WARNING: This post contains major spoilers for the movie, so if you haven’t watched this movie yet, plan to, and don’t want spoilers, then please do not read ahead!
My friend and I went to go see this, and we adored it. It was equal parts funny, heartwarming, bittersweet, and definitely a tearjerker by the end. (We both cried.) If you have a sensitive heart, I might suggest packing at least pocket tissues.
The premise is shown, for the most part, in the trailer. The world the main characters live in used to be filled with magic and magic users, but at some point complacency set in, and magic becomes a thing of the past.
We learn that the main characters’ father passed away at some point, and he leaves behind a mystical wand with what’s called a phoenix stone and a spell to bring him back for a day, so he can at least see how his two boys have grown up. Long story short, the trailer shows that they are only able to form the father halfway, and this is because when Ian Lightfoot (played by Tom Holland) first casts the spell, the phoenix stone their father left them breaks. What follows after is a long quest where the Lightfoot brothers (Barley Lightfoot being played by Chris Pratt) go in search of a new phoenix stone to finish the rest of the spell to bring their father back.
There’s a lot of ups and downs to the story. The brothers bond as much as they argue back and forth about how they should pursue their quest. The ending, I thought, was very real in the sense that Ian gives up the chance to see his father (due to some debacles that came with a curse befalling the person who activated the phoenix stone) and allows his older brother, Barley, to say his final goodbyes in the few minutes the boys have left once the timer runs out on the spell. (This is the part where my friend and I were in total tears, because Ian has never once seen his father, and he doesn’t get to see him except from afar, and only sees the backside before his father disappears.)
Overall, I thought this was a great movie, although maybe not necessarily for kids that are overly sensitive. I know that if I was in elementary school again, this movie would have affected me emotionally, and deeply. Maybe I wouldn’t go so far as to say scarred for life, but then again, maybe so. (I still cry when Mufasa dies in Lion King (1994) as well as when Littlefoot’s mother dies in The Land Before Time (1988). Anyway, I think it’s worth going to, young or old. Although there is coronavirus to worry about, so if you’re going to go watch a movie during this time period, stay safe!