“Strange Magic” is an amazing looking movie that builds upon what ILM started with “Rango”. Marianne, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Bog King all look like they could be hanging out in the background of the new Star Wars movies or Avatar. The CG detail is amazing, but then the singing starts. I appreciate the attempt to capitalize on the musical sensibilities of “Moulin Rouge” roughly 14 years after its release. The story is Gleeful enough to entice the spunky tween girls, but the reality is the film is pretty tone deaf. Our heroine Marianne is desperate to save her kidnapped sister and the Sugar Plum Fairy, but she’s forced to team up with a glorified date raper to do it.

Early promotional material for the film billed it as a kiddie version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. There are talks of marriage, new relationships formed and flights of fancy to partake. It’s just that you’ve got a rather stilted scene set to Bad Romance and the whole baggage of Roland to undertake. If you haven’t picked up on it, Roland is the character that likes to cling to our heroine like a Cosby sweater. With all that being said, I can’t say that I didn’t like the film. Given the Lucas influence and the push for cutting edge animation, “Strange Magic” might be the rightful descendent of “Twice Upon a Time”.

The cast knocks it out of the park, but it’s not like they had a ton to hamstring them. Once you skip past the musical numbers, it’s a very familiar pastiche of Shakespeare and Labyrinth. Who doesn’t like Labyrinth, people? Princess Di went to that movie’s premiere to meet Ludo. Are you saying that you’re better than Princess Di? Diana’s corpse means more to humanity than you. The DVD comes with a featurette and interviews as the special features. The A/V Quality is impressive, but even a film like this deserved a Blu-Ray release. Just how much money did it lose to get Disney to treat it like this?

Release Date: 05/19/15

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