Mirrormask

Mirrormask

4.4 32
Director: Dave McKean

Cast: Dave McKean, Jason Barry, Rob Brydon, Stephanie Leonidas

     
 

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Celebrated sci-fi writer Neil Gaiman, who created the Sandman series, scripted this visually adventurous fantasy. Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) is a 15-year-old girl who has spent nearly her entire life on the road, traveling with her parents Joanne and Morris (Gina McKee and Rob Brydon), who make a living as circus performers. One night, Helena wishes for aSee more details below

Overview

Celebrated sci-fi writer Neil Gaiman, who created the Sandman series, scripted this visually adventurous fantasy. Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) is a 15-year-old girl who has spent nearly her entire life on the road, traveling with her parents Joanne and Morris (Gina McKee and Rob Brydon), who make a living as circus performers. One night, Helena wishes for a quieter and more stable life, only to panic when her mother falls seriously ill, ending up in the hospital. Afraid she's caused her mother's illness, Helena slips into an alternate reality known as the Dark Lands, where nearly everything behaves differently and all is ruled by the Queen of Light and the Prime Minister (also played by McKee and Brydon). As it happens, the Queen of Shadows' daughter, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Helena, has gone missing; the Queen of Light has fallen unconscious as a result; and both queens' minders are looking for the child. As Helena struggles to make her way back to her own world to help her own mother, she discovers the Queen of Shadows' daughter has taken her place. Helena is aided in her journey by a gifted juggler named Valentine (Jason Barry), and together they seek to access a magic charm which will return everyone to the land where they belong. MirrorMask was produced by the Jim Henson Company, with most of the sets and many of the characters created using digital-effects technology.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Long-time friends and collaborators Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman bring to life a world where dreams and reality intertwine seamlessly in MirrorMask. Viewers familiar with the stark and macabre artwork of McKean will likely feel as though they are wandering through a computer-animated version of his paintings. Those unfamiliar with the first-time director's visual art might initially be put off by his peculiar, somewhat creepy style, but eventually find it the perfect medium in which to tell the story of a girl who unwittingly finds herself in a dreamlike realm where things are simultaneously familiar and new. McKean's computer-generated landscapes merge with live action as the stories in Helena's waking world merge with the goings-on in this alternate reality, creating a pleasantly disorienting effect. Both McKean and Gaiman wrote the script, but the clever, often sardonic dialogue definitely recalls Gaiman's former work on projects such as the Sandman comic series and his novels Neverwhere and American Gods. The cast, while not comprised of actors who are necessarily well known, does a more than adequate job of bringing the script to life. Stephanie Leonidas is convincing as Helena Campbell (as well as Helena's bad-girl alter ego, the Anti-Helena), skillfully evoking the often-confusing emotional middle ground that is adolescence, though the actress is somewhat older than the 15-year-old she portrays. Jason Barry is likewise well placed as quirky juggler Valentine, Helena's impromptu guide through the Dark Lands. Rob Brydon handles the role of Helena's caring and supportive father, ringmaster Morris Campbell, as well as the likeable, helpful Prime Minister. Gina McKee, who also protrays the evil and conniving Queen of Shadows and the comatose Queen of Light, plays Helena's well meaning but perhaps overbearing mother. The action in MirrorMask is set to an alluring score by Iain Ballamy which incorporates elements of disjointed jazz and at one point utilizes a very inventive version of the Hal David and Burt Bacharach tune "Close to You." Although it carries a PG rating, this is a film that is innovative and engaging enough to entertain people of many different ages.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/18/2008
UPC:
0043396273856
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
ABC
Time:
1:41:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jason Barry Valentine
Rob Brydon Morris Campbell / Prime Minister
Stephanie Leonidas Helena / Anti-Helena
Gina McKee Joanne / Queen of Light / Queen of Shadows

Technical Credits
Dave McKean Director,Original Story,Production Designer
Martin G. Baker Executive Producer
Iain Ballamy Score Composer
Neil Gaiman Original Story,Screenwriter
Nicolas Gaster Editor
Louis Hammond Casting
Lisa Henson Executive Producer
Hugh Johnson Sound/Sound Designer
Hugh Johnson Sound/Sound Designer
Joe Lea Asst. Director
Robert Lever Costumes/Costume Designer
Simon Moorhead Producer
Michael Polis Executive Producer
Ian Sands Sound/Sound Designer
Antony Shearn Cinematographer
Jim Henson's Creature Shop Special Effects
Barnaby Smith Sound/Sound Designer

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Scene Index

Director and writer commentary; Neil talks...; Interview with director Ddave McKean; Beginnings - the genesis of MirrorMask; Cast & crew interviews; Day 16 - time lapse video of one entire day of production; Flight of the Monkeybirds - making the Monkeybird sequence; Giants development - design and creation of the giant sequence; Questions & answers; Q & A sessions from the San Diego comic-con

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