My older neighbor introduced me to Pan’s Labyrinth. She taught me Spanish when I was a child and later, I did a project on the movie for high school. I came into contact with the movie again in college, studying for my BA in Spanish. I thoroughly enjoy this movie — I suggest listening to this song while reading my review for proper ambiance.

We start the movie and meet Ofelia, a  young girl of about 10. She is traveling with her very pregnant, increasingly ill mother, Carmen. They are going to go live with Ofelia’s new stepfather, Captain Vidal (El Capitan).

The events commence after the viewers get a feel for the characters: there is the military stepfather, the Captain (El Capitan), the caring mother Carmen, and the head maid of the household, Mercedes, among others. There is also a faun — a half man, half goat — who reveals to Ofelia that she is a celestial princess. He then tasks Ofelia with three challenges in order to reunite her with her real celestial father, a king of another world. The underground world has fairies, fauns, and magic. There is no murder, blood or strife, like the post civil war Franco era world, which Ofelia lives in.

Ofelia’s trust in the faun and his world is shaken when various tasks asked by the faun start to go wrong. The pressures of the ‘real’ world also affect her trust in herself and her abilities, as sometimes Ofelia is not able to complete the faun’s requests due to complications with the mortal world.

Pan’s Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno) teaches one to trust their heart and listen to their spirit, and perhaps not to trust the government and authorities. One must trust in oneself to accomplish great things.

When in a down mood, we may find strength and creativity to pick ourselves up again. If you’ve seen the ending, you may see that by believing in herself and finding her strength from within, the princess Moana (Ofelia) completed all of the tasks.  Even the final most challenging task, the one that tested her sense of self. In the last test, she proves that she is worthy to both her celestial family and most importantly, to herself.


-Lydia Henning
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

Pin It on Pinterest