Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth Study Guide

Pan's Labyrinth is a Mexican-Spanish fantasy film from 2006, written and directed by Guillermo del Toro. It stars Sergi Lopez, Maribel Verdu, Ivana Baquero, Doug Jones, and Ariadna Gil. It incorporates animatronics and CGI as a way of building its uncanny and fantastical visual world, and was critically acclaimed upon its release.

The film takes place five years after the Spanish Civil War, in 1944, and follows a young girl named Ofelia as she descends into a fantasy world, where she must complete different tasks in order to be returned to her rightful place on the throne of the underworld. In the fantasy world, she is guided by a large faun and a fairy. Meanwhile, she faces personal turmoil in the abusive and dangerous house of her stepfather, Vidal, a soldier in the ruling Francoist regime.

Critic Roger Ebert gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and put it on his "Great Movies" list. Of the film, he wrote, "Pan's Labyrinth is one of the greatest of all fantasy films, even though it is anchored so firmly in the reality of war." The film won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Makeup. It was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Foreign Film (submitted for Mexico).

Pan's Labyrinth was also uncharacteristically successful for a foreign film at the American box office. Against a budget of $19 million, it made back $83.3 million at the box office in the United States and abroad.