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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Promotional poster
Directed by Zach Helm
Produced by Richard N. Gladstein
James Garavente
Written by Zach Helm
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Natalie Portman
Jason Bateman
Zach Mills
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Aaron Zigman
Cinematography Roman Osin
Editing by Sabrina Pilsco
Studio Mandate Pictures
Walden Media
Distributed by 20th Century Fox (USA)
Icon Film Distribution (UK)
Release date(s) November 16, 2007 (US)
December 28, 2007 (UK)
Running time 94 minutes
Country United States

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a 2007 children's film written and directed by Zach Helm.



Eccentric, 243-year-old Mr. Edward Magorium (Dustin Hoffman) owns and manages a magical toy shop. The shop has many quirks, including animated toys, a ledger that can bring to the purchase counter any toy on command in alphabetical order known as the Big Book, and a doorknob that, when rotated, changes the interior of a magic room to four different options known as the door of rooms. Both the building and the toys change their appearance and behavior according to the shifting strong emotions of the shop itself. Besides Mr. Magorium, the shop's employees include his assistant Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman), a pianist and aspiring composer; and his biographer Bellini, a strongman who lives in the shop's basement and sleeps with a doll. The only regular customer is a lonely young boy named Eric (Zach Mills), who has a habit of befriending squirrels; Mahoney is apparently his only human friend, and he is cherished in a paternal fashion by Mr. Magorium.

Mr. Magorium suddenly announces that although he is not ill, he intends to "leave" — that is, to die — and to leave the shop to Mahoney. In preparation for his departure, he hires accountant (which is a cross between a counter and a mutant) Henry Weston (Jason Bateman), who is nicknamed "Mutant" because of his job, to organize the shop's paperwork. Among the records are numerous neglected financial difficulties, long ignored by Mr. Magorium, and records of transactions with historical figures such as Thomas Edison. Weston's dedication to his work makes him unpopular with the children who visit the shop, including Eric, and Mahoney dislikes him for his skepticism towards the shop's magical powers.

In response to its founder's decision to leave, the shop throws a tantrum, frightening away customers of all ages. (Some are still in trouble.) Worried about Mr. Magorium's plans, Mahoney rushes him to the hospital, where she convinces doctors that Mr. Magorium's professed belief in magic is a result of delusions due to his poor health and imminent death. He remains in the hospital overnight, surrounded by a backdrop of stars organized by Eric, and released the next day since there is nothing physically wrong with him. Meanwhile, Eric befriends Henry Weston and introduces him to Eric's extensive hat collection, which the two play with until discovered by Eric's mother.

Mahoney attempts to prevent Mr. Magorium's departure by showing him the joys of life, but his mind is unchanged and he dies peacefully following a heartfelt conversation with her, ending his life by sending a letter to Molly and launching a paper aeroplane, trapping himself in a coffin with an endless inside where it appears to simply trap him in an ordinary coffin. Many children and adults including his pet zebra Mortimer attend his funeral. The store reacts to Mr. Magorium's death by darkening itself and refusing to show its magic.

Believing herself to be unworthy of owning the toy store, Mahoney puts it up for sale. Eric attempts to convince Henry to buy the shop with him; Henry refuses, but visits Mahoney to persuade her against selling the store. As they talk, Mahoney is holding a wooden cube (a "Congreve cube") that Mr. Magorium had previously given her, along with the task of finding a use for it. When Mahoney finally confesses her faith in the store and its magic, the block suddenly springs to life, flying around the store. Henry faints with shock; when he awakes, Mahoney tells him it was just a dream and that she’s still intending to sell the shop.

Henry tells Mahoney that the store's magic comes from her and that she only needs to believe in herself. Suddenly, Mahoney hears a tune, and begins playing along with it on an imaginary piano; as she does so, the shop and its magic are revived. Mahoney and the toys dance together in colorful celebration while Henry finally allows the store's magic to embrace him as part of the staff.



Major characters

  • Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Edward Magorium, a toy impresario, a wonder aficionado, and an avid shoe wearer. He is the very eldest guy that everybody really loves and the only one to live in above two centuries. He manages to calm the shop down by touching the wall and suggesting it to take a deep breath and let it go even when it can't stand his departure. To make things worse, this shop turns negative when he chooses to leave it to Molly who disagrees. He lives in his own house and has a pet zebra named Mortimer with him. He has a imense magical power, at point to warp the reality at will, even at point to decide when he will die. Before he leaves, he gives to Molly his store and magical powers.
  • Natalie Portman as Molly Mahoney, Store Manager and Owner. She tries to practice different songs on the piano when at home. Resulting from the shop's immature behavior, she opens the Big Book to turn the "L" page and the lemur jumps off of the book and onto the boy's head as part of the customers' trouble. She states that she doesn't want to run the store after Mr. Magorium decides to leave. After the Magorium dies, she faints in sad and depression, almost selling the store, until she realizes that she earns that she can use the Magorium's magic by simply believing it.
  • Jason Bateman as Henry "Mutant" Weston, the Accountant. When he and Mahoney are outside the store, he states that the store is just an ordinary store, but it really hurts the shop's feelings causing it to be a crybaby. Who thinks that he made it upset? He is quitenly against the existence of magic (mostly because he does not play attation in the supernatural events that happens in the store), but in final, he ironically saves the store by making Molly realizing that she has magical powers, after seeing the animated block of wood.
  • Zach Mills as Eric Applebaum, the Hat Collector. He manages to build a figure of 16th American president Abraham Lincoln out of Lincoln Logs when he wears a green sombrero. When the shop is nearly negative, he tips over the metallic slinkies and one is very cowardly. He also narrates the beginning and the end and introduces the chapters.
  • Ted Ludzik as Bellini, the Bookbuilder Born in the Basement. This man always works on writing Magorium's biographies.
  • Rebecca Northan as Ellie Applebaum, Eric's mother. She always stays in Eric's house.

Other children

  • Madalena Brancatella as Jessica, a girl who's got a cowboy hat. She is quite deemed a cowgirl when she wears this hat.
  • Samantha Harvey as Cassie, a blond girl chased by a white goose. This girl is very capable at playing a game called "Duck, Duck, Goose" even with one animal.
  • Jesse Bostick as Derek, a boy who opens the door. He turns the knob by changing Mr. Magorium's house into a room of balls and he says, "No, seriously, watch." This phrase is also the second chapter title of the story.
  • Isaac Durnford as Jason, a curious boy. When this boy enters a room full of balls, he opens the curtains to reveal a gigantic red dodgeball with a letter "M" on it and touches it to make it roll. Then he gets squeezed as the door closes.
  • Daniel J. Gordon as Jimmy, a boy who catches the ball. Some people know how it happened after he enters the room of balls.
  • Mary Gibbs as Kristie, a girl who wants to get a stuffed toy helped by Mr. Magorium. Some people don't know what kind of stuffed toy she gets. It's blue as you have seen it.
  • Dash Grundy as Ari, a redheaded boy who wants a book that's called Curious George Goes to the Hospital. Just when the shop fusses and Bellini delivers this book, Ari tells Mr. Magorium the bad news about it and allows him to open it and the pages are revealed to look wrong.
  • Dylan Authors as Mark, a boy who likes fingerpainting. Just when the shop fusses, he stops fingerpainting and warns Mr. Magorium that the pictures in paint have turned grayscale when he and some other kids were fingerpainting as a result from the shop's crybaby behavior.
  • Parker Goris as Nick, a brown-haired boy with a lemur on his head. He is one of the customers who are in trouble because of the shop's negative attitude.
  • Lydia Lawson-Baird as Lorena, a brown-haired girl covered in blue-green slime. She is one of the customers who are in trouble and is deemed a slimy girl by Eric Applebaum, although, the credits didn't say that she played this role.

Other adults

  • Paula Boudreau as Brenda, a woman who wants a mobile. She's not sure which mobile to choose if it's fishy in a different way.
  • Mike Realba as Dave Wolf, a Filipino American man who says that he's engineer. As a shopper in the store, he first meets Molly Mahoney and sees that the bouncy balls shouldn't be in his bag, so she commands them to get out. And then he pays the cash and leaves with the stuff he's bought with him.
  • Marcia Bennett as Lora, a woman who wants a toy fire engine for his grandson's birthday. As she encounters Molly Mahoney mentioning her grandson, she opens the Big Book to turn the "F" page and the toy fire engine pops out miraculously. You'll see if she buys it.
  • Aidan Koper as Brett, a man tied in the strings of the yo-yos. He is one of the customers who are in trouble within the result of the shop's fussing.
  • Quancetia Hamilton as Gia, an African American woman with a squid on her head. She is one of the customers who are in trouble as she opens a book that tells about the sea. As a result from the shop's crybaby behavior, Gia is shown to have a soggy face.


Filming started in late March 2006 and continued to June 6, 2006 in Toronto.

The movie was produced by FilmColony's Richard N. Gladstein and Gang of Two's James Garavente and financed by Walden Media.

According to an interview with Zach Helm on Regis and Kelly, the name of the shop’s proprietor was derived from Zach's cousin, New Jersey native Allen Magory. The phraseology "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" was commonly employed as a jest between Helm and Magory as kids, long before the writing of any screenplay.

A cameo as “just a shopper” in the emporium marked the first major theatrical appearance of Kermit the Frog since 1999's Muppets from Space.


Box office

It made nearly 70 million at the world wide box office, here is a link


The premiere of Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium, attended by Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman, also doubled as a fundraising event with tickets having been made available to the public. Funds raised at the event were donated to the Barnardo's children's charity and other UK-based charities. The film was released in the United States and Canada on November 16, 2007 and grossed $9.6 million in 3,164 theaters its opening weekend, ranking #5 at the box office.[1] It went on to gross $32.1 million in the U.S. and a further $35.4 million in the rest of the world which gives the film a total of box office return of $67.5 million.

Critical reception

The film received negative to mixed reviews from critics. As of July 12, 2008 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 36% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 119 reviews, with the consensus among negative critics that "colorful visuals and talented players can't make up for a bland story."[2] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 48 out of 100, based on 26 reviews.[3] Peter Travers (of Rolling Stone) declared the film the year's Worst Family Film on his list of the Worst Movies of 2007.[4] However, in recognition of the fact that it was "aimed directly at very young children" (along with the fact that the movie teaches children death), William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer observed its "unforced and exceedingly gentle humor, its imaginative but never-quite-excessive production design and its ingratiating and surprisingly detailed performances -- especially by Portman and Bateman -- gradually break down one's cynical defenses".[5] Roger Ebert described it as “a charming enough little movie, and probably the younger you are, the more charming”.[6]

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on March 4, 2008.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a 2007 film about a magical toy store, it's 243 year old owner and the people who work there.

Directed by Zach Helm.
You have to believe it to see it. (taglines)


Mr Magorium

  • Mr. Magorium, toy impresario, wonder afficianado and avid shoe wearer.
  • I fell so completely in love with these shoes, I bought enough pairs to last my whole lifetime. This is my last pair.
  • Your life is an occasion. Rise to it.
  • Most of these are important papers...and some of them might be doodles I never had framed...I can't tell the difference in them.
  • Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools.

Eric Applebaum

  • All stories, even the ones we love, must eventually come to an end and when they do, it's only an opportunity for another story to begin.


  • Henry Weston: You know, some people... send flowers, or cards, or... give people hugs. I... make sure their paper work's all in order.


Molly Mahoney: I knew it. As soon as I saw that suit.
Henry Weston: Knew what?
Molly Mahoney: You're a 'just' guy.
Henry Weston: What's a 'just' guy?
Molly Mahoney: A guy just like you. Same hair, same suit, same shoes, walks around, no matter what, you think it's all just a store, it's just a bench, it's just a tree. It's just what it is, nothing more!
Henry Weston: Alright but this
[Looks over his shoulder]
Henry Weston: is just a toy store.
Molly Mahoney: I'm sure to you... it is.

Mr. Magorium: [to Molly, about dying] When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He's written "He dies." That's all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is "He dies." It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with "He dies." And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria. And I know it's only natural to be sad, but not because of the words "He dies." but because of the life we saw prior to the words.

[pause, walks over to Molly]

Mr. Magorium: I've lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I'm only asking that you turn the page, continue reading... and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest "He died."
Molly Mahoney: [starting to sob] I love you.
Mr. Magorium: I love you, too.

[picks Molly up, sighs heavily]

Mr. Magorium: Your life is an occasion. Rise to it

Mr. Magorium: Name the Fibonacci series from its eleventh to its sixteenth.
Henry Weston: Umm... 89, 144, 233, 377, 610?
Mr. Magorium: Perfect. Number four, do we really need it?
Henry Weston: If you like squares - you do.
Mr. Magorium: Oh, I like squares. Good. Now, the hot dog, the hot dog/bun ratio, why for the love of mustard are there never enough buns?
Henry Weston: Extra hot dogs...
Mr. Magorium: Yes, but why?
Henry Weston: In case you drop a couple.
Mr. Magorium: What kind of insufferable fool drops a hot dog?
Henry Weston: Anything can happen, sir.
Mr. Magorium: Anything can happen. How absolutely true. You're exactly the mutant I'm looking for! You're hired.

Molly Mahoney: You're here?
Henry Weston: Apparently.
Molly Mahoney: But not actually?

Mr. Magorium: 37 seconds.
Molly Mahoney: Great. Well done. Now we wait.
Mr. Magorium: No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime.


  • You have to believe it to see it.
  • If you don't believe . . . You will.


External links


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