Family fantasy from two stalwarts of the genre.

Article by Ali Maloney | 17 Mar 2006

With the revival of the family fantasy film, it was only a matter of time before Neil Gaiman - who in books such as 'Sandman', 'American Gods' and 'Coraline' brought the fairy-tale into the realms of the profound and philosophical - and cubist-collagist Dave McKean (interviewed in Skinny issue 1), whose distinctive art has so often elaborated Gaiman's stories, transferred their fantastical collaborations onto the big screen. Plotwise, 'MirrorMask' is another formulaic fantasy film - a normal girl (played brilliantly by newcomer Stephanie Leonidas) lost in a fantasy world plays a pivotal role in that world's future - but it still provides a colourful adventure, as Gaiman's imagination brims with strange concoctions, creatures and eccentricities that recall that childhood perennial, 'Labyrinth'. McKean's realisation of the story is what really shines here, almost entirely redeeming the artistic merit of CGI, and elevating what could have been a disappointing feature-length cinematic debut into an eye-popping extravaganza. [Ali Maloney]

This film is released on Friday March 3.