The House of Magic (Thunder and The House of Magic in the United States. French: Le Manoir magique) is a 2013 animated fantasy comedy film produced by Nadia Khamlichi, Adrian Politowski, Ben Stassen, Caroline Van Iseghem and Gilles Waterkeyn and directed by Stassen and Jeremy Degruson. The film focuses on an abandoned young cat who seeks shelter in the home of an old, retired magician with his robots and gizmos.

The House of Magic
Directed by
Screenplay by
  • James Flynn
  • Dominic Paris
  • Ben Stassen
Story byBen Stassen
Produced by
  • Nadia Khamlichi
  • Adrian Politowski
  • Ben Stassen
  • Caroline Van Iseghem
  • Gilles Waterkeyn
Music byRamin Djawadi
Distributed by
  • Belga Films (Belgium)
  • StudioCanal (France and United Kingdom)
Release date
  • 25 December 2013 (2013-12-25)
Running time
85 minutes
Budget$34 million[1]
Box office$64.2 million[2]

A spin-off TV series called Presto! School of Magic (formerly School of Magic) was announced in 2017.[3][4] The series was produced by TeamTO and Federation Kids and Family.



While moving to a new home in Boston, a couple stops the car and the woman opens the door and throws a toy ball on the sidewalk so that their Tabby cat can chase after it. The kittenish cat, later realizes that he has been left behind by his owners when they close the door and drive away without him. Abandoned, he looks for a refuge. A passing tiny Chihuahua attempts to befriend him but is quickly dragged off by his leash. After various obstacles and near accidents, he's chased by a large Doberman until he comes to an old house with fame of being cursed or haunted in the neighborhood. Entering via an open attic window, the cat explores the strange contraptions about and tries to befriend a small mouse named Maggie, who's terrified of him despite the cat trying to convince her that he doesn't even eat mice. Soon, he is threatened by Jack, Maggie's grumpy rabbit friend, and Maggie; ordering him to leave the house before their owner sees him, afraid the cat will monopolize his love and attention since they're aware of his fondness for cats. They throw the cat out but he finds his way back in through a cellar window, attempting to escape a thunderstorm, then explores the mysterious house further. He hides behind an urn and observes the house's owner, Mr. Lawrence, a kindly old magician, have a conversation with the various automatons and gizmos he's created for his magic shows, whilst attempting to fix an electrical bulb-headed one named Edison. Later, the magician's materialist real estate agent nephew, Daniel, drops by for a visit. Afterwards, while Lawrence dozes off, Jack and Maggie locate the cat after he accidentally re-activates Edison and Jack pursues the kitten. Before Jack can throw him out again, Lawrence wakes up and picks up the kitten and decides to adopt him, naming him Thunder (after his fear of lightning).

Thunder learns more about the house, as well as the romantic pigeon pair named Carlo and Carla. Meanwhile, Jack and Maggie try by all ways to exile Thunder from the house, jealous and afraid of being substituted. The next day, refusing to be left behind, Thunder is incorporated into the "rabbit out of a hat" routine in the magic show performed for some children at a hospital, to much fanfare. Whilst riding back home, a disgruntled Jack and Maggie show their disapproval by attempting to get rid of him once and for all; jabbing sharpened crayons, they poke Thunder off the trunk strapped to the back of the bicycle. During the ensuing mayhem, Lawrence suffers an accident and is sent to the hospital, as Thunder is left sprawled behind.

With Lawrence in the hospital with a broken leg, his nephew Daniel takes advantage by tricking his uncle to sign over power of attorney, in the hopes of putting his house up for sale. Suspicious of Daniel's intentions, Thunder alerts Lawrence's automatons. When Daniel returns his uncle's magic trunk back home, he brings along two possible buyers for the property. Desperate, Thunder gets Carlo and Carla to dive bomb and splatter poop on them in order to attempt deter and prevent the house from being sold. Meanwhile, once out the trunk, Jack (who broke his leg in the accident) and Maggie convince the automatons (except Edison) of Thunder's guilt in causing the accident despite Thunder trying to tell the truth. He hopes Carlo and Carla will prove his innocence, which fails when they are intimidated by Jack. Nevertheless, Thunder manages to convince everyone that they need him to save the house since Daniel is proven to be severely allergic to cats. They allow him to stay but lock him in a bird cage. The next possible buyer, the Chihuahua's owner, is also driven away but not before the Chihuahua is able to rescue Thunder. In a misunderstanding, Daniel's assumed to be harming her dog, whilst in fact attempting to trap the cat. Later, Thunder visits Lawrence at the hospital and is pleased to discovers Lawrence never blamed him after all. Thunder returns home and the inhabitants of the house have meanwhile driven two more buyers away believing the house to be haunted. When Jack and Maggie again try to exile Thunder.

When Lawrence rushes back from the hospital with the help of some of the children he met there and finds his nephew swinging a wrecking ball, he finally discovers Daniel's true colors. Meanwhile, Jack is stuck midway in the cat-flap of the front door, as Thunder attempts to save all the automatons from getting crushed. When he saves Maggie's life, Thunder finally earns the mouse's respect and friendship. They band together and use Daniel's cat-allergy against him until he ends up wrecking balling his own beloved car instead. Lawrence orders Daniel to make repairs on the house. Thunder is finally accepted as a member of the family by Jack and Maggie. When Lawrence recovers from his injuries, he returns to entertaining children with his magic shows, in which Thunder now has his own starring part alongside Jack and Maggie. Thunder is finally happy to have a family that appreciates him and his Chihuahua friend seeing them all having so much fun attempts to get himself "an audition" to get recruited as part of the team...

In a post credit scene, Daniel is attempting to convince a new client to sell her house and move to a retirement home but soon learns that she has many, many cats and sneezes violently.





Critical response


On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 73% based on reviews from 30 critics, with an average rating of 5.97/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Thunder and the House of Magic lacks real narrative depth, but its visual splendor offers sufficient compensation for younger viewers."[6] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 47 based on 13 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

Box office


The film grossed $64,193,114 overseas outside of North America as well as $4,091 within it for a combined gross of $64,197,205.[2]


  1. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (15 August 2014). "Shout! Releases U.S. Trailer for 'Thunder and the House of Magic'". Animation World Network. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "The House of Magic (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  3. ^ "TeamTO, Nexus developing House of Magic spin-off". Kidscreen. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Federation, TeamTO Form Double Act for 'Presto! School of Magic'". 9 September 2020.
  5. ^ "THUNDER AND THE HOUSE OF MAGIC". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  6. ^ "The House of Magic". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "The House of Magic Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2020.