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ZACK AND THE MAGIC FACTORY

1981 rating: ***
Those long gone and sorely missed ABC Weekend Specials, the introduction with the animated wizard conjuring butterflies flying from an open book, snared the attention of many youngsters who, at a certain point on Saturday Morning, wanted something beyond cartoons i.e. real humans and real stories but not without a touch of whim and fantasy... Like in this creative two-part episode about a spectacle-wearing kid, Zack, visiting his Aunt’s dilapidated magic factory that, while shabby on the outside, harbors cool tricks by two talented magicians.

REPO MAN ingĂ©nue Olivia Barash, then a child actress who appeared in TV shows ranging from THE INCREDIBLE HULK to LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, is a magician’s daughter that joins Zack in trying to rescue the building from a geeky yet sinister tax attorney, who, with the aid of a bitter custodian, tries closing it down for good. Meanwhile Zack, despite being bullied at school, plans a big magic show in the school auditorium, and with Olivia as his assistant they have but one shot at saving the beloved old factory. Overall, a pretty good storyline and likable characters will keep you interested in the turnout, and best of all, there’s a lotta cool magic tricks.
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