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Still shot from the movie: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) decides to retire and leave his Wonder Emporium to his shop assistant Molly (Natalie Portman), so he hires an accountant (Jason Bateman) to settle his affairs. Unfortunately, the man of numbers doesn't have enough imagination to see how magical the toy store truly is. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A-
Violence: B+
Sexual Content: A
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Theater Release: 15 Nov 2007
Video Release: 03 Mar 2008
MPAA Rating: G
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Sandwiched between steel and concrete office towers is an ornate, enchanted little shop known as Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Inside, the store is literally alive with magical toys and mysterious rooms full of trains, bouncing balls and other interactive playthings.

The business is run by Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman), an eccentric, wildly-coiffed senior who lives in an upstairs' apartment with a pet zebra. Under this proprietor's watchful eye the merchandise wakes up every morning to the ring of the cash register. The shop is a bright spot not only for neighborhood families but also for a shy, young boy (Zach Mills) who spends his extra time working behind the counter.

But after living nearly 243 years, Mr. Magorium is ready to move to the next dimension. He plans to bequeath the shop to his young manager, Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman). The promising pianist has worked in the store for years but suffers from a seemingly unconquerable distrust of her own talents. Overwhelmed by the generous offer and insecure about her abilities to generate the lively atmosphere of the store, she anxiously frets about a future without her peculiar mentor.

Before going, however, Mr. Magorium hires an accountant to put in order centuries of receipts and sort out his affairs. Armed with a briefcase, Henry Weston (Jason Bateman) arrives at the storefront on a busy afternoon without an ounce of humor in his bones. He is even more somber when he finds the stacks and stacks of paperwork packed in the backroom office. Hunkering down to root through the dusty old papers, he's unresponsive to Molly's jokes and is oblivious to the enchantment happening all around him.

While this story is full of kites, finger paint and animated toys, the script, more than engaging kids, may speak to adults who've shelved their youthful dreams. The gentle pace of the movie may also lose viewers used to nerve-jarring cartoons or rapid-fire video games. Still, for those willing to settle in for a quiet but engaging thinker, the Emporium offers playful advice on rekindling a childlike enthusiasm for life and believing in the possibilities within every person.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is rated G:

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman, Jason Bateman
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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