Alongside Lyra is her daemon Pantalaimon - a puppet controlled by an actor dressed in black. This clever device allows Pant to keep changing animal shape - and after a while you don't really notice the daemon actor at all.
Mrs Coulter's daemon, the golden monkey, works best of all - the puppet jumps scarily from floors to doorways just like a real monkey. It always has a sense of menace.
There's one very scary scene in the Arctic where all the daemons that have been cut from their humans are revealed screeching in a metal cage. Even when you've read the book, it comes as a bit of a shock.
What doesn't work so well are the amoured bears - their costumes look a bit too much like a man holding a mask at arm's length.
The Gallivespians aren't the same as in the books. They seem far too silly on stage, and you can't really forget they are puppets.
But the best effect is the stage, made of different sections which rise and fall, evolve and spin to make the effect of different worlds really come alive.
But no matter how good the effects, it would all fall apart if the actors were no good.
Fortunately, they are excellent.