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Triumphant Fantasy Tales

image by Veronica V. Jones

Stardust Twinkles with Mashup Magic

Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as Yvaine and Tristan, seated.
Robert De Niro, Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as Captain Shakespeare, Yvaine and Tristan
Michelle Pfeiffer as Lamia, the Witch Queen.
Claire Danes and Charlie Cox as Yvaine and Tristan, running.
Ricky Gervais and Robert De Niro as Ferdy the Fence and Captain Shakespeare

Start with a faithful costume drama, liberally mix with swords and sorcery, add in a dash of pirates, then toss in a dollop of romantic comedy. It may sound like a mess, but in the hands of a master, the result is Stardust — a resplendent romp through an English village, a mystical marketplace… and parts unknown.

Neil Gaiman’s fanciful story transcends the familiar framework of traditional fantasy fables to create a mythological mashup that lies somewhere between a child’s fairy tale and Hollywood blockbuster, yet comfortably distant from both.

All of the classic characters are here: the heroic adventuresome lad and the mysterious beauty with hidden talents, pitted against evil witches and plotting princes. Nevertheless, there’s a great deal more at play here, and these players interact in unique and subtly surprising ways.

Some say that Stardust is a child’s movie, and they may be right. Many adults will not be perceptive enough, or clever enough to appreciate such a marvelously mixed-up adventure. Treat your inner child and make the journey to Wall, to Stormhold, and beyond.

Written by in August of 2007. Last edited November 2015.

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