Sunday, 17 May 2015

DVD Review: Strange Magic


Strange Magic
Director: Gary Rydstrom
Voice Cast: Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alfred Molina
Studio: Touchstone / Lucasfilm
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Retail: $29.99
Running Time: 99 minutes
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD this week from Lucasfilm is computer-animated musical Strange Magic. Directed by Gary Rydstrom and produced by George Lucas, the film features the voice cast of Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alfred Molina. Bonus Extras for the DVD include Magical Mash Up - outtakes, tests and melodies and Creating The Magic - meet the cast and filmmakers.

Inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Strange Magic takes place in a world that is divided by two realms - the land of light, where the fairies live and the dark forest, where the evil bog creatures live. This tale centers on Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Woods), the Fairy Kingdom princess, who leaves her groom, Roland (voiced by Sam Palladio), at the alter after she catches him cheating with another fairy.

Heartbroken, she has vowed never to fall in love in again; resulting in her rebelling. Marianne is determined not to attend the Spring Ball, though her sister, Dawn (voiced by Meredith Anne Bull), begs her to attend. She makes an appearance at the Ball, but so does Roland, which leads to an awkward situation.

Sunny, the elf, has a big crush a big crush on Dawn and ventures into the dark forest to find the Sugar Plum Fairy (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth), so she can make a magic love potion for him.  After an encounter with the Bog King (voiced by Alan Cumming), Sunny barely makes it out of the dark forest with the love potion, but he is unaware what that he may in fact have started a war between the Fairies and the Bogs.

Strange Magic had been in development for fifteen years at Lucasfilms, way before Disney bought the studio, which is one of the reasons why Disney released the film to theaters through their Touchstone Pictures earlier this year. The film was a critical and box-office flop.

Considering the story came from George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, I thought the film would be a dark Grimm-style fairy tale, but instead it is a Tinker Bell-like film with a bunch of show-tunes. Yes, it's a musical. While the computer-animation looks great, the film is held back by a thin plot and annoying songs that have been played to death. It would have been nice if it had original songs, but instead we get The Beetles and Kelly Clarkson. I have nothing against the songs that were used, except for the fact that they don't fit in with the movie. Overall, Strange Magic is just an odd little animated film that will probably appeal to younger viewers, but adults will mostly bored.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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