The House Of Magic


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"The charm levels are high"

The house on the hill resembles Norman Bates's from Psycho. Weather gathers at its back like a witch's curse. The street dogs are scared. Whatever lives inside has to be part human.

A kitten is dumped out of the back of a van onto the suburban streets of L.A. He survives traffic, fierce mastiffs and neurotic residents. The house on the hill looks like a haven from the world. That's what he wants. He breaks in.

Copy picture

The charm levels are high. The story has a retro simplicity that can only be good. The animation is traditional and the characters reminiscent of those handmade monsters from Sid's room in Toy Story, except this lot is friendly.

The kind old man who owns the house is a magician called The Illustrious Lorenzo who is surrounded by a family of creatures, ruled by Jack the rabbit and Maggie the mouse, as well as animated things, such as Edison the light bulb.

Lorenzo's nephew Daniel, an estate agent, wants to put the house on the market, get rid of his uncle's toys and put him in a care home. The kitten, now called Thunder, is treated like an intruder by Jack and Maggie ("Consider this a one night stand"), but protected by Lorenzo.

Daniel is allergic to cat hairs, which proves a useful weapon in their running battle as Lorenzo is hospitalised after a bicycle accident, leaving Thunder and the others to save the house.

This may sound like an overripe Camembert from the Ratatouille menu, yet it proves to be so much tastier. As a summer treat for all the family, don't go to McDonalds. Come here.

Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2014
Share this with others on...
The House Of Magic packshot
An abandoned kitten finds refuge in a magician's house that is filled with talking animals and animated objects
Amazon link

Read more The House Of Magic reviews:

Andrew Robertson **1/2

Director: Jeremy Degruson, Ben Stassen

Writer: James Flynn, Dominic Paris, Ben Stassen

Starring: voices of Murray Blue, Doug Stone, Grant George, George Babbit, Shanelle Gray, Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, Ron Perlman, William Shatner, Kiefer Sutherland, Cinda Adams, Sage Sommer, Edward Asner

Year: 2013

Runtime: 85 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: Belgium


EIFF 2014

Search database:

If you like this, try:

Monster House
The Nut Job