MIRRORMASK is a collaboration between mad artist Dave McKean and mad writer Neil Gaiman -- and it's all sorts of eye-jazzingly neat-o. The standard "dark quest" semi-plot is in full effect, and if MIRRORMASK isn't excatly your average A to B to C adventure quest, well, it sure does offer a lot of eye candy that you've never seen before. Plus it has a strange sweetness and a playful darkness to it.
THE DARK CRYSTAL is a title that many of my generational brethren have a huge soft spot for, and while I think it's a quaint little adventure tale (that's especially impressive for being done entirely with puppets), it's not a flick I get all nostalgic for. Still, it's got all the standard points of a quality quest flick, plus the added bizarreness of being cast, y'know, entirely with puppets. Points to the Henson team for trying to broaden the scope of their creatures -- and there's little denying that this particular flick still seems to hold up pretty darn well.
Now, LABYRINTH on the other hand, this flick was a big influence on yours truly when I was just a young little movie freak. This is the film in which I first fell in love with Ms. Jennifer Connelly -- plus it's a long and colorful quest filled with crazy critters and creative set design. Toss in a tights-wearing David Bowie and a bunch of enjoyably terrible pop tunes, and you've got a movie that's half-good, half-bad, but the Gods of Nostalgia say this is a pretty fun time.
All in all, a fine trio of "older kid" adventure movies, with LABYRINTH the kiddiest, CRYSTAL a bit more mature, and MIRROR the one for the pre-teens. It's just a box set full of three previously-released platters, but if you don't already own the flicks, I say it's a solid investment.
On THE DARK CRYSTAL you'll get a great old "making of" piece that runs just under an hour. This isn't a new-fangled piece of fluff, but an early-80's "nuts & bolts" featurette that offers a lot of behind-the-scenes goodies. Also included are some deleted "funeral" scenes, a few old-school workprint scenes, several pieces of character artwork, and a few theatrical trailers.
On LABYRINTH the goodies are ... kinda slim. There's a pretty solid 58-minute behind-the-scenes documentary just like the one for CRYSTAL: Old-school promotional stuff that actually shows you the interesting backstage stuff. There's also a theatrical trailer, and that's pretty much it.