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Magina is a 2003 American animated musical romantic fantasy film produced by Universal Feature Animation. The sixth feature film in the Universal Animated Features canon, it was directed by Ash Brannon, produced by John Cohen and Chris Jenkins, and written by Irene Mecchi and Gary Hall from a story by Michael Wildshill, Brannon, Hall, Jim Anderson, and Amy McNeill. The film stars the voices of Jodi Benson, Elijah Wood, Alfre Woodard, and David Ogden Stiers, it tells the story of a mysterious, magical girl named Magina, who is locked away in an isolated fortress with her mother Telea as she was believed to be cursed. She is encountered by a young man named Olin, who falls in love with her, and together, the two try to find a new home.
Development of Magina began in 1997, when Wildshill wrote the original concepts of the film, envisioning a "boy meets girl" story. In 2001, Brannon was approached to direct the film and revise the story. Magina was released by Universal Pictures on March 7, 2003, and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its animation but criticized its story. Grossing $78.1 million on a $55 million budget, Universal Animation suffered a $130 million loss, which nearly bankrupted the company and caused it to abandon traditional animation in favor of computer animation. It is considered to be one of the biggest box office bombs of all time, but is also considered to be a cult favorite.
- Jodi Benson as Magina, a young woman with magical powers who is locked up in a fortress. Benson earlier voice-acted for Universal Animation in Galaxion as Patty Kusene and would do so again in Computeropolis as Commander Cindy.
- Elijah Wood as Olin, a young man who Magina helps to find a new peaceful home.
- David Ogden Stiers as an elderly Olin, the narrator.
- Alfre Woodard as Telea, Magina's ruthless mother who refuses to let Magina leave the fortress and talk to boys ever again.
- John Kassir as Pongo, Magina's pet hedgehog who is friendly to Olin.
- Spencer Breslin as Olin's son.
- Tony Jay as Derlo
- Phil Morris as Pol
- Jack Angel
- Mike Bell
- Bob Bergen
- Rodger Bumpass
- Debi Derryberry
- Paul Eiding
- Sherry Lynn
- Edie McClurg
- Mickie McGowan
- Laraine Newman
- Phil Proctor
- Jan Rabson
- Evan Sabara
- Jim Ward
Michael Wildshill came up with the concept in 1997, envisioning a romantic "boy meets girl" story set in a fantasy world. When Ama and the Mysterious Crystal almost finished production, Wildshill developed his concept into a forty-page film treatment and sent it to John Cohen who wrote back with "Wow." Soon after, the project, then titled Legend of Magina, went into development.
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- Main article: Magina/Soundtrack
Magina was released on VHS and DVD on September 23, 2003. During the first month of its home release, the film led in VHS sales and was third in VHS and DVD sales combined. Sales and rentals of the VHS and DVD combined would eventually accumulate $144 million in revenue by 2004.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 63% of critics gave the film positive reviews based on 119 reviews with an average score of 6.1/10. The consensus reads, "Magina's gleaming detail and rich colors shall keep thee distracted from the movie's predictable outings." The rating on Metacritic from critics is 57 out of 100, meaning "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Magina grossed $12.9 million in North America and $65.2 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $78.1 million. On April 17, 2003, Universal announced that due to the film underperforming at the box office, Universal Feature Animation would have to take a $130 million writedown, and it almost bankrupted Universal's animation company.
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- Main article: Magina (video game)
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.