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Parents' Guide to

Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun

By Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Dark, magical adaptation matches the intensity of the movie.

Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (4 ):

Thrilling, enchanting, and heartbreaking, this well-achieved adaptation of a sensational film is an absolute page-turner. Cornelia Funke's writing is powerful and effective, preserving the mystery and wizardry of the original, while del Toro's handpicked illustrator, Allen Williams, adds striking visuals to accompany the text. As with any adaptation -- especially of such a stunning and imaginative film -- it's difficult to capture all of the creativity of the source material, but Funke does a nice job of re-creating the film almost shot-for-shot. And the new fairy tales are excellent additions that enrich the overall story and add something for fans of the movie who might wonder why they would want to read the book version. These allegorical vignettes not only give the reader a deeper understanding of del Toro's magical universe but also provide welcome relief from the unrelenting darkness of Ofelia's tragic struggle. By the end of the book, it's hard to know what was real and what was fantasy, but perhaps the lesson is that true magic is conjured out of courage, selflessness, and hope even in the face of insurmountable odds and unimaginable evil.

While Pan's Labyrinth is certainly darker and less fun than Harry Potter or even A Series of Unfortunate Events, fans of those series who don't mind a bit of tragedy and history mixed in with their magic will find plenty to love in this reworking of a modern classic.

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