We all found ourselves at a strange loss for words after watching this movie. On one hand it is a typical adventure teenage quest story of the sort found in fantasy novels. A girl must find the Mirrormask to restore her world and a parallel one to balance in order to save her mother from dying.
The way the story is illustrated with extremely odd special effects at first brought Tim Burton to mind. We soon saw that Tim Burton just wasn't odd enough (and how often do you hear that said?) and had to revise our opinion to the WeirdMeister ... Terry Gilliam.
We watched with a strange fascination to see what would happen next, not because we were caught up the story which at the base was fairly straight forward. The fascination was in the way the story moved along its predictable lines but made so very, very odd by the effects. It was like the time we watched Time Bandits (except Mirrormask's plot was more normal) ... unable to look away because we were wondering what would happen next in the weirdness.
In the end, neither Tom, Rose, or me could say that we liked or disliked this movie. That in itself probably is the strangest thing about the movie for we are an opinionated crowd. If you like this sort of movie, then this is the sort of movie you will like (to misquote The Car Guys).
HC RATING: Undefinable