1 hour, 34 minutes
G General Audiences.
Closed Caption; Strangely Weird & Weirdly Strange - 4 mini-featurettes that explore the magical world of a wonder emporium; An Eccentric Boss and an Awkward Apprentice featurette; The Magical Toy Store featurette; To Meet Eric Applebaum, Start by Saying Hi featurette; Fun on the Set featurette
Natalie Portman ... Molly Mahoney, the Composer
Zach Mills ... Eric Applebaum, the Hat Collector
Dustin Hoffman ... Mr. Edward Magorium
Jason Bateman ... Henry Weston, the Mutant
Ted Ludzik ... Bellini, the Bookbuilder
Paula Boudreau ... Brenda, Who Wants a Mobile
Mike Realba ... Dave Wolf, Who's an Engineer
The story focuses on Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, the strangest, most fantastic, most wonderful toy store in the world, where the 243-year old Magorium (Dustin Hoffman "Rain Man") presides over a magical collection of toys in a shop that has been open for 114 years. The store where everything moves is filled with children every day of the week. His assistant is the perky Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman "V for Vendetta") who’s perpetually stumped about how to finish the piano concerto she’s writing. Another constant presence in the store is little Eric Applebaum (Zach Mills "Hollywoodland"), a kid who collects hats and works the store like an old pro but has no friends apart from Mr Magorium and Molly.
One day at the carnival-like emporium Mr. Magorium announces his imminent retirement, and he hires a buttoned-down accountant named Henry (Jason Bateman "The Break-Up") to supervise the changeover. This starts a crisis in the store which suddenly rebels, turning gray and dank, and soon Mahoney protests her inability to keep it going herself. Will Magorium really “leave”? Will Eric lose the only place he feels truly at home? Or Henry learn to loosen up and show he’s really an old softie—and Molly’s natural partner?
There’s actually not much suspense about how it all turns out in this weird but charming film written and directed by Zach Helm (who wrote "Stranger Than Fiction"). Dustin Hoffman resembles the goofy host of a TV show for preschoolers. He can sometimes be a bit irritating with his Ed Wynn-ish lispy delivery of nonsense lines, but that may be because the rest of the characters are essentially caricatures. Sometimes, even the toy store itself seems curiously cramped, and the stuff within it despite being colorful and constanly moving is not all that inventive. Nevertheless, this is a charming, imaginative and sweet little film that will particularly entertain younger family members.