REVIEW SUMMARY: Another great Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean collaboration.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Helen, the teenage daughter of a circus performer is transported to a strange world when her mother is taken to the hospital. The balance between light and darkness is broken, and darkness is swallowing up the world.
PROS: Even if there was no story at all, the McKean style of imagery would keep you entralled for two hours; story not Gaiman’s best, but quite good
CONS: Special effects, while incredibly engrossing, fall just shy of blockbuster-budget films;
BOTTOM LINE: This is a winner – it appealed to not only a fantasy nut like me, but also my wife and 10-year-old son.
What do you get when you take a Dave McKean book and put it on the big screen? Why Mirrormask, of course. The film contains a number of different mediums (paper, clay, pen&ink) melded with live actors in a fantasy world that is instantly recognizeable as Dave McKean. A great job for his directoral debut.
MIrrormask is produced by The Henson Company, but there are definitely no muppets here. It is, however, a film for the entire family, I think.
And finally the story. I’m a Gaiman fanboy – I’ve probably read 90% of what he’s written, and have liked 90% of that. Mirrormask is no exception. Helen’s mother, a circus performer, has taken ill and is in the hospital awaiting surgery. That evening Helen, a circus performer herself, is transported to a strange world that is being devoured by darkness. In this world, the balance between light and dark has been broken – the white queen has been put into a deep sleep, and the black princess has disappeared. Helen must find a way to wake the white queen and restore the balance between light and dark.
I think all audiences would like this movie, and feel comfortable recommending it even if you don’t typically like fantasy. My hope is that folks who see the movie care enough about it to check out other books by Gaiman and McKean.