Neil Gaiman is probably the best current writer out there in the scene. His Comic series The Sandman has won more non-comic awards then any other Graphic Novel around. Each Novel he has written (Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Anasi Boys) have each been on the New York Times Best Selling list. And for good reason. This man is brilliant. His use of scenery, dialogue, and plotting are top notch. He is a treasure trove of brilliance in any medium. One of his latest works; Mirrormask is a prime example of his talent.
Mirror Mask Plot: A young girl (Helena) falls asleep one evening after being worried about if her mother is going to live or die. She wakes up in this strange dream world which she had created from a bunch of drawings around her room. Ever facet, nook, and crany of this dream world was drawn by her on a piece of paper. When she arrives she finds that she must find a treasure in order to save the dream world from being destroyed.
The music in this movie was brilliant. The musicians were all new faces to the medium of film but their sounds were unique and orginal. Their melodies were very avant-garde and haunting. Their futures in music will all be bright no matter if they are doing album or scoring work. My only problem with the overall music production in the movie was the lack of diversity. I think there could have been some more vocal pieces, and grander change in the motifs from scene to scene.
The movie was largely a CGI production blended with live actors. Normally I’m not a big fan of a blending of visual genres but this movie pulled it off nicely. The scenery was simply scary. This movie was in the family section from the store I bought it at but if I was child watching it I’d be very frightened. I think Neil was trying to make a movie mature enough to where any age level would find it enjoyable.
The artists in this movie like the musicians were also all new comers. They were each given a scene of their own to do whatever they wanted in terms of how things fit into the plot/scene. How everything ended up working together was seamless. At no point could I tell the overall style of work had drastically changed. So it made it feel like it was all one flick. Which is good for continuity purposes. There were no flaws in any of the detail, animation, bit-mapping, or actor/art placement. It was all very brilliant.
Well… this is very difficult. Trying to stay composed in any sort of dream/psychedelic state would be very difficult. The actors in the movie did seem to pull it off. The heroine had the believability of someone who was dreaming and knew they were dreaming. But there were times I think the dialogue or useage of the lines could have been more well done. Or better rehearsed. The actors though who played dream characters did a stupendous job. They all seemed to me to be made of dreams, hence having the logic of dreams.
I purchased the movie before renting. I have to say I don’t regret it all. I found the movie to be an instant classic for anyone who is a die-hard fantasy fan. This movie was an instant classic. It was a shame that it pretty much went straight to DVD. If it ever gets a chance to be re-released to Theater I would highly suggest everyone to see it on the big-screen. But since that is un-likely spending 20-30 bucks at your video store would be well worth it. The movie is easily replayable and you get something out of it every watch.
And if you enjoy this movie and are also a comic/literature fan I’d highly suggest checking out other works by Neil Gaiman. We are lucky to be alive while he is at the peek of his career.