Spare kids and grownups alike this preachy fantasy that's good for their souls! Baldly ripping off The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, MAGIC IN THE MIRROR deals with a looking glass that opens onto another world. That world is rife with second-rate optimism, third-rate actors, and
fourth-rate art direction.
The plot revolves around inquisitive misfit Mary Margaret "Daisy" (Jamie Renee Smith), who is constantly irking her perfectionist mother, Sylvia (Saxon Trainor), with her typical-kid behavior. Descended from a line of botanists, Mary Margaret prizes an intricately carved full-length mirror,
bequeathed to her by her grandmother, and an heirloom book containing plants and berries with magical properties.
After a dinner party at which Sylvia subtly disparages Mary Margaret's dad, the little girl is primed for a wondrous, unexpected journey through her looking glass to a parallel dimension. At the portals to this strange, new world, she causes pandemonium for two mirror guardians, Tansy (Kevin
Wixted) and Mellilot (Godfrey James), and tries to figure out a way back home. Meanwhile, Dragora (Eileen T'Kaye), the Queen of Ducks who is notorious for turning humans into aromatic teas, wants the "entrance berries" Mary Margaret has taken with her from home. Wriggling out of Dragora's grasp
several times with the help of Pixies Bella (Ilana Sandulescu) and Donna (Daniela Marzavan), the human child reaches the court of true Queen Hyssop (Saxon Trainor).
The queen informs Mary Margaret that the lives of unwatchful scouts Tansy and Mellilot will be spared only if the little girl thwarts Dragora's search for the berries. Downplaying her scientific, pragmatic side, Sylvia bravely takes an intra-mirror trip to rescue her daughter. Thanks to mother
love and Mary Margaret's pluck, the Earth and Mirror kingdoms are safeguarded from invasion hereafter.
Stridently overplayed as if viewers had need of ear trumpets, this whimsy sports a straight-from-a-costume-shop appearance and a literal-minded approach to fantasy. Though one can appreciate the neatness of plot payoffs, such as having Mary Margaret's invisible pals on Earth turn out to be
real-live Pixies in the reflecting world, most of MAGIC IN THE MIRROR isn't so clever and can be Windexed away quickly. The script explores the dark fabric of mother-daughter hostility with all the finesse of a shrink solving emotional problems with lobotomies. And what is one to make of a
subplot about trapping little girls in tea bags and steeping them into beverages? What the movie itself boils down to is a makeshift parenting guide filtered through a cavalcade of kiddie-literature borrowings. (Violence.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: G
- Review: Spare kids and grownups alike this preachy fantasy that's good for their souls! Baldly ripping off The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, MAGIC IN THE MIRROR deals with a looking glass that opens onto another world. That world is rife with second-rate o… (more)