If you know me, you know that there are only two movies I’ll watch time and time again that aren’t Disney; Astro-boy and Mr Megorium’s Wonder Emporium. I’m going to be talking about the later.
If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you get up off of that seat you’re sitting on, drive to the nearest Target and buy it.
Something I adore about this movie in particular, is how beautifully it portrays four different points of view of people on the Asperger’s spectrum.
The movie has four main characters. Eric, the ten year old boy, who finds making friends his own age difficult, and instead chooses to make friends with squirrels and the occasional adult; Mahoney, the frustrated child prodigy/genius, who can’t quite tap into her great potential; Henry, the Mutant, the socially awkward adult businessman, who learns how to play and connect; and the extravagant Mr Megorium, the brilliant, aging inventor, who’s comfortable in his own world and quirky ways.
Oh how I adore this movie.
The first time I watched this as an inquisitive ten year old, I saw the bright colours, the happy graphics of the opening titles, and I was instantly addicted, however it didn’t become one of my ‘things’ until a few years later. For some reason, when I decided to hire it from the video shop a few years ago, that’s when I become obsessed with the story line, with the delightful characters and the bitter-sweet but easy to follow plot.
And now the biggest concern is why this movie is not more popular? Why is the world not as obsessed with it as I am? Why are there not blogs and theme parks dedicated to it!?
Watching this movie, it’s so, so easy to be able to connect with these four characters for me personally.
Eric struggled to make friends, and was constantly ostracized at every turn, so playing by himself, often creating fantastic pieces of art in minutes that an adult wouldn’t even be able to construct in months, and enjoying his much loved hat collection, was always the easier option, sometimes he’d connect with animals, or the occasional adult who was equally as unique and quirky as himself, his mother tries to help, but is endlessly worried about her sons inability to make friends.
And then there’s Mahoney, the stunning pianist who I was drawn to, and who is so, oh so frustrated. She knows she is destined for greatness, she knows there’s a sparkle that’s begging to burst out, and that she is so much more than just a worker at a toy store. She’s trapped inside a body that she’s unable to release the magic that’s within it.
On to Henry, affectionately known as ‘The Mutant’, an accountant who Megorium believes must be a cross between a counter, and a mutant- he never once questions the nickname, probably because he does feel somewhat like an alien. He tries so hard to be helpful, and to make his affections known, but he’s often turned down, or frowned upon. He doesn’t know how to play, and has no clue on how to connect emotionally with other people. And Henry tries so hard to fit in with the world around him, and it’s not until finally, he finds people he likes, and he figures it all out.
And then, my beloved favourite.
Mr Megorium is by far my favourite character out of any book, movie, or series I have ever read or watched, and by far the most unique. I challenge you to find someone half as interesting. He’s strange, quirky, while also being kind and full of wisdom (he’s totally quotable) and all round likable. Instantly, we’re drawn to his crazy clothes, crazy hair, and crazy personality. He doesn’t go with what’s normal, and he’s always seen in something out of the ordinary, often something bright and colourful (as a girl who dies her hair every colour of the rainbow, do you see the appeal to me in this character?). He goes against the mainstream, questioning authority and social normality, and he chooses to live his own life as he darn well pleases.
And I think this is why I love this movie so much. Not only is it so inviting, with an easy plot, and bright, funny characters that makes it fun and easy to watch. But when you look deeper, past the mutant and the hat collection, the twiddling fingers and the extravagant hair styles, there’s a story that’s full of wisdom. A movie specified for children, has taught me a lot about life, and how you just need a little push, and you can unlock so much potential, and that there’s so much magic just begging to be released.
The incredibly talented director Zach Helm has given me so much support and comfort from these characters, and has portrayed them in a way that’s more relatable to me than any other character, while shedding a positive light on the world of Aspergers.