Two words sum this thing up. “Wow“, and “Acid Trip”.
Wait that’s three words. But nevermind.
I sat, partway through this movie, and thought, I’m watching an acid trip with my eleven-year-old daughter. And the sad thing is, I can’t explain to her how cool that is, not yet anyway.
What makes up for this is that she got the movie. And I don’t know any other kid her age who would. She can’t think of a single one of her friends who’ll get it, and she has geeky friends. She lists Coraline as her all-time favorite book; she worships Wolves in the Walls and loves The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish. She can’t wait to read American Gods and wanted to know all about Anansi Boys, which is on my bedside now.
She gets Gaiman. She gets Dave McKean‘s art. She gets the crazed multi-media world he lives in.
She understands, without my having to tell her anything, what the inside-out dreamworld of MirrorMask was all about.
We walked out of the movie both saying wow together; geek rapture, but also art rapture. Because while MirrorMask is a movie, what it really is, is three-dimensional, moving art. like few movies I’ve ever seen, this film is complete, pure art.
It’s hard to describe. The closest you cam come in spirit is to say it’s like Yellow Submarine. But it looks nothing like Yellow Submarine. What it looks like, feels like, is walking into Dave McKean’s mind and wandering around, a place where schools of fish swim through the sky, where you need a net to catch books, where stone giants float in the sky and old ladies keep sphinxes as pets. I guess one part Yellow Submarine, one part Cabinet of Doctor Caligari; with a side of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and a pinch of Tim Burton.
And no, that really doesn’t capture it.
What’s it about? Hell, it doesn’t matter, at all.
Just go see it.
And let me add, I’m in love with Stephanie Leonidas, who looks like she’s about fifteen in this movie, but is evidently old enough that I can buy her a drink if I ever run into her into a hotel bar.
I wanna do drugs with these guys, I tell ya.