2006 Amazon
This visually stunning film is the product of a collaboration of award-winning graphic novelist Neil Gaiman (creator of the much-lauded Sandman series), his frequent collaborator Dave McKean (Cages), and The Jim Henson Company, themselves no strangers to elaborate fantasies such as The Dark Crystal. and Labyrinth. As with the latter film, MirrorMask focuses on a young woman unhappy with her daily existence; here, the artistically inclined Helena (Stephanie Leonides), is at odds with her circus performer parents. When a careless insult appears to send her mother (Gina McKee) into a coma, Helena withdraws into the dark and elaborate world of her drawings, in which a scenario very similar to her predicament in the real world is unfolding. Gaiman and director McKean create arresting images to populate Helena's world, and the Henson Company brings them vividly to life with CGI; though the story is occasionally murky, the fantasy elements are imaginative enough to enthrall what will undoubtedly be the film's toughest customers--younger viewers. --Paul Gaita Tags