As ephemeral as a conjuring trick, “The House Of Magic” makes just as much of an impact. Mildly diverting at the time but almost instantly forgettable, it’s a decently made but disposable animated movie.
When a kitten is abandoned unceremoniously by his owner, he finds his way to a creepy old house where he is warmly welcomed by the eccentric old magician who lives there and given the name Thunder. His welcome from some of the magician’s other assistants is less warm as Jack the rabbit and Maggie the mouse plan to eject the interloper. However, when the magician is injured and taken to hospital, it’s up to Thunder and the rest of the magician’s companions to work together to prevent his unscrupulous real estate agent nephew from sending the old man to a retirement home and selling the house.
There’s little substance to “The House Of Magic”, with both the plotting and characters thin and lazy. There’s also not much actual magic to back up the title’s bold promise, apart from maybe the inexplicably advanced toy automatons. With nothing original to say or do, it ends up being a cheap “Toy Story” knock off where an underdeveloped band of pets and toys fend off the greedy nephew and a handful of clichéd potential buyers.
The animation is fair but has an unfortunate tendency to overuse 3D by having things fly at the screen at every opportunity. Shorn of the 3D smoke and mirrors and seen in 2D, the mediocrity of the illusion is revealed.
Yes, it’s quite cute and it’s undemanding but it’ll likely be forgotten before you’ve even left the cinema. For the Mertmas and me it was an okay way to spend an hour and a half on a rainy morning but neither of us have mentioned it since. With the school holidays in full effect, there are far better movie options out there to spend your time and money on keeping the kids amused.