Review: Secret Magic Control Agency 2021 By Aleksey Tsitsilin
Fairy tales meet the crime-fighting world of James Bond in Wizard Animation’s latest release, Secret Magic Control Agency, a colourful family adventure that immediately grabs attention. Directed by Aleksey Tsitsilin (writer and director of The Snow Queen franchise), the story is loosely based on the Brothers Grimm’s famed old tale – Hansel and Gretel – but with an espionage and crime caper twist. With its striking animation, impressive voice-over work and a simple but engaging story, the film marks itself as a solid choice for family night and a probable new favourite for younger audiences.
Black magic is regulated and controlled throughout the kingdom by the covert organisation, The Secret Magic Control Agency, a collection of spies that keep all your beloved bedtime stories and whimsical characters safe from hexes, hoodwinks and mischief. After the kidnapping of the king, “Best agent” wannabe Gretel (Sylvana Joyce) is partnered with her estranged con-artist brother Hansel (Nicholas Corda). Together they rebuild their relationship, face a series of trials and work with one another to save the kingdom from the hands of an evil witch and her adorable sugary minions. The plot is basic but gets the job done, taking the audience through the quest while unpacking and developing the relationship between Hansel and Gretel.
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There is a Shrek like quality to the plot, as audiences are guided through an epic journey, filled with vibrant and colourful sets that are packed with fan-favourite fantasy creatures like mermaids and witches. However, many of the jokes and the blatant exposition in dialogue gears the feature for the most part towards younger viewers, making the work less watchable for older animation fans. That being said, the art and animation is beautiful and is Pixar-like in its finish. Similarly, the character voice work throughout the movie captures attention. It is brash, over the top and all in all hilarious. Despite its narrative simplicity, the flick explodes with charm and visually can be appreciated by any animation lover.
As a family movie with a focus on younger audiences, Secret Magic Control Agency is a great experience. Although older fans may find its story a bit one note, it’s truly enchanting film that will delight, entertain and undoubtedly drive a few parents mad as happy children constantly replay it.