Emily and the Magical Journey Image

Emily and the Magical Adventure thrusts the young Emily (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland) into a fantasy-filled adventure set in the magical world of Faunutland. Meeting the characters inspired by her parent’s book series, Emily teams up with the eccentric fairy Nightinglar (Jenny Lampa) and the gentle bison-like monster Belorac (Robert Tygner, Niklas Hermannson) to find a lost crystal. But with an evil sorceress (Chelsea Edge) threatening the kingdom, it’s up to Emily and her gang of misfits to save the world.

Emily and the Magical Adventure places audiences into a magical realm filled with imagination and evil witches, complete with dark castles and lightning. Emily soon discovers she is the only hope to restore the fallen world, Faunutland. Through colorful characters and some incredible costumes, the film creates a whimsical narrative about love and the wonders of a child’s imagination. It is all very reminiscent of the adventure movies of Chris Columbus.

The careful and practical costuming is utterly fantastic. One look at Belorac and I was incredibly impressed; he honestly looks like something out of The Never-Ending Story or Labyrinth, in the best possible way. The film also features a score that perfectly captures the adventurous spirit the title suggests. Composer Joe Kraemer does an excellent job creating the mood for each frame and adding a luscious atmosphere to the world.

“Emily soon discovers she is the only hope to restore the fallen world Faunutland.”

Emily and the Magical Journey truly is a labor of love for director/writer Marcus Ovnell and actor/writer Jenny Lampa. I really cannot fault their passion for this movie. However, the story can feel very disjointed. I love being thrown into an adventure in a film like this, but I found myself puzzled by several scenes. I completely understand that the motion picture takes place in a magical world, but the audience does need some explanation of the action on-screen and, more than that, why we should care. Emily and the Magical Journey feels like it hurries along to do an unrelated side-quest and then rushes to another side-quest, rather than committing to a central theme or giving us the epic adventure promised in the title.

I love whimsical kids’ adventure films, and I really should have loved this based on everything it promised. Children’s adventure movies are timeless; the genre often leaves me anticipating nostalgic, repeated viewings. But with Emily and the Magical Journey, I could never get past the constant shifting of tasks and focus. The quest to save Faunutland receives no set-up until nearly the third act.

While I loved looking at the spectacular costumes, I could never connect with the characters inside those amazing costumes. With some restructuring and more time to flesh out characters, Emily and the Magical Journey could have been a great watch for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia or the A Wrinkle in Time books. As it stands, the movie showcases more astonishing creature effects than a compelling children’s fantasy narrative.

Emily and the Magical Journey (2020)

Directed: Marcus Ovnell

Written: Jenny Lampa, Marcus Ovnell

Starring: Tipper Seifert-Cleveland, Jenny Lampa, Robert Tygner, Niklas Hermansson, Chelsea Edge, Harriet Slater, Carl Ingemarsson Stjernlof, Kristina Issa, etc.

Movie score: 5.5/10

Emily and the Magical Journey  Image

"…I loved looking at the spectacular costumes..."

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