Australian Council on Children and the Media

House of Magic, The

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Short takes

Parent guidance recommended under 6 (Some scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for House of Magic, The
  • a review of House of Magic, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 22 September 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes
Children 6 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: House of Magic, The
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scary scenes
Length 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The House of Magic is an animated film that follows the story of Thunder (voice of Murray Blue), a young abandoned cat who seeks shelter in the home of an old and retired magician Lawrence (Doug Stone). After escaping the storm, Thunder realises that the house he has arrived in is full of the strangest automatons and toys imaginable. Despite Thunder’s inquisitive and compassionate nature, not all the members of the house are welcoming – Maggie the Mouse and Jack the Rabbit both attempt to evict Thunder through any means possible.  

When Lawrence becomes ill and has to go to hospital, his nephew grabs the opportunity to sell the house. Determined to do the right thing by the man who offered him a home, Thunder enlists the help of the other animals and toys within the mansion in an effort to protect Lawrence’s house. The group eventually succeeds, turning the mansion into a haunted house with Thunder as their secret weapon. This scares people away and ruins the potential of a sale.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Friendship; magic; belonging and a sense of home

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is mild violence in the film, including:

  • Thunder is chased by various characters within the film, nearly being killed by both animals and humans. The magician’s nephew, who is allergic to cats and becomes sick whenever he is near Thunder, attempts to catch Thunder and eventually tries to kill him with a gun.
  • Comical animated violence is presented between animals and humans – minor injuries result, but no graphic wounds are displayed.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Young children may be scare by the violence described above, some of the characters, and the scenes where humans are scared by the toys and animals

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Younger children in this age group may be scared by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

While on a tour of the house, a man emerges from the wine cellar with an expensive bottle of 1939 wine that he then accidentally drops on the floor.

Coarse language

There is some very mild coarse language that children might imitate, including:

  • multiple uses of the word ‘damn’, as well as some mild name-calling such as the word ‘losers’

In a nutshell

The House of Magic is an enjoyable and heart-warming tale that follows Thunder’s journey towards becoming a member of a small and unique household. Initially an abandoned cat without a home, Thunder finds strength in the friendship he makes with Lawrence, as well as with the animals and toys living in the mansion. The film highlights the strengths that individuals have when working collaboratively. It also shows the benefits of inter-generational friendships, and shows that positive lessons can be learned from both younger and older individuals. The film is also a celebration of magic and the entertainment to be found in magic tricks.

The film should be enjoyed by children of all ages, although those under 6 may find some of the scenes scary, so parental guidance is recommended for this age group.

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