Screenwriter Neil Gaiman's masterful allegorical drama, which melds live actors with animated characters, portrays the existence of a 15-year-old girl named Helena (Stephanie Leonidas) in a civilization ruled by light and darkness. When the Light Queen loses her equal hold on the kingdom, plunging it into gloomy shadows, Helena takes it upon herself to restore the universe back to its rightful balance. Dave McKean directs.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

Here's a fantasy movie for people who thought Labyrinth was too plain. Inhabiting a dream landscape far richer and stranger than anyone's subconscious could actually invent, this adventure tale combines CGI, puppets, paintings, drawings, and live action to create a gorgeous production that continues to reveal astonishing new sights all the way through its ending. It finds emotional power in its story about a teenager breaking free from her parents, even if the characters are thinly-developed. It's too bad this film didn't find a larger audience; it's hard to imagine anyone not being charmed by its many imaginative surprises.

− March 25, 2008 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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