Having assembled a wonderful cast director, Tim Burton brings to life a children's novel, which was published in 2011. Originally intended to be a picture book, author Ransom Riggs used photographs as a collection to help narrate his novel. Burton, through the magic of IMAX 3D cinema, has brought to life the wonderful characters and imagination described in the book.
While the film was wonderfully shot and beautifully told, I had issues with the explanations of how the story was presented. It seemed to me that although this was basically a children's story, it was too sophisticated for its target audience. I had trouble following the concept of time and space relationships and the different types of characters and their abilities. There were the peculiar children, the peculiar animals, the peculiar Ymbrynes, and of course, the non-peculiars.
I loved the main cast of Eva Green, Judi Dench, Chris O'Dowd, Terence Stamp, and Asa Butterfield. This was the second time Burton and Green have collaborated in a film, the first being Dark Shadows. In both films, Green was perfectly cast for each role. However, I did have an issue with the casting of Samuel Jackson as the evil baron. I found that it took away from the fairytale type story, since Jackson is such a dominant actor. While he started out soft and mellow, he ended up loud and boisterous, as he does in almost every part he plays. This became distracting and made it difficult to follow the story. In fact, I was so distracted, I had to go to my computer and look up the book (since I didn't read it) in Wikipedia, so I could understand actually what was going on.
Spoiler alert: The more you understand about inter-dimensional timelines and how they intersect each other, you may have the same difficulty I had with the story. However, I don't believe a film geared toward children should have that as a requirement to see the film.