The Magic Kids Movie Review (In Detail)

Spoilers Alert:

A vampire who can’t see blood, a werewolf with an allergy to animal hair and an elf with a fear of heights – this charming premise makes it within the scope of the first The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes Film adaptation is now on the big screen and presents itself as a charming, albeit surprisingly dark fantasy adventure for slightly older children.

Vlad and his father Barnabas (Rick Kavanian) recently moved to Crailsfelden.

The plot summary

Vlad (Aaron Kissiov) and his father Barnabas (Rick Kavanian) move to the mysterious Crailsfelden, whose local magic boarding school – the Penner Academy – the young vampire is supposed to attend. Once there, he quickly becomes friends with the young werewolf Wolf (Arsseni Bultmann) and the shy elf Faye (Johanna Schraml), because the three feel like outsiders due to certain restrictions. As a vampire, Vlad cannot see blood, Wolf has an allergy to animal hair and Faye doesn’t dare to fly despite having fairy wings because she suffers from a fear of heights. But that’s not all: something sinister is happening in Crailsfelden when magic spells suddenly go out of control and Barnabas is forced by the clever witch Mrs. Circemeier (Sonja Gerhardt) to hand over a family-owned diamond to her in order to pay off his debts . Together with the friendly caretaker Hannappel (Axel Stein), the “Wolf Gang” takes on Mrs. Circemeyer and the mayor Louis Zahl (Christian Berkel), who is also up to something dark, in order to protect Crailsfelden and all its residents…

The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes Review

In 2007, writer Wolfgang Hohlbein (“The Black Eye”) published his first novel in the “The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” saga. The children’s and youth series has grown to five books in just under two years, of which volumes two to five were no longer written by Hohlbein himself, but by his daughter Rebecca and fellow writer Dieter Winkler. Now the experienced children’s film director Tim Trageser (“Help, I Shrunk My Parents”) has taken on the “Harry Potter”-like premise about an enchanted boarding school where all kinds of magical creatures learn and in whose world mythical creatures and monsters are completely normal, albeit distant live in the normal human world. The comparison with JK Rowling’s world-famous Sorcerer’s Apprentice makes sense not only in terms of content but also in terms of staging. With the help of successful CGI effects, Tim Trageser creates his very own cinematic cosmos, which may sometimes be too dark for very small viewers. And the story, which screenwriter Marc Hillefeld (“Alarm for Cobra 11”) ends with a self-confident cliffhanger, is also quite complex here and there for the young target group.

Faye (Johanna Schraml), Vlad (Aaron Kissiov) and Wolf (Arsseni Bultmann) try to get to the bottom of the mystery.

For a youth fantasy film from Germany, for which those involved usually have a significantly lower budget than large Hollywood productions, “The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” looks remarkably good. On the one hand, this is due to the detailed scenery that brings the Penner Academy and the fictional town of Crailsfelden to life, but on the other hand, it is due to the well-dosed computer effects, which are only used when the corresponding image simply cannot be seen in a haptic way can be constructed. This makes “The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” charming, especially because of the smaller side notes; For example, when the caretaker leaves the work to his living broom or when Vlad and Faye have to jump over a huge gap in the rock that is lined with invisible platforms in search of the solution to the puzzle. Unlike many comparable youth fantasy films, “The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” is not a strenuous effects spectacle, but rather focuses primarily on other things.

This primarily includes the interaction of the characters. The film is carried by the three newcomers Aaron Kissiov, Arsseni Bultmann and Johanna Schraml, who are able to empathize with their strange characters with remarkable authenticity even at such a young age. Sometimes this even works a little too well when the young wolf holds out his backside to a real wolf so that he can sniff it first. A rather strange scene, although the content is consistent. The chemistry between the three actors is excellent and is characterized by a pleasantly dry sense of humor coupled with a constantly shining sense of adventure. The supporting roles include Rick Kavanian (“Bullyparade – The Film”) , Sonja Gerhardt (“Cold Feet”) and Axel Stein (“The Goldfish”) . They enrich “The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” with no less passionate performances that make the film worth seeing even for an adult audience. Above all, it should be easier for this person to understand the overall narrative structure, which is made up of so many different narrative threads that the little ones might be overwhelmed. This and the sometimes very frightening-looking monsters and villains, which is why we recommend the film for ages 8 and up.

Conclusion: “The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” is a lavishly produced youth fantasy film with convincing young and tried-and-tested actors who impress in this complex fairytale world. Unfortunately, due to the cliffhanger at the end, the finale is less satisfying than it could be.

“The Magic Kids – Three Unlikely Heroes” can be seen in USA cinemas from January 23rd.

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