The result, for all its swirly colors and surrealism, is alternately dull and irritating, an experience akin to learning that you're going on a field trip only to discover that it's to the box factory.
Broken into storybook-like chapters...the film implies that it possesses literary roots; however, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium comes across as a quickie knockoff attempting to capitalize on a more popular title's success.
This is a lovely story for children under 14. Jason Bateman is the horrified and expensive plod who has to wind up Hoffman's wild accounts. Portman is wonderful as the daffy heroine who needs to grow up and perhaps fall in love.