MirrorMask, the much anticipated Jim Henson Company film written by Neil Gaiman, and directed by Dave McKean, is set to hit theaters September 30, 2005.
After reading and reviewing the MirrorMask companion book which includes the screen play, bios, commentary, and pics, I’ve been counting the days until the movie’s release. The partnership of The Jim Henson Company with Gaiman, and McKean is a cinematic match made in heaven, and a dream come true for Gaiman and McKean fans. This movie has all the ingredients of a visual masterpiece.
A dark fantasy with elements of The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, MirrorMask is the story of Helena, a young girl whose parents own a small circus in which she begrudgingly performs. Her dreams of running away to a “normal life” take a drastic turn when Helena suddenly finds herself in a strange and fantastic world of giants, evil sphinxes, and monkey birds. In order to return to her own world, Helena finds she must journey into the Dark Lands on a quest for the powerful MirrorMask, the only thing which can revive the Queen of Light, the sole person who can save this world, and return Helena home.
Adding to the magic is the setting where Gaiman and McKean worked together on creating the story…
Dave and I created the story and script for MirrorMask in the Henson family home in London, surrounded by memorabilia and artifacts from Jim Henson’s astonishing career in television and fantasy filmmaking. It was a true challenge and inspiration to try to make something today that would be as visually rich, creative, funny and as moving as Jim Henson’s original works.
“For more than 20 years, Neil Gaiman has been one of the world’s most successful, honored and beloved writers in modern comics and has become a best-selling novelist as well. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers. Like so many of his works, his most recent novel, American Gods, received several awards including the Hugo, Bram Stoker and SFX awards. His most popular title, the monthly cult DC Comics series, Sandman, was described by the LA Times as ‘The greatest epic in the history of comic books’ and ‘the best monthly comic book in the world’.”
“Born in Taplow, Berkshire in 1963, Dave McKean attended Berkshire College of Art and Design and upon graduation in 1986 had already begun his professional career as an illustrator. Today, McKean is an internationally known award-winning artist with a prolific career spanning all forms of media.”
An accomplished director of short films, McKean’s The Week Before (1998) toured international festivals as did his 2002 film N[EON], First Prize winner at the Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival. MirrorMask marks his debut as a feature film director.
As a writer and illustrator, McKean has been recognized with numerous awards including the Harvey Award for Best New Comic, the International Alph Art Award for Best Graphic Novel and Italy’s La Pantera Award, all for the comic novel Cages published from 1990 to1996. His latest collection of short stories in comics form, Pictures That Tick, won Overall First Prize for the National Book Awards in 2002.