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Strange Magic is a Strange, Shallow Brew: a Late to the Table Review

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strange magic posterLucasfilm’s Strange Magic, a movie that received very little marketing before its January 23 release, fell short in its delivery.  I do not recall being able to locate it in very many local theaters.  If I had wanted to see it on its release date, I had to travel 30 miles to do so, and sadly, I wanted to.

Alas, I am glad I did not.

I traveled the 30 miles to see it, but was able to save my money while viewing it at the dollar theater.  A dollar might be all it really needs to be able to watch.  Strange Magic offered a very lackluster performance in theaters, which may explain the lack of marketing that went into the film.

The one thing the movie boasted was the brilliant, life-like animation.  A fine display of detail and dark rich tones, there were moments it almost appeared as though the movie was filmed on location in a fantasy world.  Details such as the reflection of light in the eyes of the characters seemed almost too real.  The landscapes and backdrops were beautifully crafted in the finest of detail.

The attention given to the artwork and animation almost made up for the hollow story and characters.

The movie tells the story of a fairy, Marianne, whose heart was broken by Roland, when she caught him in the forest with another fairy.  The man was everything that vanity had to offer – perfect hair, smile and confidence.  However, his interest in the fairy held a superficial value.  His intention to wed Marianne was a scheme to become king and have his own army.

Over the course of the story, Marianne does her best to protect her younger sister from making the same mistake she did.  Meanwhile, Roland continues his pursuit in hopes to mend his mistakes and wed the maiden.

The story takes a turn when Roland, enlisting the aid of an elf by the name of Sunny, seeks the Sugar Plum Fairy to make a love potion.  Sunny, blinded by his love for Marianne’s sister, seeks out Sugar Plum.  The fairy is held captive by the Bog King, an ugly bug-like creature who, having been hurt because of a previous love potion experiment, has vowed to keep Sugar Plum under lock and key.

It’s the classic tale of the love struck fool vowing to make another fall in love with him.  The movie attempts to teach the moral that you cannot make others fall in love with you.

The Bog King and Marianne fall in love in classic Beauty and the Beast fashion.  The entire story is told in modern song lyrics, featuring such songs as Love is Strange, Can’t Help Falling in Love, and the theme of the show, Strange Magic.

This movie had so much more potential than it lived up to.  Its only saving grace was its magnificent visual presentation.  However, even that cannot make it worth the full price of a ticket or even owning the Blu-ray/DVD, or on Amazon Prime, in May.

Strange Magic is a strange brew, nothing more, nothing less.

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