Lucas had long wanted to make a film for his three daughters. He described the film as Star Wars for a female audience stating "Star Wars was for 12-year-old boys; I figured I’d make one for 12-year-old girls". According to director Gary Rydstrom, the film is inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (a romantic comedy involving misunderstandings and cross-purposes between different races), the fairytales The Ugly Duckling and Beauty and the Beast, and the films American Graffiti (1973) (an anthology of stories) and Labyrinth(1986) (a quest undertaken by a female protagonist to save a sibling). Lucas described the story's main theme as the difference between infatuation and true love: "Love is on the inside, it's somebody you have common ground with. It's someone you share the same values with, common interests. You share the things that will last you the rest of your lives, and what the person looks like will not." Before The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012, production on Strange Magic was already well underway. Rydstrom and his crew screened the film for Disney executives. In regards to the film's soundtrack, Lucas is a big fan of music and spent five years with music supervisor Steven Gizicki choosing the right songs for the film. He described it as an arduous task: "It was like a Rubik's Cube. When I went through it I had a million songs and had to narrow it down, then as the years went on we kept narrowing it down."
The film stars Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, and Alfred Molina. Though the film featured a stellar cast and had them give unexpected performances, ultimately the performances were rather disappointing due to the fact that some of the cast members were not a perfect fit to the overall puzzle.