Michael Polis of the Jim Henson Company presented a stunning preview and a few short clips from the upcoming film MirrorMask. MirrorMask, which combines the storytelling talents of Neil Gaiman and the incredible artwork of Dave McKean, is the story of Helena, a fifteen-year-old girl working for her family circus, who wishes—quite ironically—that she could run away from the circus and join real life. But such is not to be the case, as she finds herself on a strange journey into the Dark Lands, a fantastic landscape filled with giants, Monkeybirds, and dangerous sphinxes. Helena searches for the Mirrormask, an object of enormous power that is her only hope of escaping the Dark Lands, waking the Queen of Light and returning home.
Polis stated that the movie was made on a low budget—only $4 million—but the visual effects are stunning and beyond surreal; beautiful, weird, dreamlike, and discomforting all at once. Scheduled for release on September 30th, the same weekend as Serenity, it should appeal to people who are ready for a 21st-century Wizard of Oz. I know I plan to see it.
In addition to MirrorMask, Polis showed a retrospective celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Jim Henson Company, which, over the years, has brought us things like the Muppet Show, Sesame Street, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock, and Farscape, among other things.