Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium Confronts Mortality With Earnest Whimsy

Why It’s Essential Viewing:

At its core, beneath all the paper airplanes and the Abraham Lincoln Lincoln Log statuary, “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” tells the story of a dying man at the end of his 243-year-long journey. He, Mr. Magorium, embraces his final steps with serenity and poise, but conflict arises when his loved ones are less eager to see him go. Where this film stands out from other family media is that it never forces Mr. Magorium to reconsider. The happy ending comes when everyone else, including the sentient toy shop, comes to respect his wishes and move forward with their lives. Zach Helms, the writer and director behind “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium,” added a surprisingly mature and timeless message to the pop culture lexicon that delivers upon its central promise — all stories, even the good ones, must come to an end. 

Something else refreshing about “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” is how it blatantly refuses to justify itself. For example, who exactly is Mr. Magorium? Is he an ancient wizard? A benevolent god? Why does he possess a magic emporium that suffers from severe emotional dysregulation? What does their existence mean for the larger narrative? Do not wait for such answers because none will come. These entities are meant to be accepted as they are and, when compared to the expositional density of more current cinema, that kind of simplicity can be beautiful. Please don’t misunderstand! World building is by no means a fault but, in a post-Pottermore age where blockbuster films come officially packaged with sprawling compendiums of trivia, burnout is real. Let Mr. Magorium be Mr. Magorium, a strangely weird and weirdly strange dude.

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