Mirrormask

Directed By: Dave McKean Starring: Stephanie Leonidas

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AVERAGE RATING
3 out of 5
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Total Reviews
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Overall Satisfaction
3
Value
3
Ease of Use
3
Performance

Bizarre and imaginative

on 7/10/2008

This movie takes you on a journey with pure imagination and unexpected adventures. It fits in the same category of the many "The Wizard of Oz" stories. Read More

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Product Overview

Helena is a 15-year-old girl working for her family circus, who wishes that she could run away from the circus and join real life. But such is not to be the case, as she finds herself on a strange journey into the dark lands, a fantastic land filled with fantastic creatures.

Specifications

Studio Sony
SKU 202067219
UPC 043396025059
UPC 14 00043396025059
Format DVD
Release Date 5/1/2007
Rating Rating
Keywords
Animated/Live-Action
Dreams
Family (General)
Fantasy
Teenagers
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note 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 the family waits for news and the circus struggles financially, Helena blames herself for the misfortune. The night before her mother's surgery, Helena is mysteriously transported to a world which bears a strong resemblance to her own drawings, and is populated by strange creatures who follow an even stranger logic. Helena and her traveling companion, fellow juggler Valentine (Jason Barry), sign on to find a mysterious charm which will wake the queen of the city--also played by McKee--from her deep sleep, defeating the forces of darkness and returning Helena home. The film's outstanding art direction is complemented by witty dialogue and some genuinely creepy moments (the words "don't let them see you're afraid" are chill-inducing). Meanwhile, Leonidas's performance is remarkable, maintaining a likeability, charm, and freshness that is all the more amazing considering it was delivered against a green screen, with her special-effect co-stars edited in later.
Reviews
Entertainment Weekly "MIRRORMASK unspools with the rambling, intuitive digressions of a dream..." -- Grade: A- 10/07/2005 p.53
New York Times "[The film] blends live action with computer-generated animation by the Jim Henson Company into a provocative, murky surrealism." 10/28/2005 p.E29
Sight and Sound "MIRRORMASK ambitiously draws on a diverse range of influences....McKean treats every frame of film as it were a strip panel scheduled for reproduction in a glossy art book." p.67-68
Uncut "[With] a winning WIZARD OF OZ-style structure...[and] a resplendent universe of impossible vistas and fabulous beings." 04/01/2006 p.134
Directors
Dave McKean
Actors
Stephanie Leonidas
Cast & Crew
Dave McKean - Director
Dave McKean, et. al. - Story By
Gina McKee - Actor
Iain Ballamy - Original Music By
Jason Barry - Actor
Lisa Henson, et. al. - Executive Producer
Neil Gaiman - Teleplay
Nicolas Gaster - Editor
Rob Brydon - Actor
Simon Moorhead - Producer
Stephanie Leonidas - Actor
Tony Shearn - Cinematographer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2005
Catalog ID 02505
UPC 00043396025059
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 104 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Thai
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Reviews
ReviewSource James Berardinelli's ReelViews
Review How best to encapsulate my feelings about MirrorMask? What about: visually active, but emotionally inert? A lot of descriptors are apt: unorthodox, stylistically inventive, a labor of love, and (perhaps most importantly) a failed experiment. The central evident flaw is that, although the film may look and feel unlike other movies, the limited pleasure derived from its appearance goes only so far. When the time comes for classical elements like story and character to take over, they are unequal to the task. MirrorMask is built on a foundation of stock plot elements. The narrative is simplistic and lacking in energy, and the characters are sketched instead of fully formed.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 5
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review MirrorMask must have been a labor of love to make. Watching it is also a labor of love. The movie is a triumph of visual invention, but it gets mired in its artistry and finally becomes just a whole lot of great stuff to look at while the plot puts the heroine through a few basic moves over and over again.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 5
Features
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Surround Sound, Dubbed & Subtitled, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Leonidas,Stephanie
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Quotes
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly Has something to astonish everyone.
Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News Each scene is a masterwork of composition and execution.

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Bizarre and imaginative on Jul 10, 2008

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