Thunder, an abandoned cat seeks shelter from a rain storm and inadvertently stumbles into a scary looking house. It’s owned by a kindly old magician and inhabited by a strange and magical array of characters who all come to life. But the magician’s nephew is keen to sell the big house and move the magician into a retirement home. Can Thunder and his new group of friends save the day?
The House of Magic is a fun family adventure aimed more at the little ones than bigger kids. It approaches the 3D by making everything pop onscreen. This certainly entertains and there are plenty of awe-inspiring moments that will keep smaller kids engaged and in full wonder.
A lot of the film is shot from the perspective of Thunder the cat, and this gives plenty of opportunity to have some fun with the first-person (or should that be cat) perspective. A particular highlight is Thunder running along the branches of a big tree outside the house, which makes you feel like you are right there with him. The house itself is also very impressive and looks suitably scary and classically decrepit when needed.
The animation is cartoony but rendered with love, and the characters all help make this story fun and involving. The vocal cast is strong too with the likes of Murray Blue, Doug Stone, George Babbit and Shanelle Gray all contributing to the mix.
With 3D fully engaging its young audience, there’s a lot to like here. The House of Magic may not re-invent the wheel or do anything particularly ground-breaking, but it does have a sweet, engaging story, decent effects and it gives audiences of all ages plenty of laughs to boot.