The House of Magic – Cats, magic, should be the perfect Weasel film

After weeks of sweltering weather and playing in gardens, parks and country houses, we thought we might have a break and go to the cinema. There are actually quite a few kids’ films on at the moment, being summer holidays and all, but Weasel went for The House of Magic due to her obsession with magic and her obvious love of cats. Not quite sure she’s ready for training her dragon, but maybe next time.

Here’s a nice blurry photo of Weasel, mostly confused as to why she’s being asked to stop and pose for a photo in front of a door

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The Basic Plot – Cat gets abandoned, finds shelter with elderly magician in creepy house with equally creepy group of toys, fights off evil estate agent nephew to try to save the house.

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Was it scary for a pre-schooler? Actually, a bit, yes. Abandoned pets, scary storms, creepy houses, evil estate agents, who wouldn’t be? But for once Weasel remained in her own seat with just an arm around her for comfort.

Do you really want your kid seeing it? Not too bad in terms of gender stereotypes and violence is mostly of the slapstick variety. I say mostly because in the finale, the chasing down of a kitten with a shot gun seemed a little too much for this age group. The nephew talks about killing the cat, rather than just implying  it and Weasel was seriously disturbed by the whole sequence.

Also, one thing that was a bit irritating, that she wouldn’t have probably even noticed, was the racial and ethnic stereotyping. Maybe it’s because it was made in Belgium, without the PC filter of most American kids films nowadays, but the characters seemed outdated and two-dimensional. The thick Italian movers, large sassy African-American lady, bossy Irish nurse, the trendy German couple and Spanglish-speaking chihuahua seemed straight from the 1980’s. I’m all for a bit of fun, but it did seem unimaginative.

Would Weasel recommend it? She enjoyed going to the cinema, but she didn’t seem overly engaged in the film nor does she remember much about it. Her explaining it to Husband later at dinner was a bit unanimated.  I asked her if she’d like to see it again and she said no, which means I’d probably only recommend it if you have discounted tickets or it’s on telly. Not that it’s that bad, it’s just bordering on a ‘straight to dvd’ kind of film.

 

On a slightly separate note – here’s some better photos of our lunch at Jamie’s Italian afterwards. Getting to sit upstairs for the first time was very exciting, not so exciting was the “curly wurly” pasta from the kids menu being ditalini. You don’t get much more straight and non-curly wurly than that! At least the old-skool Viewfinder kept her entertained.

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Ditalini – definitely not curly wurly

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