Immediately illuminated by a sort of wizard-rabbit, the name of George Lucas’s production company casts a shadow of expectancy over the trailer of “Strange Magic.” The mystical world of the film is divided into a kingdom of the traditionally “good” and cute creatures, while the “bad” creatures must reside in a dark forest. A potion destroys the order of things, and a menagerie of elves, fairies and some wooden-looking goblins must fight to restore it.
20th Century Fox
The musical draws on familiar songs from Michael Franti and The Temptations to move along the skimpy storytelling. While the voice acting and singing appears adequate and the animation looks brilliant, the story gets lost in the haze of jokes and child-like elves warning that derrières should “prepare to be shaken.”
Lucas’s act of attempted ostranenie for these universes is unfortunately derivative of many films before it, notably “Epic” and “Shrek.” The trailer also gives no indication of the voice actors behind the visually stunning characters, though if one were so inclined they could find a cast including Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alan Cumming. While unshakably similar to other films of its kind, the animation and talents of the voice acting of “Strange Magic” may prove to be its saving graces.