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With: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman, Zach Mills, Ted Ludzik
Written by: Zach Helm
Directed by: Zach Helm
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 94
Date: 11/15/2007

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Ode to Toys

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Zach Helm, the talented writer behind Stranger Than Fiction, makes his directorial debut with this mildly delightful family movie. Dustin Hoffman plays the magical, ancient title character, who plans to turn over his enchanted toy store to his helpers, manager Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), an uptight accountant (Jason Bateman) and a nerdy kid (Zach Mills). Refreshingly, there are no evil villains plotting to shut down the store; the entire movie focuses on these misfits trying to discover who they really are. Visually, Helm packs his frames with special effects and fantastic toys, even if the picture itself feels somewhat grounded. Regardless, the cast mingles in happy harmony, and the film is effortlessly cheerful and often quite funny. Alexandre Desplat provides the dazzling, uplifting score.

DVD Details: Fox's DVD comes with a slew of little featurettes, each running less than ten minutes (they make it look like it was a fun shoot). There are previews, and a 4-minute "sneak peak" at Horton Hears a Who!. (See also Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium on Blu-ray.) Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

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