Emily and the Magical Journey Parent Guide
There's precious little enchantment to be found in this fantasy film.
Parent Movie Review
Emily (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland) and her mom (Jenny Lampa) are both grieving after the death of Emily’s father. One night, Emily stumbles upon her father’s illustrations of an enchanted place called Faunutland, to which Emily is magically transported. Emily must use her imagination and bravery to help the citizens of Faunutland defeat an evil witch who spreads fear across the land.
If that plot summary made no sense to you, worry not. I’ve actually seen this movie and I have no idea what happens in it. The writing is completely nonsensical. Nothing is set up or explained. Scenes just kind of happen randomly with no motivation or logic. The lack of structure or even a comprehensible plot also muddies the intended message. I think, and this is mostly a guess, that the filmmakers were trying to say something about imagination and overcoming fear, but it barely comes across. I would argue that Emily does not learn or grow at all from the beginning to the end of the film, aside from the fact that she learns to sink a layup in basketball. She doesn’t actually deal with grief or fear in any constructive ways, she just ignores them until they go away and somehow that saves the day.
Setting the dreadful writing aside for a moment, the production values are just bad. The acting is awful across the board and the sets are lackluster. I’m pretty sure most of this movie was shot in someone’s back yard. One positive is that the production chose to go mostly with puppets instead of CGI for the creatures, and some of them are really well done. Unfortunately, that makes the few moments with CGI look even worse in comparison.
For a movie with “Magical” in the title, there’s a distinct lack of magic. I appreciate a family friendly fantasy tale, but the lack of any content concerns does not make this one worth watching.Directed by Marcus Ovnell. Starring Tipper Seifert-Cleveland, Jenny Lampa, Chelsea Edge. Running time: 85 minutes. Theatrical release November 3, 2020. Updated November 7, 2020
Watch the trailer for Emily and the Magical Journey
Emily and the Magical Journey
Rating & Content Info
Why is Emily and the Magical Journey rated Not Rated? Emily and the Magical Journey is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: Some characters fall down as if dead but are revived later. In a cave a disembodied voice tells a girl it’s her fault her dad is dead and that her mother doesn’t love her.
Sexual Content: None
Alcohol / Drug Use: None
Page last updated November 7, 2020
Emily and the Magical Journey Parents' Guide
Why is Emily’s mom sad and distant? What happens to help her become more loving?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
One of the original kids’ series about adventures in other worlds is the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. The first in the series is The Magician’s Nephew but the best known is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
In The Crooked Sixpence, Jennifer Bell imagines a magical world underneath the city of London. In Lundinor, ordinary objects can have extraordinary powers. Another magical series is based on underground worlds known as the Unmapped Kingdoms. Written by Abi Elphinstone, the series begins with Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings.
Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are remains a children’s classic. When Max sails from his bedroom to an imaginary land peoples with monsters, he reminds readers of all ages of the power of fantasy to touch our hearts.
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende follows Bastian on his quest to stop the magical world of Fantastica from falling further into decay.
Kids who want to read about a richly imagined world will enjoy Shirley Barber’s A Visit to Fairyland. This lushly illustrated book follows two children who have adventures in this enchanted world.
Anna and her best friend Penelope escape from Saint Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children and embark on an epic quest in The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White.
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There are far better fantasy movies aimed at children. If you’re not fussy about production quality but are looking for a story that will engage young children, you can try Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet. This story sees a magical creature and a wizard traveling to earth to find ingredients for a spell. The CGI isn’t great but the story is fine for most kids.
One of the best family friendly fantasy films is Onward. Two brothers go on a magical quest to complete a spell that would allow them to spend a day with their deceased father. It’s a great story of brotherly love and cooperation. Plus, it’s made by Disney and the production quality is superb.
Four siblings discover a magical world in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The land is ruled by a cruel White Witch who ensures that it is always winter and never Christmas. The Pevensie children are expected to fulfill a prophecy and free the land from her evil spells.
Alice falls through a rabbit hole and ends up in a bizarre fantasy world in Alice in Wonderland. This story is told in Disney’s animated version and in a newer live action adaptation. A sequel to the live action film follows Alice back to Wonderland in Alice Through the Looking Glass on a mission of mercy to save the Mad Hatter.
For fantasy with a celtic twist, you can watch the elaborately animated The Secret of Kells.