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Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

Date: Mar 07 2007

Themes: Pop Culture


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

At the Academy Awards a couple of weeks ago, Pan’s Labyrinth won awards for cinematography, art direction and makeup. Indeed, the film creates superb fantastical characters and settings.

This Spanish language film was directed by Guillermo del Toro, who is from Mexico. The story centers on a 12-year-old girl in Spain in 1944. Del Toro’s film The Devil’s Backbone is also set in Spain near the end of the Spanish Civil War. It also received critical acclaim.

Mason recently saw Pan’s Labyrinth and loved it. Listen to him talk to Kevin about it.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  I, I went and saw, uh, Pan’s Labyrinth this weekend. It just opened.

Kevin:  Ooh! The, the eyes, right?

Mason:  Yeah, that’s a really scary part, um…

Kevin:  It looks really cool.

Mason:  It’s so good. You know what I didn’t know, though, is that it’s all in Spanish.

Kevin:  Yeah, it’s a Spanish film, right?

Mason:  Uh, yeah, which I have no problem with.

Kevin:  It takes place in Spain, right? Is, is it the Franco dictatorship? I have seen the…

Mason:  Yeah, it’s, it’s… Yeah, it’s set, like, kind of at the end of the Spanish Civil War, which is something I know, like, almost nothing about but it’s obviously a really big deal.

Kevin:  Mm hm.

Mason:  But, uh… Yeah, the… I usually have no problem with foreign films but the film is so visually beautiful that having…

Kevin:  It seems amazing…

Mason:  ... That having to read the subtitles was kind of, like… I need to go see it again and pay less attention to the words…

Kevin:  Yeah.

Mason:  ... and just revel in the imagery.

Kevin:  Is there… Who’s in it? Anyone I know? I…

Mason:  Um, did you see Y Tu Mama Tambien?

Kevin:  Yeah.

Mason:  The main female character from that is in it.

Kevin:  Oh, OK. Hm.

Mason:  But, I mean, it’s all Spanish or Mexican actors, I’m not sure, so I… Nobody else that I had seen or heard of.

Kevin:  I’ll have to go see it. It looks… I’ve read really great reviews about it.

Mason:  It’s, it’s just really amazing. It’s… because it’s a dark sort of fairy tale, really in the Grimm’s fairy tale tradition. It’s very, very adult. They don’t, uh, they don’t sugarcoat a lot of stuff.

Kevin:  Yeah. Well done.



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Mason saw Pan’s Labyrinth last weekend and loved it.

Kevin hasn’t seen it yet, but he did know that it was a Spanish film and that it is set just after the Spanish Civil War.

Mason doesn’t mind subtitles, but because the film had so much imagery, he feels like he should see it again.

Have you seen Pan’s Labyrinth yet?



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Tarita, when I started watching it, I set myself to enjoy a good fantasy movie. It was kinda weird that that elements from fairy tales, the flying little elf or whoever it was, were mixed with gruesome sadistic reality. The movie stopped in the middle and somehow I’ve never got back to it.

08:38 PM Mar 07 2015 |

1 person likes this




ola33, I agree with you, it looked like reality in spite of fantastical characters. Haven’t you seen this movie? I nearly spoiled the whole story in my comment, it’s good that I thought twice :)

08:15 PM Mar 07 2015 |




Tarita, a few ago I started watching it but didn’t finish, my tv broke. The first scenes are very scary, don’t look like a fairy tale but a reality.

07:53 PM Mar 07 2015 |




I thought “Pan’s Labyrinth” was a drama and there was nothing fantastic in it with the exception of that poor girl’s dreams and games. The movie looked really dark and spectacular but there were few parallels with Grimm’s fairy tales.

So, there are many opposing views here, I see.

And it’s awful when you have to read subtitles, they draw your attention away from a plot. I had to watch movies with subtitles in other languages too and it’s bad as well, it’s hard not to pay attention to the words.

Very strange that “Pan’s Labyrinth” wasn’t dubbed into English. Or it’s just written for this lesson, to make people learn the word “subtitles”? I think I’ve remembered it.

07:39 PM Mar 07 2015 |

1 person likes this


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

I just watched this again …It was really a spectacular movie…I loved the theme songs,the scene decorations and the fictional characters too.I love this kind of dark fairytales…

03:17 PM Jul 19 2014 |

Son of English

Hong Kong

It’s a good way to practise Spanish, watching this movie. It’s also a great movie too…a good use of fantasy to cover the horror of reality, in this case, war.

02:08 PM Apr 09 2013 |



I have not see it yet. If they air it on our cable, i’ll try to watch it.

04:27 AM Apr 09 2013 |




I watched “Pan’s labirynth” last year and it was a very curious film, sometimes brutal and scary but… just great;). Of course I’d like to watch this film again.

10:22 PM Dec 18 2012 |

1 person likes this




i like fairy tales for adults especially dark ones like pans labyrinth. a good film

05:24 AM Jun 07 2007 |

Josh K

Josh K


I still no watch it.

05:29 PM May 09 2007 |



my english is better and better from my working hard! i am so happy that i want to go on improving my ability .

03:29 AM Mar 30 2007 |




Wow..that MOVIE is new for me, isn’t it? I go and find it!

09:03 AM Mar 10 2007 |




I should have seen this movie; I will see it

01:50 AM Mar 08 2007 |




It’s a really good film!!! Very moving story!!!

10:04 AM Mar 07 2007 |



yeah.. exactly.. I haven’t seen the movie yet. BUt I like the flow of idea really. I love fairy tales too.

10:04 AM Mar 07 2007 |




I haven’t seen the film Pan’s Labyrinth but sometimes in my nightly dreams I have fairy tales as well. :-)

09:00 AM Mar 07 2007 |



it’ll be better no translated Chinese words displayed here

04:29 AM Mar 07 2007 |

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