I'm really not sure how to describe this movie, so I'll start with the bare facts. Cegavske appears to have started from some art-school sketchbooks, and assembled a gorgeous stop-animation, supposedly taking 13 years to complete. She did all the design, scripting and animation, so this was clearly a labor of love. She created remarkable characters and sets, beautifully crafted. The composer she engaged for the score did an outstanding job, especially in the unearthly tones of the mouses' dance.
All of which says nothing about the characters and plot of the movie, which I still can't quite put words to. It carried the sense of a fully-elaborated dream world, but of someone else's dreams. The different beings seemed to act out rituals of deep importance, all of which eluded me. Rich, detailed imagery abounds, almost like the imagery of a Tarot deck - but with all of the arcane meanings unspoken. The viewer rides along in this wordless world, sensing the characters' urgency but never making out the reason for it.
Cegavske's puppets and props bring that baffling world to life. Even though this medium has been used for years in children's entertainment, make no mistake: this is for grownups. Skittish children might not tolerate the deaths of characters, or scenes like the "blood tea." A few moments drag; the script's pacing seemed uneven, and the puppet's motions never flowed smoothly. I can't let the little things get in my way, though. This stands as an incredible work of creativity, and a glimpse into another mind's imaginings.