From Heather Kenyon’s coverage of the I Castelli Animati festival:
…One of the most unusual special guests was the U.K.’s David McKean. David’s dark, haunting images and use of new technology made him a real breath of fresh air and a new face to see at an animation festival. Congratulations go to the festival staff for seeking out such an original guest. A contributor to The New Yorker, he is also a filmmaker, writer, stop-motion animator, photographer and has worked in advertising, comics (the renowned Sandman series) and with collage. He is a multi-faceted artist who works in many mediums, mixing them together, to create a signature style that is very unique.
The highlight was getting two sneak peeks at his recently completed feature film collaboration with Neil Gaiman, MirrorMask. Mr. McKean, who co-wrote and directed, explained, “It is for everybody – it is not a kid’s film, it is not an adult film – however, while it is for everybody, I don’t think it is for everyone. Not everyone will like it.” But I think, with the absolutely jaw-dropping, stunning visuals, this dark, fairy story of a film will be well worth the price of admission for animation fans.
Taking 17 months to complete, the Sony release transplants viewers to another world following the journey of young Helena as she tries to find the fabled MirrorMask, save her kingdom and return home. A charming speaker David offered everything from advice – “A filmmaker must always keep in mind the point and then get their audience to think that that is very important.” – to musings about Batman: “I never understood Batman. Where was the leap between man and bat? There must have been some missing pages somewhere,” he quipped.