I'm another of those who saw this at Sundance, and all the things I enjoy about Gaiman and McKean's graphic novels were on display: the quiet humor, the intelligence, the delightful weirdness, the astounding visual vocabulary. Except that in this case, the words are spoken by good actors, and all those visuals get up off their feet and move.
It's hard to describe the impact of watching a McKean painting move and talk. There might be those who quibble about the movie looking too animated, but of course that's exactly the point: to create a world and make it dance. The end result, visually at least, is like nothing you've ever seen before, and absolutely worth seeing for that reason alone.
Some of the people I talked to after the screening also loved the visuals but felt the story was a bit dull, that they had seen it all before. Well, it's true that the story does wear its influences on its sleeve--a little "Alice in Wonderland" here, a little "Time Bandits" there, a lot of "Wizard of Oz" over here, not to mention a resemblance to Gaiman's own "Coraline." But I'm just as familiar with those stories as anyone else, and the resemblances never interrupted my enjoyment of "MirrorrMask"--after all, it's what you do with a story that determines its success. And from moment to moment, there was enough innovation and cleverness, enough delight and wonder, to make the movie a positive delight.
I can imagine kids sitting in the audience with their eyes agog; and I can imagine their parents sitting next to them, just as agog for a whole different set of reasons. "MirrorMask" may or may not be too wild to be a full-out commercial success; but I predict it's going to have a long, long shelf life. I know I'll be buying the DVD as soon as it's available, so that I can show it to people and say "Wait till you see this."
In a fantasy world of opposing kingdoms, a 15-year old girl must find the fabled MirrorMask in order to save the kingdom and get home.
Added By: Kaiac
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