Tom Cruise (Mission Impossible)
Mia Sara (Birds of Prey)
Tim Curry (IT)
David Bennent (The Tin Drum)
Alice Playten (The Rebound)
Billy Barty (Masters of The Universe)
Kiran Shah (The Hobbit)
Robert Picardo (Stargate: Atlantis)
“Once, long ago”, the ancient Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) laments his isolation in the shadows before sensing the presence of two unicorns who safeguard the Power of Light; whereupon Darkness instructs Blix (Alice Playten) and his fellow goblins Pox (Peter O’Farrell) and Blunder (Kiran Shah) to kill the unicorns and bring him their horns to free himself. Meanwhile, Princess Lily (Mia Sara), a mischievous and vibrant girl goes alone to the forest to meet her love interest Jack (Tom Cruise), an adventurous forest dweller who teaches her the languages of animals before showing her the unicorns as he promised he would someday do. Against Jack’s pleas, Lily approaches the stallion to stroke him, making him distracted and the perfect target for a poisoned dart from Blix’s blowpipe. Once hit, the unicorns bolt, and Lily makes light of Jack’s fears and sets him a challenge by throwing her ring into a pond, declaring that she will marry whoever finds it.Jack, proving his love to Lily, dives into the pond to retrieve it. As the stallion dies from the poison and the goblins seize his horn, the forest and the pond freeze, setting the mortal realm into an apocalyptic winter. Lily runs off in terror before Jack can break the surface of the frozen pond. Taking refuge in a frozen cottage, Lily overhears the goblins talking about their slaying of the unicorn and testing the alicorn’s magical powers. She follows them to a rendevouz with Darkness, who orders them to hunt down the mare. In a fit of overconfidence, Blunder challenges Darkness with the stallion’s horn in hand, but is instead restrained and taken away.
In the forest, Jack encounters the elf Honeythorn Gump (David Bennent, voiced by Alice Playten). Joined by Gump, the fairy Oona (Annabelle Lanyon), and the dwarves Brown Tom and Screwball (Cork Hubbert and Billy Barty), Jack searches for Lily before coming across the lifeless stallion and his mate. Knowing that the horn must be recovered and returned to the stallion, Jack is led by Gump and the others to a cache of ancient weapons while Brown Tom guards the mare. Lily, attempting to make amends for her role in the stallion’s death, is captured alongside the mare after Brown Tom is knocked out. Learning what has transpired, Jack and his group enter the ancient temple in the marshes where Darkness resides. Though Jack deals with the swamp hag Meg Mucklebones (Robert Picardo), he and his group fall into a pit trap that takes them to dungeon. There they encounter Blunder, revealed to be a disguised elf, before he is dragged off by the ogre chefs to be cooked into a pie. Oona saves Jack and the others, and they resume searching for Lily and the mare.
Having fallen in love with Lily, Darkness tempts her; and Lily agrees to wed him on the condition that she kills the mare in the upcoming ritual. Overhearing their conversation, Jack and Gump learn that Darkness can be destroyed by daylight. While saving Blunder, the group take giant metal platters to reflect the sunlight to the chamber where the mare is to be sacrificed. As the ritual begins, Lily frees the unicorn, but is knocked out by Darkness.Jack fights Darkness while the others relay the light of the setting sun. Jack loses his sword when Darkness has the upper-hand, but then uses the horn from the stallion to stab him. Darkness screams in pain as he removes the horn, and is then exposed to sunlight. Once hit by the light, Darkness is expelled to the edge of a cliff, but uses the unicorn’s horn to hold on. Knowing there is no physical escape, Darkness laughs at Jack and warns him that evil lurks in everyone. Therefore, even though they can kill him, they will never truly defeat him. Jack strikes Darkness’ hand, releasing the unicorn’s horn, and Darkness is expelled into the stars. As Gump returns the stallion’s horn, returning him to life, Jack retrieves the ring from the pond and returns it to Lily, reviving her.
The film concludes (depending on its targeted market) with one of two endings:
In the original version (as well as the Director’s Cut), Lily wakes with Jack trying to convince her she was merely dreaming, but she is ultimately unconvinced. Despite this, these events they’ve gone through proves that they live in two different worlds, which cause them to continue their platonic relationship. Lily returns to her home, but not until after she promises to visit Jack again. In the final segment, Jack happily runs off into the sunset, hailed by the forest fairies and the revived unicorns.
In the American theatrical version, Jack and Lily assure each other of their love, and watch the unicorns reunite. After bidding a distant farewell to the forest fairies and the unicorns, they run off into the sunset together, hailed by the forest fairies and the unicorns. This version ends with Darkness making a final appearance before the end credits, laughing sinisterly.Highly recommended for fantasy fans, Ridley Scott, Tim Curry and Mia Sara fans and those interested in artfully presented effects. Recommended for fans of Pan’s Labyrinth and Mirrormask. The best version is the Director’s Cut featured on Blu-ray. It runs alot longer than any of the other cuts and it is the most coherent cut as well and it features the score by Jerry Goldsmith.