Our friends over at Moviefone have debuted the first trailer for Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, and from the looks of it they're going for a real Willy Wonka vibe -- right down to the type of font in the title and Dustin Hoffman's purple suit. And like Willy Wonka, MMWE (I can't type out the whole name again; it makes me feel dyslexic) revolves around a magical environment (in this case, a toy store) owned by a 243 year-old eccentric who's looking to hand over his prize possession to someone a bit younger and more vibrant (enter Natalie Portman, straight from the set of Garden State). However, when a straight-laced accountant (and non-believer), played by Jason Bateman, begins to poke his nose into things, the magic slowly fades. Zach Helm, who penned Stranger Than Fiction, wrote and will make his directorial debut with the film.
The flick itself, while clearly inspired (at least in part) by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and/or Pee-wee's Playhouse, still looks pretty darn alive. I love family films that inject all sorts of color into every scene, and MMWE seems to be all about fun and imagination. It's also a very interesting role for Hoffman, who appears in all kinds of funky outfits with a lisp and an extra jump in each step. It's a role I'd expect out of Robin Williams, not Hoffman, but I'm sure he'll deliver the goods. He always does. Portman once again returns to a "cute" role -- the kind of girl next door character she played in Zach Braff's quirky Jersey flick. So if you liked her in that film, you'll certainly dig her here. Check out the trailer (there's also a teaser page up for the film), then let us know what you think -- Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium will arrive in theaters on November 16.