Stephanie Leonidas, MirrorMask
Credit: MirrorMask: © 2004 The Jim Henson Company

Kingdoms of light and dark, puppets and masks startling as any at a Bauhaus ball, CG effects and digital animation employed with avant-garde panache in a live-action adventure, and the search for a magical object… it’s quite useless, really, to describe the remarkable cinema fantasy MirrorMask without losing somebody, somewhere, who says, ”Ooh, no puppets for me” and therefore skips the trip. That’s too bad, because this dazzling reverie of a kids-and-adults movie, an unusual collaboration between lord-of-the-cult multimedia artist Dave McKean and king-of-the-comics Neil Gaiman (The Sandman), has something to astonish everyone. What you do need is time and a mindset prepared to dawdle, because MirrorMask unspools with the rambling, intuitive digressions of a dream, especially as Helena (Stephanie Leonidas), a restless 15-year-old girl working for her family’s circus, embarks on her hunt for the title item. I’m particularly fond of the Monkeybirds and sphinxes who make appearances, and I’m usually the type to say, ”Ooh, no Monkeybirds for me.”

  • Movie
  • 101 minutes