Strange Magic (2015)
Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Meredith Anne Bull, Sam Palladio, Alfred Molina
Directed By: Gary Rydstrom
Written By: Irene Mecchi, Gary Rydstrom, George Lucas
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 39 min
I get it, the moral of this story was supposed to be – love conquers all – and we shouldn’t be distracted by shallow superficial appearances. Love is love, no matter who (or what) feels it. ‘Beauty is only skin deep,’ and ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.‘ That kind of thing.
Not a bad lesson to teach this film’s target audience I guess. But what exactly was the Bog King? A dragon-fly? This film has elves pining over fairies, and an overbearing Bog King mother (who clearly isn’t a dragon-fly) trying to get her adopted(?) son shackled up with any and all random insect species she can find in the forest. Strange Magic also stars a fairy king trying to force his hipster* daughter, Marianne (Even Rachel Wood) into a marriage with a pretty boy doofus, and an imp (more like a demon mouse) trying to promote inter-species romance throughout the dark forest!
It’s a little odd, I’m just saying.
Strange Magic is a bit of a mess. A heavy-handed moral lecture, with little clue how to deliver said message. Where ‘reel’ love is sparked by a two-minute conversation and a song, and that is somehow more powerful than the love potion everyone is fighting over in the story. It’s cast of characters range from edgy looking to kinda-gross, and the use of popular real world songs from the last six decades just feels like an experiment that never fully works. Perhaps because every single one of them sounded like it was performed by a bad cover band.
* Forced into Hipster-hood after being cheated on. So sad.
This is odd mix of fantastic looking animation and clumsy plotting. Looks great – doesn’t make a lot of sense. Rated PG so technically it’s suitable for kids, but I honestly believe the awkward heavy-handed delivery of this movie’s central message, will likely make even the most undemanding child roll their eyes.
This is a great looking film, and should be watched in HD on the biggest screen you can find.
I liked the development and performance of the Bog King character, voiced by Alan Cumming. Rock ‘N’ Roll with a soft heart, and easily the most watchable character in the movie.