• PG
  • Dave McKean (2004)
  • US
  • 96 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Longtime comic-book collaborators Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman transfer their creative talents to celluloid for this ambitious fantasy adventure. Combining live action and digital animation, it's the surreal tale of a Brighton circus owner's daughter (Stephanie Leonidas) who becomes trapped in a magical world ruled over by the opposing queens of Light and Shadows (both played by Gina McKee). Unaware that the strange domain is born of her own imagination, Leonidas hunts for her only means of escape - an enormous power source known as the MirrorMask. The events that unfold are visually handsome, embroidered with eccentric characters and intricate landscapes. Unfortunately, the sumptuous settings come at the expense of everything else, with the clumsy execution compounded by an underdeveloped storyline and flat performances. Who this naive feature is aimed at is unclear, since there's insufficient depth for adults and too much confusing pomposity for children.

Plot Summary

A Brighton circus owner's daughter is magically transported to an alternative reality known as the Dark Lands. Trapped inside a strange world, the girl must find a special artefact that will restore power over the realm to the Queen of Light and grant her wish to go home. Fantasy adventure written by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, starring Stephanie Leonidas, Gina McKee, Rob Brydon and Stephen Fry.

Cast and crew


Helena / Anti-Helena
Stephanie Leonidas
Joanne / Queen of LIght / Queen of Shadows
Gina McKee
Morris Campbell / Prime Minister
Rob Brydon
Jason Barry
Dora Bryan
Robert Llewellyn
Small Hairy
Andy Hamilton
Stephen Fry
Pingo / Bing
Nik Robson
Cops 1-4
Lenny Henry


Dave McKean

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD
Released 3 Mar 2006
Certificate PG