Its no secret I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman's weird brand of fantasy. I adored Stardust, The Graveyard Book, and quite a few of his short stories (in particular, How To Talk To Girls At Parties). I even enjoyed Coraline, even though it creeped me out far more than a book meant for children probably should.
When I learned of Mirrormask, which was written by Gaiman, I was excited. Even better, the film was produced by Jim Henson Comapny, whose films Dark Crystal & Labyrinth I love. What could go wrong? A lot, as it turns out. The film is dark and strange and left an odd taste in my mouth. The storyline feels like it jumps around a lot as well, and I found it difficult trying to follow such randomness.
The movie centers around Helena, a teenage artist whose parents run and perform in a circus. Helena wishes for a different life and, in anger, lashes out at her mother. When her mother falls ill and must have an operation, Helena blames herself. That night, Helena is transported to a strange world where everyone wears masks and all the buildings resemble her drawings. Here she learns she must find something called The Mirrormask in order to wake the White Queen and stop the darkness from devouring the land and all who reside there. She also learns the cause of the darkness has to do with the Queen of Shadows' missing daughter. Helena is joined in her quest by Valentine, a juggler. As the two travel through the increasingly strange lands, they encounter hungry sphinxs, Very Useful Books, floating giants, and odd creatures that resemble both birds and apes (but don't think Wizard of Oz flying monkeys...think creepier). Helena must confront the Queen of Shadows and find the Mirrormask before it is too late. Because if she doesn't not only the Mirror world, but Helena's world will be destroyed.
Overall, I'm not certain exactly how to feel about Mirrormask. I didn't love it, but did I hate it? I'm not sure. I'd have to watch it again to be sure, but I'm not certain I want to.
p.s. I DID love the library in the movie! Just saying.