“Strange Magic” is flew into theaters this weekend, marking the second animated feature from Lucasfilm Animation.
The project, which George Lucas said has been in production for over 15 years, is inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and tells the story of two fairy princesses and their very different dealings with love.
“Dawn is a young fairy,” actress Meredith Anne Bull told us in a recent interview.
“She's the younger sister of Marianne, and she is totally consumed and focused on flirting with boys and having fun, and she obviously has no responsibilities. She just loves life and is very unaffected by any sort of tragedy or bitterness, completely not jaded at all. She's just very present and kind of just lives in the moment.”
Unlike Dawn, her sister Marianne embraces a life of independence and tries to deter the young fairy from her flirting ways. So when the effects of a forbidden love potion send Dawn into the clutches of the brooding Bog King, Marianne takes it upon herself to hunt down Dawn’s kidnapper, rescue her twitterpated sister, and reverse the effects of the heart-altering spell.
Elijah Kelly, who lends his voice to Sunny, one of Dawn’s overlooked suitors, told us, “It's not about infatuation. This movie is about really finding real love, and it goes beyond surface value.”
“Strange Magic” leads its narrative with music, more so than a standard animated musical. Introducing each scene with reimagined radio classics, scenes bounce from one tune to the next while characters speak, dance and fly through the melodies.
“I know George originally wanted it to be like an opera, where all of the lines are done through song," Bull said. “Some of the songs you can tell this is a younger, funner version of a song, and then some of the songs are really deconstructed and fit to be more of an inner monologue for a character.”
“I think music is one of the most powerful, powerful forces ever,” Kelly explained. “You get little kids on Vine and Instagram that can't even put a complete sentence together yet and they're singing and humming melodies to whatever songs that they're playing constantly on the radio. It's a true testament of how it captures the hearts and the minds of these youths, you can't escape music.”
Lucasfilm is hoping “Strange Magic” will find family audiences over the next two weeks, as “Paddington” slips into its second week in theaters, and no other family titles are scheduled for release before February. The colorful musical opens today in theaters.
If you’re seeing “Strange Magic” this weekend, or if you’ve already seen it, let us know your thoughts in the comments.