the plot. What was the message of this movie? Perhaps it could help kids deal with the sensitive issues surrounding death? Other scenes hinted at faith, belief, and never letting go of our inner child, but it never is made clear enough. The Emporium setting existed in a vacuum; I never got the sense that it was in a bustling American city. Apart from the sock monkey, the toys seemed awkward to play with. What was the point of the creepy bookmaker in the basement who rarely appeared? My biggest complaint with this movie was how abruptly it ended, as if they ran out of budget. The movie promised the future of the store under new ownership, but the filmmakers didn't give us any of that. The characters had unresolved conflicts. The makers bored us with sappy and depressing scenes, but when it came time for a happy ending and truly wonderful things to happen, they dumped it to credits. That's bad showmanship. Maybe they can redeem themselves with a director's re-cut which has a fulfilling wrapup.

- YosemiteSamFan, Friday, October 1, 2010

1 star

Just a rehash of so many films here its just bad. This shows how badly the studios are lacking original ideas. there's hardly anything new here atall, its sickly, predictable, badly acted,no real plot and no real point to it. a magical man owns a magical shop and thats it, its just Willy Wonka in a shop for christs sake haha. I admit it looks great, very colourful and like an illustration from a childrens story book. The kids will like it for that but I'm sure even they may find it boring. Nothing happens in this..its just totally unadventurous in every aspect. Portman has a silly name and Hoffman is annoying with his lisp, avoid.

- phubbs1, Sunday, August 1, 2010

1 star


- bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb1, Thursday, July 29, 2010