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.