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'Upside-Down Magic' Review (2020)

This fantasy movie released on Disney+ has strong topics and themes related to magic.

Upside-Down Magic (2020)

3.5 / 5
4 / 5

Upside-Down Magic is a 2020 fantasy film released on Disney+. The movie’s title references the magical powers Nory (Izabela Rose), the main character, possesses. It also serves as a pun on things that go wonky.

The movie starts with Nory’s introduction to what type of kid she is. She describes herself as a kid who possesses magical powers, along with her best friend Reina (Siena Agudong). She is excited for her first day of attending the Sage Academy for Magical Studies, a special school where kids who have magical powers attend classes.

There is a blend of reality and fantasy. One noticeable element is the transformation from a human being to an animal such as a kitten. Nory feels confident in her magical powers but realizes her powers go out of control when she turns into a hybrid animal such as a kitten-kangaroo hybrid.

The setting of the Sage Academy first takes place in a gloomy forest, filled with rain and fog. But beyond the rain and fog is a portal that takes the students to a magical place where the lawns are perfectly manicured. Nory discovers that the Sage Academy students are divided into five different groups based on their placement tests and abilities. Nory hopes that she and Reina will be taking the same classes but becomes surprised when the test results put her and Reina into different groups because they possess different magical abilities.

Nory and Reina

The movie’s title is mentioned once again when Nory discovers her imperfect magical powers have placed her into Upside-Down Magic, known as U.D.M. The Sage Academy building symbolizes perfection. The UDM classroom is black and dark compared to other classrooms in the school, which emphasizes imperfection in this fantasy movie.

There are many topics and themes related to fantasy while combining the elements of reality such as an educational setting. Like most school-aged kids, Nory faces the experience of attending classes, being the new girl, and developing an attraction toward a boy she likes.

There is a strong representation of women in Upside-Down Magic, as Nory and Reina are the main characters. Nory is played by a Black actress, bringing some Black representation. Other actors playing supporting roles are white.

Viewers who love Disney and fantasy are encouraged to watch this fantasy movie.