Emily lost her father when she was a baby. And though she doesn’t really remember much about him, she knows she loved him dearly and misses him every day. She just wishes that her mom could understand that.
Debilitated by sorrow, Emily’s mother has become distant over the years, choosing to ignore her passion as a creative writer and to busy herself at work so she can forget about her suffering. But even as she’s tried to ease her own pain, she’s unintentionally pushed Emily away.
One day, Emily is mysteriously pulled into her mother’s study, to a hidden chest, buried beneath a stack of books. Inside, Emily finds her father’s illustrations and her mother’s forgotten novel.
But it isn’t an ordinary novel. The book possesses magical powers.
When Emily opens it, she’s pulled into a mystical place called Faunutland. There, she meets a fairy named Nightinglar and a kind beast called Belorac. Her new friends are enchanted, and Emily is the only person who has the ability to save Faunutland from an evil witch who has used fear to bring darkness to the land.
If Faunutland is to be saved, it will take the innocence and bravery of one small child to show an entire world that even the most insignificant thing can make a great difference.
Emily is a brave, kind and determined little girl who forgives her mother and reaches out to her when she’s hurting. She also helps the people of Faunutland and faces her fears head on.
The fairy Nightinglar teaches Emily some significant lessons: Real “magic” is the bravery, courage and kindness inside of one’s heart; the most insignificant thing can make a difference; imagination and creativity are vital to life; anything is possible with compassion, love and courage.
Emily’s kind babysitter takes care of her and encourages her when she feels lonely.[Spoiler Warning] Emily and her mother restore their relationship, while Faunutland and its people are saved.
Emily finds a hidden chest that holds secret magical powers, a chest that her mother intentionally hides from her. These same powers summon her to the mystic world of Faunutland and help her along her journey while there.
Emily, along with a fairy called Nightinglar and a beast called Belorac, battle a wicked witch in Faunutland and her evil forces. The witch feeds off of the fears of the people of Faunutland, and a dark mist (of her making) increases the more the people’s fear increases. This mist is also responsible for turning the innocent children of Faunutland into fearmongering adults.
Belorac thinks that Emily might be a “demon” when he first meets her. Emily is told that certain monsters awaken only when they sense fear. A man looks to the sky and says, “Thank you, lord of flowers.”
None apart from Emily’s mother briefly flirting with a man.
Nightinglar tells Emily about the dangers in present-day Faunutland, mainly that there are creatures in the wood that could harm her at night. Parts of Faunutland are burned to the ground.
We hear that Emily’s father passed away when she was young.
For a movie obviously intended for children, there are some surprisingly scary and perilous scenes. This is due, primarily, to the soundtrack and some of the dark, creepy places Emily wanders into while trying to save Faunutland. She also encounters a few frightening creatures along the way.
Emily’s mother is intentionally distant and yells at her after not seeing her all day.
Emily hears a creepy, wicked voice tell her many lies. Among them are the suggestions that it’s her fault that her father is dead, and that her mother wishes Emily were dead instead of her husband, and how she will never be loved by her mother.
Emily and the Magical Journey is a fantastical children’s flick about the bravery and power of a young girl. The story focuses on how Emily restores youth and innocence to magical Faunutland, all while overcoming her own fears and the lies she believed about herself.
There are a surprising number of scary scenes here for the littlest of viewers, like a mix between an innocent Pan’s Labyrinth and The NeverEnding Story. And the storyline of Emily’s deceased father is something parents will want to keep an eye on, as it might affect children who have suffered the loss of loved ones themselves.
But at its core, this movie reminds adults that we were all made to be creative, kind and courageous, like our children. And the same wonderful qualities we observe in our littles are also those that we should hold onto for ourselves.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).