|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||The House of Magic|
|Genre:||Animation, Children's film|
|Direction:||Ben Stassen, Jérémie Degruson|
|Production country:||Belgien 2013|
|Running time:||Approx. 85 min.|
|Rated:||From 0 years|
Actually, little cat Thunder (voiced by Matthias Schweighöfer) was so looking forward to a nice outing. That this ends with him being abandoned by his owner, the house cat did not suspect. In search of a new home, Thunder ends up in an old mansion, from which he is immediately kicked out by the grumpy rabbit Jack and the mouse Maggie (Karoline Herfurth). But Thunder doesn't give up, eventually a storm comes up and he desperately needs a roof over his head. When the owner of the villa, the amiable magician Lawrence (Dieter Hallervorden) discovers him, the old man takes the little cat in with open arms - much to the chagrin of Jack and Maggie. Thunder believes he has found the perfect home here. But when Lawrence has to go to the hospital after an accident, this dream seems to be over. Because not only do Jack and Maggie try everything to evict the unloved roommate. To make matters worse, Daniel, Lawrence's nephew, is trying to sell the old house and put his uncle in a nursing home. And there's no way that's going to happen.
The Magic House is another child-friendly 3D animated film from Belgian Ben Stassen, following the two adventures of the lovable turtle Sammy. As with his previous films, this one is again absolutely visually accomplished. There are countless great 3D effects and some very charming characters that have been very adorably realized. But also The Magic House can only convince dramaturgically to a limited extent. Once again, Stassen has hardly incorporated any of his own ideas into the script, but has very obviously made use of other works. It's certainly no coincidence that Thunder is strongly reminiscent of Puss in Boots from the Shrek films, and not just because of the color of his fur in some scenes. And the similarities between the light bulb man Edison and Helferlein from Daniel Düsentrieb can't be denied either. Memories of Toy Story also come to mind for some of the magical house's inhabitants.
Such similarities would weigh far less heavily had Stassen and his co-writers pulled a slightly more original story out of the hat. That many children might not care if the story is arguably predictable, the characters walking clichés and many of the gags old chestnuts should not really be an excuse for such unimaginativeness. There are too many examples of children's films for that, where the makers really made an effort to let their creativity run free. Unfortunately, there is basically little of that in Stassen's films and The Magic House is no exception.
On the other hand, what works much better than it did in Sammy's Adventure 2 is the timing. The story has plenty of pace and very few hangs. And most of the gags are delivered in a way that really makes them pop. As a result, some of the weaknesses are well glossed over, and the entertainment value is clearly pushed up a notch. That doesn't make this turbulent adventure a masterpiece by any means. But The Magic House offers exciting, funny and endearing entertainment for children between 5 and 9 years. And for this there is, with small deductions, a clear: Worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp