LucasFilm's Strange Magic Not That Enchanting

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Strange Magic DVD George Lucas Fairies Evan Rachel Wood Alan Cumming

George Lucas gets a lot of Internet anger directed his way. In fact, I've made some choice criticisms about his work over the years.  Still, it's hard to argue that for many of us he created our favorite fictional world.  It doesn't just stop with STAR WARS either. My God, the Indiana Jones trilogy is amongst my most loved films, as well.

While most of the work he's created in the past twenty years doesn't stand up to those classics I mentioned above, he did release the wonderful RED TAILS a few years ago.  Like any creator, Lucas is hit or miss, but his highs are so far above most others, it boggles the mind.

That brings me to the animated film STRANGE MAGIC, which Lucas developed for more than fifteen years. It's a story where fairies live in a world of light and bog creatures live in the dark.  The tale follows the fairies Marianne and Roland as they understand the meaning of true love. The visuals of the forest and characters are pretty engaging, and the voice work is quite good with the likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, and Peter Stormare. Unfortunately, the film is dragged down by a boring script and the far-too-long running time of 99 minutes.

Music propels the journey, as this is a musical in every sense of the word.  A fun list of classic rock songs is used to tell the journey far better than the script.  With standards like "People Are Strange," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Can't Help Falling in Love," "Mistreated," and many others, the film is a lot of fun to listen to. Wood and Cumming really give standout performances on the singing end.  In many ways it felt like a children's version of ROCK OF AGES, unfortunately with an unappealing story.

If special features are your reason to buy a DVD, well this isn't the one to put in your online cart or even a real one.  All that's included are a five-minute making doc that isn't bad, and a musical montage that shows off test footage.  At least you get something, but it's not much.

STRANGE MAGIC will play best with pre-teen girls. It seemed a bit too frightening for little ones and the focus on romance will turn off a lot of boys. I have to emphasize, the message is optimistic and seems to be one of open mindedness and finding love and companionship in odd places. All things considered, though, the movie is quite boring and doesn't live up to the name Lucasfilm.  There's no need to direct more vitriol at George Lucas, though.  His seminal work is behind him, for sure, but STRANGE MAGIC isn't a complete disaster, either. Let's just all be thankful for what Lucas has given us, yes?

Grade: 
2.0 / 5.0