In a fantasy world of opposing kingdoms, a fifteen-year-old girl must find the fabled MirrorMask in order to save the kingdom and get home.

Director:

Dave McKean

Writers:

Neil Gaiman (story), Dave McKean (story) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephanie Leonidas ... Helena / Anti-Helena
Jason Barry ... Valentine
Rob Brydon ... Morris Campbell / Prime Minister
Gina McKee ... Joanne Campbell / Queen of Light / Queen of Shadows
Dora Bryan ... Aunt Nan
Stephen Fry ... Librarian
Andy Hamilton Andy Hamilton ... Small Hairy
Simon Harvey ... Sphinx
Lenny Henry ... Cops 1-4
Robert Llewellyn ... Gryphon
Eryl Maynard ... Mrs. Bagwell
Eve Pearce Eve Pearce ... Future Fruit Lady
Nik Robson Nik Robson ... Pingo / Bing (as Nik Robinson)
Victoria Williams Victoria Williams ... Nurse
Rick Allen ... Man In a Box
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Storyline

In a fantasy world of opposing kingdoms, a 15-year-old girl named Helena who works at the family circus with her father and mother, who wishes--quite ironically--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 landscape filled with giants, Monkeybirds and dangerous sphinxes. She must find the fabled MirrorMask in order to save the kingdom and get back home. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Enter A World Where Dreams Are Real See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The MirrorMask title is shown on the record that is playing when Helena and Valentine enter Mrs. Bagwell's apartment. See more »

Goofs

After Helena holds up the key while looking at the tower, the immediate next shot shows the key facing the opposite direction. See more »

Quotes

Helena: I'm not anyone
[pause]
Helena: I'm... me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'MirrorMask' (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Apologise
Performed by Josefine Cronholm & Ashley Slater
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User Reviews

 
An Intimate and Wonrous Journey through the Mind
25 February 2006 | by Fan4562See all my reviews

It's impossible to deny that we live in the age of McMovies, where 95% of all films that are produced are either remakes, rehashes, sequels, or carbon copies of other movies (which are, most of the time, far superior). That is why when a truly cosmical event such as the planets lining up or a movie like Mirrormask is released one should really stop and pay attention. Simply put, everyone should see this movie. I am well aware that most people will hate it, but it is a monument of everything which the movie industry could be, maybe should be, and isn't: sublime, heartfelt, intimate, and utterly escapist.

I am a fan of Jim Henson. I have seen the Dark Crystal and hadn't really liked it. However, I walked out feeling that it was something I needed to see, I didn't want my time refunded as with most movies I don't genuinely enjoy.

The story of Mirrormask is about a teenage girl who works with her family at the circus. Every kid's dream, right? WRONG. She yearns for a normal life, which is the reason for much dispute between her and her mother. After one particularly nasty fight her mother falls before an illness. As she dwindles between life and death Helena, our heroine, is sent to live with an aunt and gets a taste of the life she so desperately wanted. As she tries to come to grips with all of this she falls into a dream. There she is trapped inside a magical land. The dream world is divided in two, the "light" kingdom which symbolises Helena's idealized version of things, and the "dark" kingdom, that stands for all the aspects of her life she hates. Perhaps by walking through both of them she may come to understand the real world, which lies somewhere in the middle of the two.

Like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind did while exploring the murky depths of the human mind, Mirrormask does a sublime job of truly capturing the essence of a dream. The world that Helena walks seems to be without boundaries and undaunted by the laws of the physical world but at the same time it does operate under its own twisted logic and rules. This is where the film's top assets comes in: it's maverick and inspired art direction. Even in the real world there is a surreal edge that hovers over everything dominating our minds. But once you enter the dream world the wonder-bomb truly explodes in an orgy of CGI-madness. I think that every scene in the dream world has digital elements but it never felt overdone (I'm looking at you, Lucas). There's way too much visual flair to capture it all in one viewing, but you're not really meant to. You're meant to move through it, to be surrounded by it, and whatever you retain from your voyage will be more than enough. This pushes the envelope of the wonders that CGI can create. Many will say: it's a kid's movie driven by special effects so it can't be art. Yet art it is.

And that's right, it's a kid's movie. No matter how you cut it that is what it is. But still, it is a great movie that will be entertaining for the kids but provide something for the adults that will fly over the kid's heads. The film is an incredible analysis of the human subconscious. What makes it great is the fact that it is so intimate, everyone can identify themselves with Helena as she comes to experience the duality of her world, in a way it speaks to all of us. The actors are good, not great. But special mention must be done to the fact that most of them act their way through masks and we are still able to understand the emotions behind them.

Yet... the film is not perfect. It falls short on story. That is the one place where Mirrormask does not shine and is not original and unfortunately it is a big one. The story is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. In addition to not being original, the plot is not exactly brilliant. The ultimate payoff is good and the voyage is a triumph of imagination, but the movement of characters from point A to point B is often without a strong motivation or flimsy reasons. And for anyone that does not bond with Helena the movie, no matter how visually original, will not work. Still, you should not stop these flaws from letting you give a chance to one of the most brave and unique movies of the 21st century.

At the end of the day Mirrormask feels like a good movie who had the potential to be a masterpiece but fell just shy of being great (allow me to clarify, 10=perfect, 9=masterpiece, 8=great, 7=good). It feels like a wondrous painting that had the misfortune of being trapped in a film, where it is still good but is weighed down by the other aspects of the medium, which ultimately muck up its glory. Nevertheless, it is a wild trip and I stand by my conviction that everyone should watch this film although most of the people won't like it. For those who will hate it: At an hour and half it's not a terribly bad waste of your time and at the end of the day you will walk away having seen a truly original piece of film the likes of which you won't likely see for many years. And for those that like it... well sweet dreams to you.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Mirrormask See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$126,449, 2 October 2005

Gross USA:

$866,999

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$866,999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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