The poster for Strange Magic credits the mind of George Lucas as the man responsible, as if that’s even a good thing anymore. I know we have him to thank for Star Wars, Indiana Jones and even Willow but the best thing Lucas has done in the last decade is hand over those franchises to Disney.
That said, Lucas is the least of Strange Magic’s problems. At the moment film animation is, arguably, at an all time high in terms of quality and this year alone we’ve had Inside Out, Song of The Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – all of which cast a large shadow over Strange Magic.
The film itself tells the story of two magical kingdoms, one light and one dark – very original George – full of fairies, goblins, elves and a cute little imp that’s desperately trying to be Scrat from Ice Age. Chaos ensues when a love potion brings the two kingdoms close to war and a whole lot of nonsense happens.
Honestly, to go too much into this film’s ‘plot’ is giving me a headache just think about it, so here’s what you need to know. Strange Magic feels like it might have been a different film entirely in a world without Frozen, but has undergone so many changes since that it feels old and tired.
The similarities between the two are stark with two sisters as the central characters – one is tough and hard, whilst the other is naive and desperate to fall in love – who learn what love truly is through their adventure. The problem is that for all the DNA the two share, Strange Magic is nowhere near as successful in getting the emotional message across in the same way Frozen did.
Not only that, Strange Magic doesn’t even come close to replicating Frozen’s original music and instead has a jukebox soundtrack of some classic songs that are frankly butchered here to ear shattering affect.
One slight glimmer of hope within the film is how the idea of good and evil – pretty and ugly – is subverted, but even that’s been done before and done better. In the end not even that is enough to save Strange Magic from being nothing more than a painfully long and grating experience.
In this current golden age of animated film, Strange Magic is simply not good enough.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com