Friday, November 30, 2012


Any mention of Mirrormask seems accompanied by a condescending head-shake toward its plot. This would make sense if we were talking about an Agatha Christie "whodunit" or a morally charged SciFi warning of the future, but not when the subject at hand is an oneiric fantasy created to showcase imaginative landscapes.

Yes, it's true, it would have benefitted from a more complex storyline. As it stands, it's a fairly standard hero's journey. The heroine enters a magic world, acquires a sidekick, receives aid from various helpers, has a falling out with the sidekick, then they reconcile, grab the macguffin and reinstate the status quo. You're even told what the macguffin is from the get-go. It wasn't meant as a mystery of any sort.

Believe me, i am not spoiling the movie by saying that the mirrormask is the goal of the heroine's quest or that her sidekick will need to apologize at some point. Unless you're six years old, you will see all the major plot 'twists' coming from a mile away. What you won't foresee are the myriad visual details and the fantastic settings. Every scene warrants new descriptors like 'sphinx pride' or 'monkeybirds' or 'clockwork nannies' and the overall visual effect is as surreal as a Salvador Dali painting come to life.

The whole movie is a prime example of the power of even simple, relatively unsophisticated CGI, and the positive spin good writing and atmosphere can put on a simplistic premise.

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