Did you go see this movie yet? You really must!
I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy movies. The book series that it is based upon are on my top 10 all-time reads, so I am way past being just a big fan of the story and characters.
**FYI if you've read the books, the movie ends before the first book ends! So be warned! It was quite jarring not to have that climactic final scene, but I decided it was OK with me as long as they make the next movie in the series...
And I am relieved to say that I loved the movie, the characters were just as I'd pictured them, the daemons (an animal companion representing your soul)were really cool to see (I love the scenes when people were in groups and all the daemons were interacting). I was especially impressed with Pantalmainon, the daemon that Lyra the main character (the spunkiest girl heroine ever in the movies, how thrilling that must be for all the little girls seeing this movie!!) has, he changes a lot since she is a preteen. In her world the daemon settles into one form as part of puberty.
But the best best best part was the armoured polar bear Iorek Byrnison, he was perfect, they captured his pathos, his intensity and his fierceness so well in the animation. I'm so glad this film was made at this time, so that the imagery portrays the character so perfectly. Plus he is voiced by Ian McKellen, and it is somehow right that Gandalf's voice is coming out of this magnificent protector.
The part where Lyra rides on his back for the first time had me sobbing, I'm not sure why it touched me so. But it did. I remember it also affected me deeply when I read the book. I think I've always wanted a connection with another being like that. Absolute trust that they will protect you to the end with no hesitation.
I was worried that the witches would be made into ugly or awful characters, as witches usually are in fantasy movies, but these were beautiful, elegant, and also fierce. I surely wanted to fly off with or be Serafina Pekkala.
The movie website is really fun and there is a test to see what your daemon would be if you lived in Lyra's world. Here is mine, an awesome golden lion! That would make life interesting to say the least...
Go take the test and see which daemon would be your life companion, I'd love to know.