It is a 2006 Mexican Spanish-Language fantasy film, written and directed by Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro. It was produced and distributed by the Mexican film company Esperanto Films. Guillermo del Toro as I know its also the director of the movie Hellboy II the golden army, if you have seen both, you'll notice certain similary of these 2 movies especially the fantasy creatures. Anyway, Pan's labyrinth has received 3 Academy awards for best cinematography, best art direction and best make up, 3 other nominations for best original scores, best original screen play and best foreign language movie.
Pale man-the movie's famous creature
the movie is around the Spainish Facists in 1944.The movie opens with A young girl named Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), lies on the ground bleeding, while the narration explains that long ago, Princess Moanna of the Underground Realm escaped to Earth out of curiosity, where she forgot her past and died. Nonetheless, her father retains hope that her spirit will eventually return to him.
The story then cuts to post-Civil War Spain in 1944. Ofelia, a great lover of fairy tales, is traveling with her pregnant mother, Carmen (Ariadna Gil) to join Captain Vidal (Sergi López i Ayats), Ofelia's new stepfather and father of Carmen's unborn child. Ofelia discovers an insect that she believes to be a fairy along the road, and it follows them to the mill where Vidal is stationed. Ofelia chases the insect into an ancient labyrinthnearby, where she meets Vidal's housekeeper, Mercedes (Maribel Verdú), who treats her kindly and brings her home.
Captain Vidal, who is stationed at the mill to hunt down Spanish Maquis guerrillas, is shown early on to be a violent and cruel man. When his men find two farmers who claim to be peasants hunting rabbits, Vidal brutally beats one of them and kills them both for supposedly aiding the rebel cause before actually searching their belongings and finding a dead rabbit.
One night, Ofelia is awoken by the insect, which physically changes into a fairy. Ofelia follows back to the labyrinth. There, she meets a faun(Doug Jones), who tells her he believes her to be the reincarnation of Princess Moanna. He then tells her that in order to return to her father's realm, she needs complete three tasks for him before the full moon. He gives her the Book of Crossroads, an artifact that will help her to complete three tasks.
Eventually, Captain Vidal hosts a dinner party, which Ofelia is also expected to attend. Carmen gives her a new dress and shoes to wear at the party. Before dinner starts, however, Ofelia receives her first task from the Book of Crossroads. Ofelia crawls through the muddy tunnels under a fig tree in the forest and tricks a monstrous toad at its root into eating magic stones that the faun gave her. As the toad dies, it vomits out a key, which Ofelia takes.
Meanwhile, a guest at Vidal's dinner remarks on how Vidal's late father, also a prominent military figure, had smashed his watch at the moment of his death on the battlefield so that his son would know the exact time he died. Captain Vidal replies his father never owned a watch. Ofelia returns to the house, late for dinner and with her new dress ruined. As punishment, Carmen sends her to bed without supper.
Soon after, Carmen has an episode of severe bleeding, and is prescribed bed rest until she gives birth. The faun tells Ofelia of a way to restore her mother to health: place a mandrake root in a bowl of fresh milk underneath her bed, and feed it two drops of blood each day. After carrying out the faun's prescription, Ofelia undertakes her second task. Using the key she found, she is required to retrieve an ornate dagger from the lair of the Pale Man (also played by Jones): a grotesque, child-eating monster. Although she was warned not to take anything but the dagger, she eats two grapes, awakening the Pale Man. The Pale Man eats two of the three fairies that accompanied Ofelia and chases her. She narrowly escapes and returns to the faun, but he refuses to give her the third task because of her disobedience.
Vidal is shown capturing a rebel and brutally torturing him during an interrogation. The doctor is called to ensure that the rebel remains alive for questioning, but the doctor euthanizes the rebel at his request. Vidal kills the doctor for his disobedience and treachery, because he also discovered that the doctor had been aiding the rebels by giving them medicine. Vidal then catches Ofelia feeding the mandrake under her mother's bed. Carmen tells her daughter that fairy tales are not real, and to prove her point she burns the mandrake. As the root is destroyed, Carmen goes into labor and dies in childbirth, but delivers a healthy son.
Vidal calls Mercedes into his office and informs her that the captured rebel spoke of a spy at the mill, hinting that he knows that the rebel was referring to her. He then orders her to fetch more liquor from the storeroom. She forgets to ask for what she assured him previously was the only copy of the key as she turns to leave, and, after Vidal reminds her, realizes her mistake too late. Mercedes knows she must leave for it is no longer safe for her, and alerts Ofelia of her escape the night of. A sobbing Ofelia clings to Mercedes, begging to leave with her, to which Mercedes reluctantly agrees. As they trudge through the rainy night into the forest, they are met by Vidal and his waiting men. Ofelia is locked in her bedroom and the troops guarding her are ordered to kill her first should anyone try to fetch her. Mercedes is taken to be tortured, but she frees herself using a hidden knife with which she also severely injures Vidal. He survives and has his men pursue her, but she is rescued by her brother and a group of rebels.
The faun returns to Ofelia and gives her one more chance to prove herself, telling her to take her baby half-brother into the Labyrinth. Ofelia sneaks into Vidal's room, drugs his liquor and grabs her brother from his cradle, but Vidal sees her as she escapes. Ofelia enters the labyrinth as the rebels attack the mill. Upon reaching the center of the maze, Ofelia encounters the faun, who wields the ornate dagger that Ofelia retrieved from the Pale Man's lair. The faun explains that he needs the blood of an innocent to open the portal to the Underground Realm, so she must hand him her brother. Ofelia refuses to do so. Vidal stumbles upon the scene, and does not appear to see the faun Ofelia is speaking to. Vidal forcibly takes the baby, and shoots Ofelia in the stomach.
When Vidal leaves the Labyrinth, he is confronted by Mercedes and the rebels. Realizing that they will kill him, he calmly hands the baby over to Mercedes, and requests that they tell the child the exact time his father died. Mercedes refuses to do so and informs him that the child will not even know his name. Mercedes' brother then shoots and kills him.
Mercedes and the rebels enter the labyrinth to find Ofelia dying in a reprise of the opening scene. As Ofelia's blood drips onto the supposed portal to the Underground Realm, the scene flashes to an alternate state: Ofelia is reunited with the King (Federico Luppi), her deceased father) and Queen (her mother Carmen) of the Underground Realm. The faun is there, as are the fairies. Ofelia learns that by sacrificing herself, instead of her brother, she has succeeded at the true final task, proving herself to be the Princess Moanna and achieving immortality.
Mercedes is then shown weeping over Ofelia's corpse. The narrator explains that Princess Moanna went on to rule the Underground Realm with kindness and justice for many centuries, and that she left small traces of her time on Earth that would only be visible to those who knew where to look. The movie ends with the old fig tree in bloom again where a piece of her new dress had gotten caught in a branch.
This movie got exelent visual effect and it's a very beautiful story. But don't watch it with you kids (your girlfriend too).