Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: Toy Story meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It could be argued that Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is the biggest let-down of any film ever. Because you’re going to be wishing that the magical toyshop actually existed – so much it hurts. Still, the fantasy comedy provides truly wonderful escapism from the harsh realities of mundane life. If you love Disney films, this is for you.


Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007): Written and directed by Zach Helm (Stranger than Fiction); running-time 1h 33mins.; starring Dustin Hoffman (Rain Man), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses), Zach Mills (Super 8).

What’s it about? When magical toyshop owner Mr Magorium (Hoffman) wants to end his life, he hires a dry-witted accountant (Bateman) to gauge the business’ worth so he can bequeath it to his protegée Mahoney (Portman). But things get complicated when the shop starts throwing a temper tantrum.

What’s it really about? You can achieve great things if you just believe.

Pick if:

  • You’re looking for a film that’ll pull you in and offer a magical alternative to your mundane daily life. But be warned: chances are you’re gonna by crying by the end of Mr Magorium because there are no magical toyshops and it’s JUST. SO. DAMN. UNFAIR!!
  • You loved Disney’s Toy Story: as a child, your toys are your best friends and the adventures they take you on feel very real (the amount of drama my Beanie Babies had to live through could sustain 1000 episodes of a soap opera). In many ways they are magical simply because they help us know ourselves, so it’s not surprising that we would like to imagine they had a life of their own
  • Your eyes still sparkle every time you set foot in a toyshop (I’ve never been able to pass by Hamley’s in London)
  • You love quirky characters: just like chocolate factory owner Willy Wonka, the eponymous Mr Magorium is the most loveable kook and little Eric with his extensive collection of statement hats would probably be great friends with golden ticket winner Charlie – somebody make that movie please!
  • You want to see beautiful set decorations that will remind you of the excitement you felt as a kid entering a toyshop

Most memorable scene: The sad stuffed monkey finally gets to hug the accountant.

Most memorable quote: “Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.”

Magic Music Moment: In an attempt to make friends, Eric strikes up a conversation with the accountant via signs while Cat Stevens’ “Don’t be shy” plays.

Where can I watch? Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is available on Netflix Germany (and all of these countries), Amazon, iTunes, Sky Go.

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