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Strange Magic | 2015 | PG | - 3.3.2

A bride-turned-warrior fairy princess (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) sets out to rescue her sister and the Sugar Plum Fairy (voiced by Kristin Chenoweth) from the Dark Forest. She suffers obstacles from her own father (Alfred Molina), a selfish prince (Sam Palladio), lizards and the Bog King (Alan Cumming). Also with Maya Rudolph, Elijah Kelley and Meredith Anne Bull. Directed by Gary Rydstrom. [1:39]

SEX/NUDITY 3 - On her wedding day a fairy princess sees her fiancé embrace and kiss another female fairy passionately; we hear that the male wants only an army from the King and not the princess herself and she cries, flies away to her room and she cries and sings, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." A prince falls in love with an insect creature and kisses its mouth under huge fly eyes, hacking and saying, "I think I got your antenna."
 One female fairy shows slight cleavage at her V-neckline dress. A female fairy wears a sparkly gown that clings to her mature figure, revealing clear outlines of breasts and the outlines of buttocks.
 A fairy king gasps and faints when he sees his young daughter kissing an elf. A fairy king covers his face when he sees his older daughter kissing an insect king and he covers his face again when he sees a prince kiss a roly-poly fly on the lips. An insect king and a fairy sing loves songs to each other saying "I love you," and kiss while flying in a circle.
 A lizard under a love potion's influence licks an elf's face and smiles; a shrew hugs a mushroom, a mouse hugs an insect, and an insect kisses a rodent on the lips briefly. A woman fairy under the influence of a potion sits in an insect king's lap and sings love songs, gives him a flower, and calls him Boggy Woggy Kingy Wingy and Boggy Bear several times.
 A small elf falls in love with a princess. Two small goblins who work together flirt, talking about cologne, perfume and aftershave; one has a male voice and asks the other if it might be female and she asks if it is not obvious that she is (it is not obvious). A fairy prince twirls his curls in his fingers and female fairies sigh. A king's mother, a matchmaker, presents three insects to the king for dates: an ant that sashays up to the lens and snaps her jaws, a beetle that offers the king flowers, and a short goblin that looks like his mother; the king rejects them all and his mother brings another female, a roly-poly fly sort of creature that cries at the king's rejection and trudges away. The face of an insect king lights up in a glow and smile as he sees a female fairy that he befriended. A fairy prince says a goblin is naked and it covers itself up with elm leaves, but it has no secondary sex characteristics.
 A fairy princess becomes infatuated with every male fairy she meets and tells her sister that she cannot help thinking about boys; she waves to males and smiles as they wave back. When a love potion drains from a princess' eyes, she falls in love with an elf as they embrace and then hold hands. A princess says that she has a crush on a particular male fairy. A love potion makes a princess fall in love with an insect king and she sings "Sugar Pie Honey Bunch" to him incessantly. A fairy shouts at a fairy prince, her ex-fiancé, "You cheated on me, remember?" and he replies, "She [another fairy] was no permanent thing," and then he grins conceitedly. A prince says to an elf in front of a crowd, "You love a princess, winky, winky" (he winks, suggesting some sort of attraction and the elf admits love). An elf and a fairy prince argue about which one needs a love potion more. A female fairy says that a fairy prince is too good looking.
 In a flashback in a magic globe, we see that an insect king's girlfriend screamed in horror at him, even under the influence of a love potion, because she was in love with someone else; he is embarrassed, but later regrets frightening her and using the potion. The Sugar Plum Fairy makes a love potion from primrose petals and an imp spreads it across many creatures, which feel unreasonably strong love and infatuation for the first creature each meets.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A very dark wooded area borders a fairy kingdom and on the dark side, we see several close-ups of centipedes, beetles, roly-poly bugs, large spiders, snails, lizards, frogs, toads, skinny rats, mice, goblins and spider webs; on the other side, we see fairies with butterfly wings and ladybugs. Goblins are of all sizes and all have sharp, dirty teeth and big mouths, smooth or scaly reptilian skin and big eyes and some have their tongues hanging out consistently; one female goblin has a fat, gelatinous face, hairy legs and feet. An insect king is tall, with reddish wasp wings that have a few worn holes in them, scaly reddish-gray skin and a pointy chin under dirty, crooked teeth and piercing blue eyes; he carries a long scepter with a big claw on one end and three extreme close-ups of his face show an angry expression as he roars and frowns. Throughout the film, we see shadows of large toothy monsters on walls, but they turn out to be small creatures. A close-up of two goblin faces staring at each other shows glowing eyes, warty skin and big, sharp teeth.
 A prince demands two princesses from the captivity of an insect king, who will not give one of them up, one princess and the king draw swords on the prince, who gives up the short fight, an elf releases caged creatures and the prince's army charges and the insect king's mother groans, "I wanted a wedding and now I'm getting a funeral" (no one dies) as the princess punches the prince into a falling rock and the insect king calls loudly for her; creatures scream and run as the castle begins to collapse, the king holds up the rat-skull entrance so the princesses can escape and it collapses (they think he is dead); the castle mountain collapses completely and several creatures cry until the insect king flies up from the rubble, holding his arm and calling out, "Ow, ow, ow!" (he recovers quickly) and a princess punches the prince off a cliff (he is unharmed).
 A female fairy and a male fairy swing swords at each other in three scenes, twirling and scuffling and she kicks him once and he grimaces; in another scene, she punches him in the jaw, sending him over a cliff, but we see him unharmed later. A female fairy fights with an insect king in two scenes and punches him hard in the jaw in one conflict; his head snaps around toward the camera with the impact and he rubs his jaw. A fairy and an insect king duel with a lance and a sword, inuring no one, but smacking weapons together loudly and twirling; a large rock falls on two goblins watching the duel (they are unhurt) and the duelists tire and the king says, "Go ahead. Kill me, but you won't get your sister."
 An elf chokes and gags loudly on dandelion fluff in the air as a lizard attacks him and a fairy princess shouts for help; another fairy princess swings in on a vine, slams a rock onto the lizard, slams a plant branch into its face by pulling back and releasing the branch, then rides its back, pointing it away from the elf, and then jumps down and roars at the lizard, which stop short and runs away, whining.
 Goblins knock down musicians on a stage at a party and take over the music as their king sings, "I'm evil, so don't mess around with me" and "I've been abused; I've been mistreated"; he sticks a sword into the stage and the goblins steal a princess by putting her into a sack and flying away with her to their castle where a goblin says, "I'm going to pull her wings off" and the king shouts, "No eating!" Venus flytraps unsuccessfully snap at a princess in a forest; goblins jump out at her, she hits one on the head with her sword, but he is OK and the goblins take her to the insect king's castle.
 At a palace dance, a fairy princess rejects a prince's attempts to reconcile with her and she sings loudly and backs him up aggressively; he falls to his knees twice, grinning to his men behind him, but looking sad to the princess, who sings louder while he and his men all make a gesture of hanging themselves by ropes in remorse, but the princess is not impressed and she sings louder, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"; he falls and hits his head on the stone wall of a fountain, has double vision that we see through his eyes and comes to until she backs him up to the castle door, shoves him out, and slams it on him; he slams his fist into the door and his men scatter (on the other side of the door, her last note is very loud and we see the inside of her mouth and throat, including the uvula vibrating) as the door opens and knocks the prince down, but he is unharmed and he pretends to cry about the princess, then slaps an elf in friendly fashion, sending the elf falling down stone steps, but uninjured.
 An insect king's mother stages a Valentine's Day-like banquet for her son and a fairy princess, but they look horrified and tear it up; they go for a walk in the woods and he helps her through a line of Venus flytraps and thorns; when a prince and an army appear, the insect yells at the fairy woman, "You played me!" and flies away alone; the fairy falls into a web and sticks, but frees herself.
 A fairy escapes from an orb and an insect king chases and recaptures her after her love potion is stolen by a possum-imp, who spreads it over the creatures of the forest; the king cages all of the creatures, because they have fallen in love with different species, like mushroom and shrew, insect and toad, and they will not stop hugging one another; the king roars loudly, shakes the orb containing the fairy and she groans loudly.
 Two elves in a forest attempt to rope a possum-imp, but fail; a lizard sucks the imp into its mouth and the elves say they will wait at the lizard's other end (the lizard will defecate the imp out); the imp pushes a flask of love potion out of the lizard's mouth to the elves and the lizard spits out the imp (no spittle shows).
 A princess swings her sword at two goblins and flies away to rescue her sister; the fairy king gives a prince an army to follow the princess. A lizard shakes the ground loudly as it walks and a mushroom shouts for help as two goblins fly away with it in their claws.
 A fairy princess has sparring practice with sticks in once scene and with a sword in another scene, where she also wears a blindfold; she says that love shatters your heart and swears vengeance on a shallow prince (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details).
 In a dark forest, a gray claw reaches for an elf, but cannot grasp him and the scene ends. Three large bats swoop across the screen as goblins enter a mountain castle through a door made of a large rat-like skull with huge sharp teeth. An elf yelps at a shadow that turns out to be a tiny sharp-toothed opossum-imp laughing at him; the imp falls backwards out of a hollow log into mists and is unharmed.
 Several whispering mushrooms pass messages to a goblin to deliver to an insect king; the message is always wrong, so the king pulls up a mushroom and forces it to talk in a louder whisper. A goblin king threatens to pull a fairy princess' wings off and she smiles. An insect king says that love is dangerous and will destroy you. An elf screams as he falls down a hole into goblin tunnels and caves and the king tells a goblin in another chamber, "If you see him (elf), kill him."
 A fairy sings a love song in the distance and many goblins cover their ears; one goblin yells, "Quiet" to no avail.
 A magic glowing orb in a spider's web contains Sugar Plum Fairy and she shape shifts into five other creatures and returns to herself to make a love potion from a primrose petal (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the orb fills with colorful mists and flashing lights as music plays and she kisses the finished product in a glass flask. A prince sends an elf to obtain some love potion from Sugar Plum, but the imp steals it and spreads it around.
 Two fairies make the "raspberry" sound with their mouths and it sounds like flatulence, as does a toy ball on which a fairy steps.
 A fairy prince looks at an insect king and a fairy princess who are disagreeing, gags, puffs his cheeks out and presses two fingers to his lips as if he might vomit, but does not do so; he says, "Wait. Are you two having a lover's spat? Then he rolls his eyes and says that the king is a scaly-backed cockroach.


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LANGUAGE 2 - Exclamations (son of a ..., Thank goodness!), 1 rude gesture (a creature thumbs its nose at the camera at the end of the film), name-calling (shallow, beast, chattering pig, flirtatious, odious, ridiculous, scaly-backed cockroach, tough girl, clever girl, ugliest, little thing, crazy, crazy-creature, fools), stereotypical references to men, women, sisters, parents, royalty, idealists, gold diggers, rejected lovers, attractive people, matchmakers, little people, people affected by love potions, bigots, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Indians, the Scottish.


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SUBSTANCE USE - The Sugar Plum Fairy makes a love potion from primrose petals and an imp spreads it across many creatures, a prince sends an elf to obtain some love potion but the imp steals it and spreads it around.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Love, marriage, fidelity, relationships, honesty, rejected lovers, heartbreak, anger, revenge, gender confusion, prejudice, diversity, equality.

MESSAGE - Love and beauty can be found in unexpected places.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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