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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Enchanted World of Strange Magic

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Lucasfilm’s animated fairy tale reminds us that love can be found in the most unlikely places.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and here at Lucasfilm we have plenty of romantic storylines in our movies and series to reflect on. But there’s one movie in particular that could be described in its entirety as a love story. Lucasfilm Animation’s Strange Magic arrived in cinemas early in 2015, and was George Lucas’ final project with the company. Our founder had spent more than a decade shepherding the film, layering in many themes and elements that have long interested him, including music, fantasy, and love.

Strange Magic is set in a magical world where fairies, imps, and trolls live in a realm divided between the Fairy Kingdom and Dark Forest. Marianne (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) is an adventurous fairy princess with romantic aspirations for a handsome warrior. Her affections, however, are not genuinely returned by the foppish, self-interested Roland (voiced by Sam Palladio), and a heartbroken Marianne becomes cynical and embittered, convinced that she is “stronger alone.”

In the Dark Forest, meanwhile, is the sinister Bog King (voiced by Alan Cumming), who rules a domain where the very word “love” is forbidden. He tells his followers that “love is dangerous. It weakens, and rots, and destroys order, and without order what is left? Chaos.” To some, the Bog King might appear unsightly, even frightening and monstrous. His drive to eradicate love, however, seems to hide a deeper wound that, like the fairy Marianne, has left him pessimistic.

As the central tale of Strange Magic plays out, Marianne and the Bog King find themselves thrust together, albeit unwillingly. Though they care little for each other at first, they begin to understand they are more alike than they realize, in terms of both their strengths and weaknesses. One pulls the other out of their comfort zone, and each comes to see the other as different in a not unappealing way. It just might turn out that this spirited princess and irascible king are a fitting match.

“The point of the movie is that everyone deserves to be loved,” George Lucas would tell one interviewer at the film’s release, “and that love finds a way for the strangest people to actually fall in love with each other, regardless of what appears. True love doesn’t really have anything to do with the way you look. It really has to do with your soul, what kind of a person you are. It’s the magical match, not the superficial one.” He would explain to another that “having gone through my life, I’ve learned this, sometimes the hard way, and ended up looking for love, and never thinking I was going to find it, and then you do, in the most unlikely place.”

However you choose to celebrate this Valentine’s Day, we hope you may keep a little part of that Strange Magic spirit with you, and find an equal measure of benevolence and joy in those you meet.

Strange Magic is available to watch on Disney+.

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