In revolutionary Spain, little Ofelia is taken by her mother to an army base run by the evil Captain Vidal. Sadly, Captain Vidal is Ofelias new wicked stepfather, so she winds up in a real-life fairy tale. All this is interesting enough, but then the film adds in an unnecessary and unengaging story about magic gardens and a quest for immortality. Since the movie telegraphs very strongly that these are all in Ofelias imagination, and since the war story is so much more interesting, all the murderous muppets of the fairy-tale scenes seem to be a distraction from the actual point of the film. Still, while I found all the fantasy sequences boring and inconsequential, the tale of the fascist Vidal and the leftists fighting him is engaging, if incredibly simplistic.