Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) (2006): A World Cinema mini-review

Pan's Labyrinth El Laberinto del Fauno Movie Poster


Guillermo del Toro



In the fascist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.


Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth is without a doubt one of the most magical and beautiful film experiences I have ever had. Flooded with exquisite visual effects and staggering cinematography, it is a movie that keeps viewers intensely focused on its every detail from beginning to end. The time is 1944 in fascist Spain where a quiet and book-loving, the stepdaughter of a cruel and ruthless army officer, looks to escape from her oppressive life into a more captivating and mysterious fantasy world. A main factor in Pan’s Labyrinth’s greatness is the performance given by Ivana Baquero as the young Ofelia. She does such an excellent job that one immediately suspends belief and is fully involved in her life’s joys and sorrows; indeed, her interaction with the fantastical creatures are the film’s most gorgeous scenes for sure. But it is del Toro’s mastery of the art of direction that ensures this film’s place in film history. He knows how to mesh together the real and fairy tale worlds to provide audiences with a unique and original story they have not encountered before. However, it is the combination of all those components that makes Pan’s Labyrinth one of the greatest films ever made.

Favorite Scenes: (Spoiler Alert!)

  • Ofelia discovers the fantasy world
  • Ofelia meets Pan
  • Ofelia and the Frog King
  • Ofelia and the baby creature
  • Final scene

Outstanding performances:

  • Ivana Baquero (as Ofelia)


1 hour and 58 minutes




Drama / Fantasy / War