I finally got to see MirrorMask last night. I've been following the production of this film for quite some time. I'm a big fan of Dave McKean's work so I knew I would like it visually. I'm also a big fan of Neil Gaiman so I knew that I would like the story, I wasn't sure if I'd like it as a film though. It's not a perfect film, it does have a lot of pacing issues and story problems. I have to agree with Roger Elbert's review of the film, it does follow a generic fantasy type plot line. It does have some new ideas. But I enjoyed the film quite a bit, probably becouse I'm a real sucker for this kind of film, but I can't say I'd recommend it to too many people.
I knew that Dave McKean made this film for very little money, I think it was bout 4 million, which is very little money for such a heavy effects driven film. Dave McKean had to work with smaller CG Effects houses to get the film done and I think he gave diffrent parts of the film to different people. Becouse of this the creddits looked diffrent, diffrent in a way I realy liked. The credits at the end list each of lead animators and underneeth they list sequences that they worked on. I've never seen that before, I wish that they'd do that for all films. It'd be nice to see which lead worked on which sequence in a Pixar film for example.
Over all I felt like the animation was either really good or was passable. That is to say there were some parts in the film where the animation turned out really well, then there were other parts that looked jerky or to pose to pose. Like someone needed to clean up the curves some more. There were a couple parts where I felt like the characters were too much of a cycle. But when it was good, it worked really good, I did like some of the animation, I liked the Gryphons a lot and the Librarian and I enjoyed the Giant sequence. The Giants moved really slowly, but they were smart enough to sprinkle in fast movements at the right time. It was nice to see.
I haven't been keeping track of how well the movie is doing, but for a first film this is really good. I hope that it will allow Dave McKean will do another one.