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The Mystical Adventures of Billy Owens - family and children's DVD / fantasy DVD review
THE MYSTICAL ADVENTURES OF BILLY OWENS Rated PG by the MPAA curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Featuring: Dalton Mugridge, Ciara O'Hanlon, Christopher Fazio, Roddy Piper, Jordon Goulet
Director: Mark McNabb Distributor: MTI Home Video
DVD release: 21 July 2009 Runtime: 90 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
DVD features: Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English), Subtitles (Spanish), Billy Owens and the Secret of the Runes sneak preview, Trailers

The town of Spirit River is home to more than just people and legends. It holds power, magic, and the entrance to a dragon's cave. The people of Spirit River themselves are more unusual than most realize, and it's Billy Owen's luck to find out how much.

On his 11th birthday, Billy is again on the run from the school bully, hightailing it all over town and seeking shelter as quickly as possible before the bully can find him. Billy bursts unexpectedly into William Thurgood's Treasure Trove & Pawn Shop - and the door to his unexpected magical future. He makes an intriguing new friend in the shop's proprietor and purchases a wand that proves to be more than the toy Billy first mistakes it for.

Dark and mysterious events begin to unfold around Spirit River and the school that Billy and his friends attend. With his newfound magical touch and wand, Billy finds himself the object of keen interest to a couple of unscrupulous characters who want something from him. Their magic is dark, dangerous, and more than Billy can handle alone - but who will help him?

The river calls the land of Spirit River home with ever greater urgency, and there may be nothing anyone can do to prevent it. Individuals with powers and old magic show their true colors as the tide comes closer and battlelines are drawn between good and evil. The aid of unexpected allies proves more valuable than a pot of gold.

Billy and his friends must travel deep in the realm of magic and dragons to save Spirit River and its people, but the dark forces of evil are determined to thwart them at every turn. What can these three kids do against an evil so bent on destruction? They must succeed or all will be lost forever. There is no second chance.

This PG-rated family fantasy adventure has a few tough acts to follow; films such as the Harry Potter and Narnia series have set high audience expectations. The storyline holds appeal but lags at times. The illusions created for the "magic" scenes are entertaining enough to keep young audiences going with the film but hardly comparable to the major film productions.

In general, Billy Owens is a cute movie for children, though probably not a smash hit. The narration running throughout the entire film may make it tough to keep alive the interest of younger children with limited attention spans.
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reviewed by Sonia R. Polinsky
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