As it roars into theaters - and creates a bit of controversy in the process - here are a series of interesting tidbits regarding The Golden Compass:
- It follows an orphan girl named Lyra who goes in search of her missing friend Roger and learns that all sorts of children are being spirited away to become the subject of nefarious experiments aimed at determining the source of original sin.
- Some otherworldly things about Lyra's otherworldly world: daemons (pronounced demons), animals who follow people around throughout their lives (and represent their souls); Gobblers, baddies who, legend has it, gobble up children; and talking polar bears who wear armor.
- Dakota Blue Richards (pictured) beat out 10,000 girls to score the part of Lyra. The newcomer, now 13, was spotted at an open casting call in Oxford, England
- Sir Ian McKellen, who ruled as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, lends his authority as the voice of Lyra's trusty polar-bear friend and protector, Iorek Byrnison.