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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.


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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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During the development of Magina, DreamWorks Animation asked Universal if they would be interested in sharing the "tradigital animation" technique, which is a blend of traditional hand-drawn animation and computer animation used in DreamWorks' Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, asking that Universal in turn share with them any improvements that were made. Universal agreed, resulting in most of the "tradigital" technique for both Me & Mobo and Magina being produced in-house by Universal, but some very important tools were those produced by DreamWorks. Looking back on the agreement, Wildshill said that "DreamWorks' generosity gave us a huge leg up and allowed us to draw the enormous vistas in the film." Some years later, Wildshill clarified Universal's stance on "tradigital" technique while obliquely mentioning the shared tools:

We've always developed all our own technology. It's been a little frustrating in the past for us to hear people say, 'Oh yeah, the Universal animation is using the DreamWorks technique.' People assumed that we were using DreamWorks' tradigital animation technique for Mobo and Magina, and that was not true. We shared some technology with DreamWorks way back when, and that was great, but we are a company that puts stock in producing specialized technique and we will continue to do so.
―Michael Wildshill, Animation Magazine, March 2007

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Main article: Magina/Soundtrack



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Home media

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.


Critical response

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.

Box office

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.


Award Category Recipient Result
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Elijah Wood Won

Other media

Video game

Main article: Magina (video game)

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To see the main transcript of the film, click here.


To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.

v - e - dUniversal Pictures theatrical animated features
Universal Animation Studios (Universal Animated Features)

Ama and the Mysterious Crystal (1997) · Galaxion (1999) · Paint World (1999) · Mistress Masham's Repose (2001) · Me & Mobo (2002) · Magina (2003)


Computeropolis (2004) · M.I.S.S.I.O.N. (2005) · BJ and Wally (2006) · Computeropolis 2 (2007) · Swapped (2008) · Woo La La (2009) · Computeropolis 3 (2010) · Gabriel Garza (2011) · Plucky Chicken (2012) · Quest (2013) · Gabriel Garza 2 (2014) · Paradoria (2015) · Luna & Zak (2015) · Imagimals (2016) · Gabriel Garza 3 (2017) · Lix (2017) · Computeropolis: The Deep Web (2018) · Paradoria 2: Enchanted Realm (2019)


Luna & Zak: Level Two (2020) · Computeropolis 5 (2021) · Earth Farm (2021)


Despicable Me (2010) · Hop (2011) · The Lorax (2012) · Despicable Me 2 (2013) · Minions (2015) · The Secret Life of Pets (2016) · Sing (2016) · Despicable Me 3 (2017) · The Grinch (2018)


The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) · Minions 2 (2020) · Sing 2 (2020)

DreamWorks Animation

Antz (1998) · The Prince of Egypt (1998) · The Road to El Dorado (2000) · Chicken Run (2000) · Shrek (2001) · Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) · Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) · Shrek 2 (2004) · Shark Tale (2004) · Madagascar (2005) · Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) · Over the Hedge (2006) · Flushed Away (2006) · Shrek the Third (2007) · Bee Movie (2007) · Kung Fu Panda (2008) · Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) · Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) · How to Train Your Dragon (2010) · Shrek Forever After (2010) · Megamind (2010) · Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) · Puss in Boots (2011) · Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) · Rise of the Guardians (2012) · The Croods (2013) · Turbo (2013) · Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) · How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) · Penguins of Madagascar (2014) · Home (2015) · Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) · Trolls (2016) · The Boss Baby (2017) · Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) · How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) ·


Abominable (2019) · Trolls World Tour (2020) · The Croods 2 (2020) · The Boss Baby 2 (2021) · Spooky Jack (2021)

Big Idea Entertainment

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) · The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie (2008)

Animated Films Distributed by Universal

The Snow Queen (1959) · Pinocchio in Outer Space (1969) · An American Tail (1986) · The Land Before Time (1988) · Jetsons: The Movie (1990) · An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) · We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) · Romeo and Juliet (1994) · Ghost Vision (1995) · Balto (1995) · Cassiopeia (2000) · The Gabriel Garza Movie (2002) · Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (2003) · Tony Tom-Tom's Delivery Service (2003) · Zina and the Vivid Crew (2004) · Curious George (2006) · Tony 2: Across the Nation (2007) · The Tale of Despereaux (2008) · The Pandemoniums Movie (2009) · Defender D (2011) · ROBLOX: The Movie (2011) · Uploaded (2012) · Defender 2D (2017) ·

Animated Films Distributed by Focus Features

Coraline (2009) · 9 (2009) · ParaNorman (2012) · The Boxtrolls (2014) · Ratchet & Clank (2016) · Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)