The Illusionist (2010) parents guide

The Illusionist (2010) Parent Guide

The pacing and lack of conversation make this plot difficult to follow at times. Yet for those willing to let the pictures and music tell the story, "The Illusionist" is a charming movie.

Overall B

In this French animation, an aging magician (Jean-Claude Donda) finds his future becoming more uncertain as audiences lose interest in his act. Then he meets a young fan named Alice (Eilidh Rankin), who may bring new direction to his life.

Release date December 25, 2010

Violence B-
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use C

Why is The Illusionist (2010) rated PG? The MPAA rated The Illusionist (2010) PG for thematic elements and smoking.

Run Time: 90 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

The world seems to have lost its magic for a French illusionist (voice by Jean-Claude Donda). Modern audiences are more interested in a rock-n-roll musical group that has the girls in the audience swooning. Working in second-rate theaters and picking up jobs wherever he can, he moves from place to place. Finally packing up his props, including a bad tempered bunny, he takes the train and boat to a remote Scottish village where he has been invited to perform in a pub by a rarely sober Scot’s man.

While working there he meets Alice (voice by Eilidh Rankin), a young cleaning girl who believes his act is real, especially when he magically produces a new pair of red shoes for her. When his gig is finally up, the aging vaudeville performer once again hits the road only to discover that Alice has stowed away and needs him to generate a ticket for her.

Once in their new location, she keeps house while he goes to work. But the smartly dressed young women in the city soon have Alice yearning for the beautiful clothes they wear. And she seems to think all it takes is a wave of a wand to make them appear.

This French animation (not to be confused with the 2006 film that stars Edward Norton as another illusionist) has very little dialogue. Based on the writing of Jacque Tati, the script unfolds through delightful drawings that pay careful attention to even the smallest details. Nominated for the Golden Globe Best Animated Feature, the movie wanders languidly from scene to scene as the Illusionist and Alice experience life together. (At one point, he fears she has cooked his rabbit. In another, Alice’s intervention keeps a despondent entertainer from hanging himself.)

For audiences familiar with productions like Toy Story and Tangled, the pacing and lack of conversation make this plot difficult to follow at times. Yet for those willing to let the pictures and music tell the story, The Illusionist is a charming entertainment option.

Directed by Sylvain Chomet. Starring Jean-Claude Donda, Edith Rankin, Didier Gustin. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release December 25, 2010. Updated

The Illusionist (2010)
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Illusionist (2010) rated PG? The Illusionist (2010) is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements and smoking.

Violence: A character preparing to commit suicide is interrupted. A man yells at his employee. A man is beaten and kicked by a group of school-aged children.

Sexual Content: An unmarried couple kisses briefly.

Language: None noted.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters smoke repeatedly. Numerous characters drink and some are portrayed as intoxicated.

Other: A man loses his job and must live on the streets.

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More parents' guide for The Illusionist (2010) after the break...

The Illusionist (2010) Parents' Guide

How does Alice’s belief in the illusionist change the way he feels about his occupation? How do entertainment trends change over time? What is popular now?

What are the challenges of telling a story without dialogue? How do foreign films differ from movies produced in North America?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Illusionist (2010) movie is May 10, 2011. Here are some details…

The Illusionist releases to home video in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack on May 10, 2011. Bonus extras include:

- Featurette: The Making of The Illusionist

- The Animation Process: A look at the line tests and progression sequences for Chasing the Rabbit, Window Shopping and Fish and Chip.

- Line Test and Completed Scene Montage of Morning Routine.

-Before and after animation sequences of: Garden Party & Travel, Steam, Splashes, Smoke, Tatischeff and The Flying Scotsman

Related home video titles:

Another magician has problems pulling a rabbit out of his hat in Presto, the Pixar short film that introduces (and is included with the home video version of) the movie Wall-E. Based on a book by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman is a simple story told only with pencil-drawn animation and an engaging musical score.