Literature: Molly Moon
Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism is a book about a British preteen living in a terrible orphanage. Just before her only friend is adopted and moves to America without saying goodbye, she finds a rare book on hypnotism. She heads off to America to find her friend, hypnotizing people all the way. Meanwhile, a sinister wanna-be hypnotist stalks her...and he is willing to do anything to get the book in his hands.Followed by five sequels, Molly Moon Stops the World, Molly Moon's Time-Traveling Adventure, Molly Moon, Micky Minus, and the Mind Machine, Molly Moon and the Morphing Mystery, and Molly Moon and the Monster Music. There's also a novella named Molly Moon's Hypnotic Holiday, which takes place during Molly's stay in New York in the first book.A film adaptation, called Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism (originally Molly Moon: the Incredible Hypnotist), has been screened at 3 international film festivals (Toronto, Bentonville, and Seattle), with a "VOD [video-on-demand] and limited theatrical release" set for August 14 in America, mid-October in the UK, and later in the year elsewhere.
These books show examples of
- Added Alliterative Appeal: The titles, starting with Molly Moon, Mickey Minus, and the Mind Machine.
- Alpha Bitch: Hazel, in the first book — while she's not described as very pretty, and as an orphan averts the usual "rich and influental" part of the classic Alpha Bitch, she fits most of the other aspects of the trope: She's snobbish and haughty, and looks down on the other orphans because she, unlike them, can remember her parents (and is always going on about what wonderful people they were). She has her own posse of minions and delights in mocking and bullying Molly and several of the other orphans, but she is so good at sucking up to the adults that she remains the darling of her teachers and the head of the orphanage. The trope is brutally Deconstructed in the final parts of the book when it's revealed that Hazel's attitude is a coping mechanism; her parents weren't wonderful people at all but violent alcoholics who beat and abused her — so she sucks up to adults so they won't beat her and bullies the other children because she doesn't know how to be nice to them.
- Arc Words: In the first book, the lullaby Mrs Trinkelsbury sang to Molly and Rocky when they were small keeps returning to Molly throughout the story, though she doesn't understand its significance until late in the book:Forgive, little birds, that brown cuckoo
For pushing you out of your nests.
It's what mamma cuckoo taught it to do;
She taught it that pushing is best.
- Bank Robbery: Molly robs a bank at one point.
- Beyond the Impossible: During the bank heist, Molly hypnotises an iris scanner.
- Big Applesauce: Molly goes to New York to find Rocky.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: While most of Molly's victims never stray beyond Hypno Fool, there are instances where some of them border on this trope. Many of the characters hypnotized by the villains play the trope straight.
- Canon Discontinuity:
- The reason that Molly is a more powerful hypnotist than me mother is that her mother is a twin and therefore split her powers with Cornelius. Then in book four, we find out that Molly is in the exact same situation as her mother.
- In the first book, the password to lock in hypnosis is "perfectly punctual," referenced explicitly because Lucy says it to Molly when she shows up precisely on time. All future books give the password as "perfectly punctually," and the ungrammatical nature of the two words is a plot point.
- In the first book, the name of the book Molly reads to learn hypnotism is titled Hypnotism: an Ancient Art Explained. In the second one, it's referred to as The Book of Hypnotism, although sometimes it adds the "An Ancient Art Explained" part.
- Casual Car Giveaway: In the end of the first book, Molly does give away her car to a somewhat randomly chosen man. However, she also gives away the documentation of the ownership, telling the man to simply sign the papers, and then the car will be his.
- Charm Person: Molly meets a young actress in the first book that has this. She does it unconsciously, through eye contact, and it's implied that's how she became so famous. Molly endoes a hypnosis battle with her.
- Chekhov's Skill: Rocky has a talent for imitating voices, and he and Molly often play out radio commercials for fun. This plays a huge part in their Batman Gambit at the end of the first book.
- Compelling Voice: Anyone who can hypnotize people in this universe has either this or Hypnotic Eyes. In Molly's case, it's a combination of the two.
- Department of Child Disservices: They don't exist in the novel, much less help the kids.
- Demoted to Extra: Rocky becomes less significant in the plots as the books go on. This is Lampshaded by Rocky himself in the fourth book (shortly before he is kidnapped and hypnotized by the villain and is forced to use his powers in their service).
- Freudian Excuse: In fact, just about every antagonist in the first book (and several in the later ones) turn out to have a Freudian Excuse for their horrible behavior — most often they're mean because life hasn't treated them well. For instance, Hazel states the reason she is a bully is because her parents never cared for her even when they were alive.
- Gambit Pileup: In Molly Moon Stops The World, Molly is sent to stop a ruthless tycoon called Primo Cell from taking over the world with hypnosis. It's revealed towards the end that Cell was himself hypnotized by Cornelius Logan to take over the world for him. It's then revelaed in the next book that Cornelius himself was hypnotized by the Maharaja of Waqt to hypnotize Cell to take over the world for him.
- Gone Horribly Right: Before leaving for America in the first book, Molly hypnotizes Adderstone and Edna to be nice to all children. When she and Rocky return, they discover that Adderstone and Edna fired Mrs. Trinklebury and abandoned ed the children in the orphanage, thinking that they would be happier without adults to boss them around.
- Good Feels Good: Molly tries to invoke this trope several times by hypnotizing the villains with freudian excuses into becoming nice and hoping they'll remember the feeling once the hypnosis wears off.
- The most obvious example of this is Nockman, whose experience with the trope is described in detail in the last part of the first book, and who in the second book is shown to have truly become a kind and loving man.
- Heel-Face Brainwashing: Molly frequently pulls this off on the antagonists, though in a slightly more roundabout way than is common for the trope — see the Good Feels Good entry above.
- Hypno Fool: Not surprisingly, a lot of people end up as this.
- Hypno Pendulum: Molly eventually buys one from an antique store, but she uses her own "homemade" ones early on: the stirring of a spoon (on Edna) and a piece of soap on a string (tries to use this on Hazel, but fails).
- In the movie, Molly hypnotizes Petula using a chocolate cookie on a string.
- Hypnotic Eyes: Hypnotists can either have this or a Compelling Voice (or in Molly's case, both).
- I Have Your Wife: Nockman dognaps Petula and blackmails Rocky and Molly into robbing a bank for him.
- Like Brother and Sister: Molly and Rocky.
- Long-Lost Relative (spoilers for all four books): Molly goes from having no family to discovering her mom (Lucy), dad (Primo Cell), her evil uncle (Cornelius), twin brother (Micky), and half-siblings through adoption (Sinclair and Sally Cell)
- Mind-Control Eyes: In the movie, when Molly hypnotizes someone, that person's eyes glow green for a moment.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Petula the Pug. Originally she's the bad-tempered, pampered pet of Ms Adderstone, but Molly discovers that the reason she's bad-tempered is that she's improperly fed and suffering from constant stomachaches. She's the first creature Molly successfully hypnotizes, but even after the trance is over Petula ends up attatching herself to the girl, becoming her constant companion for the rest of the series.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Molly develops a new power every book.
- Orphanage of Fear: Hardwick House, at least in the first book. It stops being this after Mrs Trinklebury takes over and renames it "Happiness House."
- Parental Abandonment: Justified in that Primo and Lucy were hypnotized into abandoning Molly
- Shown Their Work: While most of the things that Molly does with hypnotism are flat-out not possible, the author very clearly researched hypnotism while writing the book. The passage in the first book about natural trances is legit; the foreshadowing of the concept in Molly's daydreams will automatically show anyone familiar with the field that the author Did The Research. The Rule of Cool takes over shortly afterward.
- Spoonerism: The Maharaja of Waqt in Molly Moon's Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure often speaks using spoonerisms.
- Time Stands Still: If Molly uses hypnosis on a diamond.
- Trigger Phrase: Given how big a part hypnosis plays in the books, there turn out to be several. The one used most often is "Perfectly Punctual."
- Trademark Favorite Food: Ketchup sandwiches and concentrated orange squash. Many side characters seem to silently find Molly's taste for these disgusting.