The House of Magic  (2013)    65/100

Rating :   65/100                                                                       85 Min        U

Animated adventure aimed at younger children and featuring an abandoned ginger cat, later nicknamed ‘Thunder’ for no especially good reason, who ends up taking refuse within a spooky old magician’s house. Once inside, the magician turns out to be able to do real magic, not just conjuring, and has a small devoted retinue of animated trinkets dotted around the house, all de facto led by the performing mouse and rabbit who do not take kindly to the arrival of the newest member of their troupe, the former primarily concerned she is about to become a tasty snack at any moment. Thunder is put upon to prove his worth to the rest of them and try to find a place for himself within this new family, and although it would have been most amusing if he had achieved this and then turned around and ate the mouse anyway, before turning his attentions toward the rabbit, this is not the direction the film goes in.

The primary villain is the magician’s nephew – who once loved magic but has since become a real estate agent and is now only interested in money, tsk tsk, eyeing up the old manor with dollar signs in his eyes. The animation is a little basic and rudimentary, but it is quite likeable, and similarly the automatons in the house initially seem garish and liable to scare little ones but they are quickly humanised and presented as friendly creatures, greatly ameliorating their image. Not a huge deal of magic is performed as the owner of the house ends up spending most of the film in the hospital, leaving the other occupants to fend off the nephew, and although there is nothing in here for adult viewers it should prove to be a pretty decent film for the intended audience. A conspicuously large number of famous names provide small voiceover parts – including Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Kiefer Sutherland, Ron Perlman and William Shatner.

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