This is the story about a magical toy store. Dustin Hoffman plays the lead character of Mr. Magorium. He owns a toy store in Manhattan called the Wonder Emporium, where are the toys are alive and do wonderful things. His store manager is Molly Mahoney (played by Natalie Portman). She is having a bit of a life crisis because when she was a child they predicted she would become a famous classical pianist and composer, but she has not done much with her life as she became an adult. She has been trying for years to finish the composition of a single musical piece and is stuck. She thinks what she needs is to find a new job. She has worked at the toy store for many years and she thinks it is time to move on. She tries to tell Mr. Magorium about her feelings, but to her surprise he tells her he intends to leave the store to her when he departs. And he is planning his departure soon. This comes as a shock to her because she knows he is over 270 years old and she assumed he would live forever.
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A small boy, Eric (played by Zach Mills) makes the toy store his second home. Eric has trouble making friends. Eric thinks all the other children think he is weird and this is why they don't speak to him. Eric has an unusual hobby of collecting hats. He has hundreds of hats. Eric hangs out in the store playing with the toys, even building a magnificent statute of Abraham Lincoln from Lincoln logs to the delight of the other store customers. Eric's mother encourages him to try his best to make at least one friend.
To prepare for the store's transfer of ownership to Molly, Mr. Magorium hires an accountant from an agency to go over the books. Mr. Magorium describes him as a counting mutant and calls him a “mutant” for short. This “mutant” character named Henry Weston (played by Jason Bateman), comes to the store to organize the paperwork and soon finds there is no accounting in place and all the business papers are in complete disarray. He is so focused on the organization of the paperwork, he does not notice the store is truly magical. Molly calls him one of the “just” guys who think of things in life in simplistic categories of being “just” a toy store or “just” something, without noticing how really wonderful they are.
Mr. Magorium tells Molly he will be leaving the very next day. He knows this because a long time ago he found the most comfortable and perfectly fitting shoes and he liked them so much he bought enough to last a lifetime. Now he is on his final pair, which show holes in the soles. Molly tries her best to talk Mr. Magorium out of leaving, saying she is not capable of running the store by herself. The store itself goes into a funk also. One of the walls starts to turn gray color. Mr. Magorium notices this when Eric points it out to him. Mr. Magorium tells everyone the store is throwing a temper tantrum. Mr. Magorium tells the store there is nothing which can be done to delay his departure because his time is up. Mr. Magorium gives Molly a beautiful wooden cube, telling her when she finds her way forward this cube will help.
Eric tries to make the Mutant accountant his friend but he is too busy working to take any time off to play. The store goes completely out of control. Nothing is working as it should. Even the magic book is making the wrong stuff appear by making a lemur which starts attacking the children. An octopus comes out and attacks a woman customer. The kids and the customers panic. Mr. Magorium shuts down the store. Molly takes Mr. Magorium out to show him a good time. They do lots of fun things together. They jump on beds in the mattress store. They dance in the park popping bubble wrap when they dance, that Molly puts down for them to dance upon. Molly is trying to convince Mr. Magorium to stay but Mr. Magorium thinks she is just showing him the best last day possible. Molly takes Mr. Magorium to the hospital. Even though the doctor think Mr. Magorium is nuts, they cannot find anything physically wrong with him so they let him check out the next day. Mr. Magorium says goodbye to his store, then dies as he said he would.
After the funeral, the store is completely empty pf people and everything in it is dark gray color. All the life and magic has disappeared. Molly gives up on running the store. She puts it up for sale. Eric tries to buy the store with his allowance and tells the accountant Weston it is his duty to tell Molly of his offer. Weston goes to see Molly and finds her in the store. Molly shows the store to another potential buyer. After the potential buyer leaves, Molly tells Weston the store was magic and when she says this the wooden cube spins. Weston see this and for the first time he believes the magic is real. Molly makes the cube spin and fly around the room. This causes Weston to faint from the shock. The next day Molly wakes Weston up. He remembers the flying cube and the magic. Molly tells Weston it was only a dream, he must have fallen asleep while working late at night and she is ready to sign the papers to sell the store. He convinces Molly all she has to do is believe in herself. Molly suddenly, in her imagination, hears the perfect ending she has long sought to write for her musical composition. She plays the tune in her mind and her fingers mimic the playing on the piano. A piano in the store starts to play the tune along with her. In a moment of triumph, Molly conducts an orchestrated version of the tune and the entire store bursts into colorful life, once again filled with magical toys and with the laughter and excitement of children.
Best part of story, including ending:
Mr. Magorium acts as if his magic is the most normal thing. For example, keeping a zebra as a pet seems very regular to him. This makes his fantasy toy world all the more interesting.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene when Molly believes in her magic. It is a wonderful moment, when the store comes back to life and bursts into color after being so deary, dead, and gray.
Opinion about the main character:
Molly has a crisis by having low self-esteem, which makes her questions her own wonderful creative abilities. It is nice to see her overcome her doubts and be able to master her world in the end.