In quite good 3D and not too twee, this nice little animated feature for the smaller set comes from Belgian filmmakers Ben Stassen and Jérémie Degruson. It is unremarkable, although the CGI is a cut above what you expect from non-Hollywood productions, but it is energetically entertaining, short and sweet.
An abandoned kitten finds refuge and a name — Thunder — in the grand old manor of a kindly retired magician whose household consists of a mean, jealous old rabbit, a comedy mouse and a lot of ingenious animatronic toys and gadgets with personalities. Alas, the dear old boy has a nasty nephew whose scheming to sell the house, make them all homeless and pack The Illustrious Lorenzo off to a retirement home creates a string of near-catastrophes and challenges for the brave kitty and co. Naturally virtue, teamwork and family feeling cutely triumph when animals and toys unite under Thunder’s leadership to foil prospective house buyers — rather like Beetlejuice meets Toy Story. Oddly the one thing missing is a touch of magic. But it’s perfectly good and suitably charming for the tinies.
Is The House Of Magic suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Kitty does more than his share of dangling off high ledges and dodging traffic, while mousey has a few frights, but there is nothing drastic or tearful.