‘The Magic Door’: An Attempt At Young Adult Fantasy


The fantasy genre is one of the most challenging at the cinematographic level. The apparent freedom that its premises have run the risk of entering clichés. To this is added if you want to narrate stories with your own touch, those stories that seek to mix a modern setting with another that encourages fantasy. That’s the saga that Tom Holt started with ‘The magic door’, a book published in 2003 that has now been turned into a film.

the magic door

A first installment that It came six years after the publication in England of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and two years after the first film adaptation of the saga created by JK Rowling arrived. With which, it is impossible not to draw similarities, especially due to certain sequences that evoke the film directed by Chris Columbus in 2001.

The film is directed by the Australian Jeffrey Walker, seasoned as an actor and director of television series, who is facing his third feature film intended for theaters (although it has not gone through theaters in the United States). With significant creative ambition, the film is co-produced by The Jim Henson Company, offering the tape an eighties aesthetic that incites nostalgia, with moments that evoke ‘Cristal oscuro’ or ‘Entro del laberinto’.

the magic door

A tape that stays in no man’s land

And, perhaps, in This attempt to have that dark approach typical of eighties cinema, causes its premise to be in an abstract terrain. Its protagonists and intentions are more appropriate for an adult audience, but the tone is more designed for family cinema. It is as if the script, written by Leon Ford, was looking for a kind of magical, adventure and fantasy cinema but without counting on the family audience.

Yes, that was ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but it is more than evident that the ambitions of ‘The Magic Gate’ are much less. What’s more, as has been commented before, being more related to ‘Harry Potter’ or, even to ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, makes That search for fantasy for adults but with a family tone causes the proposal to stay in no man’s land.

Despite having high-class secondary characters and villains, with actors of the stature of Sam Neill or Christoph Waltz, ‘The Magic Door’ doesn’t know exactly who it wants to address. This confusion causes him to stay in no man’s land.


The best: Bet on a different story of adventures and fantasy.

Worst: He doesn’t know how to find his tone, is he family, for adults? That indecision causes the tape to stay in no man’s land.

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