The Golden Compass is an ambitious attempt at bringing to life the first of the books from the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, introducing the young hero Lyra Belacqua as she searches for her abducted friend and missing adventurer uncle in a parallel world populated by giant talking bears, witches, gypsies, mages and warriors where people have spiritual "familiars" called Daemons. While casting outright ignored many of the descriptions of the characters, including the main ones, the film otherwise tries earnestly to be faithful to the very popular book series, despite increasing studio demands and great criticism at the time by fans and secular groups. Like many productions, His Dark Materials suffered under the weight of its own source and trying to please, losing much of the narrative's strengths and inadvertently highlighting its weaknesses. Visually, the movie remains interesting and as a story still has some potency but fans of the book will notice the glaring differences as the tale unfolds.
Lyra Belacqua: Are you gettin' scared, Pan?
Pantalaimon: Scared? A little.
Lyra Belacqua: It's all bigger and scarier than we ever thought.
Pantalaimon: Maybe we shouldn't be doing this.
Lyra Belacqua: But we've got to though, ain't we - go on I mean.
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