If you're looking for a fun for the whole family film that's not just another saccharin-enriched super sweet happy-happy movie, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" may just be your answer in these early days of the holiday rush to the big screen.
Mr. Magorium runs a toy store that's truly magical: the toys interact with one another and the store's customers and staff; Molly is the manager, though her dream is to be a musical composer. Magorium realizes he's dying -- at 243 years old, it was bound to happen -- so he calls in an accountant to help figure out the store's value if they need to sell it after his death. (The accountant is a humorless guy, and shocked that the owner has never much bothered with bookkeeping, paying taxes or business licenses, and the like.)
Magorium wants Molly to take over the place, but she's leery of doing so. The hat-collecting little boy, Eric, is a bit of a loner, but finally takes the encouragement to make friends and befriends the accountant.
...and we'll leave it at that. As they allude to early on, Magorium is 243 years old and preparing the store for his eventual demise. Though not always a popular theme for family films, the script and cast carry you through the experience with a sense of balance: life and death, happy times and sad ones, color and gray.
All in all, something that you can enjoy yourself, and the little ones will as well. The "life" aspects of the storyline aren't overly alarming, and presented in a bite-size way that most children can relate to. The film runs just 90 minutes and with a G rating, so it's going to fit into most time and content budgets as well -- and is just family-friendly fun throughout.