The new animated film, "Strange Magic" is a hilarious musical fairy tale inspired by "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In this fun movie you will follow the misadventures of goblins, fairies, elves, and imps as they all try to get their hands on a powerful love potion!
A fairy named Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) falls in love with another fairy Roland (Sam Palladio). She is in love with him for all the wrong reasons. Roland cheated on Marianne so she gave up on love. The elf, Sunny (Elijah Kelley) falls in love with Marianne's sister Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull) without the love potion. But Dawn doesn't love Sunny. So Sunny and Roland team up to get the love potion from the Sugar Plum fairy (Kristin Chenoweth) in the Dark Forest. You will love the way they all come together in this film!
Our favorite part was when Marianne came to the house of the Bog King (Alan Cumming). The Bog King brings her to Dawn's prison cell and it was funny. As soon as Marianne and the Bog King open the door, her sister was singing "I love you!" because she was in love with the Bog King because of the love potion.
Our favorite song from the movie is "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti and Spearhead. We were dancing in our seats!
We give this movie 4 1/2 smiles (out of five)
This movie is all about unexpected love and life lessons. The animation was amazing. We kept forgetting it wasn't real. We all recommend you all go see this movie "Strange Magic."
Last Friday we went back to Manhattan to meet with a few of the stars of the movie: Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming and Elijah Kelley. We also met George Lucas, the great director who co-wrote this movie.
How was preparing for the role in "Strange Magic" the same or different than preparing for the role in one of our favorite movies "Spy Kids"?
Alan: That is a very good question. In a way both characters are similar in the beginning. Everyone thinks they are baddies, are scary or have done something wrong and actually it turns out that neither of them are. They are just misunderstood or something has happened to them and made them behave in a way. I think Mr. Floop from "Spy Kids" was good preparation for this because it was the same area of storytelling where you think someone will eventually show a better side to themselves.
How did you like singing songs that were such big hits for other singers?
Evan Rachel: I loved it. It reminded me of a film I did, 'Across the Universe.' We had to sing Beatles songs and there is a level of excitement when you know the song and you get to put your own spin on it. You get to keep it alive and introduce it to a whole new generation of kids and people of all ages.
George, you once said that the sound and music are 50 percent of the entertainment in a movie is that why "Strange Magic" has such a variety of music from so many different decades?
George: Yes, that is exactly true and part of it for a big film is the sound effects and for me I love music and for me this is a little bit more than 50 percent because I just love listening to it.
How do you like the way they made you look as an animated character?
Elijah: I think Mr. Lucas and his team did an amazing job. They captured all the facial expressions, all the screams and all the yells, I think it was an incredible job. I was very happy with the way I looked. I don't even believe it was me sometimes.
We know you like to both sing and dance. What was a better experience or more fun: singing in "Strange Magic" or singing and dancing in "Hairspray"?
Elijah: That's a really really good question. Well, George said it best: When you create something, they are like your babies. It's like your favorite toy -- you really can't choose which one. But any time an actor like myself is able to express his full creative self that is what we live for. I think "Strange Magic" and "Hairspray" are neck and neck. I didn't get to dance in "Strange Magic" but the fact that I am animated kind of makes up for the fact that I didn't get to dance.
What work are you most proud of?
George: The work I am most proud of is raising my kids, I've got three girls and a boy.
Did you like the songs that you sang?
Elijah: I loved the songs that I sing.
Who were the most difficult and easiest actors you have worked with?
George: That's hard because no matter what I say, I am going to be in trouble. I am not going to say who the worst one was because I would probably hurt their feelings, but had a lot of fun working with Harrison Ford and Mark [Hamill] and Carrie,[Fisher] and Ron Howard. Those are the ones that I really had a lot of fun working with.
How is being on Broadway different or the same as being in a movie?
Alan: Well, it is very different. If you are an actor it is the same thing [you have to] pretend. The circumstances of how you do that changes very significantly. On Broadway, I have a routine every night. I have to be there at a certain time. The thing with a film is things are very unpredictable. I think that acting is just acting, you are just playing a different character and you are just pretending to be someone else.