What if the colorful fantasies and bouts of magical thinking experienced by many children were actually real for one little girl? That's the question powering this story, I think. The escapism of playing pretend is not enough sometimes, not by half, making this movie a much-needed world of wish fulfillment.
My step da' tells me this is film that confirmed to him that I would be a weirdo film fanatic for life. I watched it for the first time with him when I was about 14 years old and made two statements during, the first was 'Vidal is one of the most evil people to ever exist, ever.' and the second was 'Pan's so cute.'...little did I know. As a 23 year old, I stick by the first statement. Vidal, you're an arsehole mate.
It sweeps me off my feet every time I see it. This is Del Toro's question to the world: why does life have to be so violent, cruel and inhumane? I hope Del Toro returns to this type of film in his career, otherwise I fear I have to say the best is behind him.
It’s good that a film can be so wondrous and magical, but also so dark and violent. Del Toro pulls no punches here, and the violence is realistic and horrifying. That violence is only matched by the dark beauty of the fairy world, proving that there is such beauty in monstrous things. The ending is bittersweet, and the ultimate fate of the captain is perfect and true. Such a sweet, sad affair.