Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) has operated his incredible toy store for countless years, well over two hundred years, to be precise. His store is the most magical one you’ll ever find, with the widest selection of toys for children of all ages, mystical toys that do more than the ones found in other such locales. As much as he loves his store and all of the toys within, after over two centuries, he feels the time has come to retire. This decision doesn’t go over well with the store itself, which leads to toy revolts and all kinds of madcap mayhem in the store. Despite the uprising from the toys, Mr. Magorium pushes onward and looks to find someone who can fill his shoes. But will he be able to find just the right person to run the magical store and if so, will they be able to unlock the magic in themselves in the process?

As soon as the movie begins, you can tell that Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium wants to be the next Willy Wonka, but does it even come close? I didn’t think I would like this movie, based on previews and how similar it seemed to be to Wonka, but in the end, I had a lot of fun. The movie does revolve around an eccentric man and his magical business that he is about to retire from, but this is not a retread by any means. The atmosphere is also more tame, so this isn’t the kind of wild, off kilter ride that Wonka was. Even so, the movie offers some laughs and the scenes with the toys are quite fun. The movie does have an overly safe, even dull feel at times, but this is a family film, after all. So while this won’t be this generation’s Willy Wonka, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is decent fun for family movie night. This Blu-ray disc has no supplements, but the movie’s visuals are such a huge component, the enhanced transfer more than balances that out.

Video: How does it look?

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This movie has some gorgeous visuals and they’re well replicated here. The store’s bold colors shine through here, with vivid hues that run the entire spectrum and provide ample eye candy to absorb. The image suffers from no softness or print concerns, which is expected, given its generous budget and recent release. In fact, every scene shows off the kind of detail and depth that we want from high definition, so this is quite the impressive presentation. A few minor issues do surface here and there, but overall this movie looks excellent.

Audio: How does it sound?

I wasn’t quite as taken with the audio, but this lossless DTS HD 5.1 option is more than sufficient. The movie has a fun, active audio design, one that adds a lot to the experience. The surrounds have good power, but for me the best moments were more subtle, with directional presence and effective atmosphere. A lot happens in this toy store, so the surrounds work hard to make it all come across well. But as I said, there is also power here, so this soundtrack is well balanced. The music is loud, but well integrated, while dialogue is flawless from start to finish. This disc also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, a French language track, and subtitles in English and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

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