Reminiscent of ALICE IN WONDERLAND and LABYRINTH, MIRRORMASK is a fantasy tale of an intelligent young girl on a journey through a magical world. It is also a visually astounding piece of filmmaking, updating the fairy-tale quest in a coming-of-age story imbued with dark beauty. Written by Neil Gaiman (SANDMAN) and directed by frequent collaborator and illustrator Dave McKean, the film mixes live action and animation, and manages to keep the graphic novelists' aesthetic largely intact: the frames are full of weirdly-skewed perspectives, foggy patches, and mismatched textures that appear grandly decayed. Stephanie Leonidas plays Helena, a young girl who juggles in her father's circus, but longs for a "normal" life. She spends her free time drawing elaborate, fantastical black-and-white pictures which cover every surface of her bedroom. One night, after an argument with her mother (Gina McKee) during which Helena lets fly some rather painful pronouncements, Mom falls ill with an unspecified affliction. As ...
There are few comic book writers in the world that are more respected than master storyteller Neil Gaiman, whose combination of whimsical fantasy, dark satire, and comedic absurdism brought him to the forefront of the "British invasion" of comic books in the 1980s. Gaiman's collaborations with celebrated artist/writer, Dave McKean have resulted in some truly unique works, but perhaps their most ambitious collaborative effort is the hallucinatory fantasy film MirrorMask. … more
The Jim Henson Company teamed together with Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman to bring to life this fantastical tale about a young girl, named Helena (Stephanie Leonidas),struggling into maturity. Helena is a part of a family of circus performers. Even though she spends her free time thinking about fantasy worlds, Helena longs to have a more normal teenage life away from the circus. After a terrible fight with her parents, her mother (Gina McKee) grows very ill and Helena blames herself for her mother's … more
This beautiful movie that has the magnificent quality of looking like a dream and a graphic novel at the same time. It also looks a bit like a mix between The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (the remake) and The Cell in style. Neil Gaiman has created an amazing story, but the filmmaker, photography people, costume and set designers, CGI and all those involved in the creative process have created a movie and a world that is amazing and beautiful to watch. The complexity and the greatness of this great world … more
Pros: Acting, visuals, story, music - I loved it all Cons: Good heavens - what if it was the chicken?! The Bottom Line: Join the little cult of Mirrormask fans. Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot. Just short of a year ago, I read a review about a movie called Mirrormask. Just like when Id read a review of a book called Coraline by Neil Gaiman, after realizing the creators were the same … more
I had actually owned this movie for awhile, but had not gotten around to watching it until we went to see STARDUST...based on another Neil Gaiman story. We enjoyed that very much, so I dug out the DVD and my wife and 14 year old daughter and I plunked down for an enjoyable evening. 104 minutes later, my wife was asleep and my daughter barely awake. I was still watching, but felt guilty for having wasted so much time. The movie is STUNNING to look at...no … more
"Mirrormask" is probably not a movie for everyone. It's not simple, straightforward, and it doesn't offer a familiar story or a comfortable visual style. It does not pander. It is a rich, complex, sometimes troubled fantasy that can truly be enjoyed by the whole family, which doesn't mean that it is safe for kids to watch and tolerable for adults -- it means that both kids and adults can find something here to grab onto and explore. Fans of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean should … more