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
- 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
), was screened at 3 international film festivals (Toronto, Bentonville, and Seattle), with a "VOD [video-on-demand] and limited theatrical release" beginning August 14 in America note
, and set for mid-October in the UK, and later in the year elsewhere.
These books show examples of
- 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).
- Eccentric Mentor: Forest is a quirky New-Age Retro Hippie who nonetheless delivers profound advice on meditation and the nature of time.
- 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.
- Green Eyes: Molly is described having these in the book series. In the movie, she has Innocent Blue Eyes which turn green when hypnotizing.
- 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.
- Immune to Mind Control:
- The goggles that Nockman wears prevent him from being hypnotized by Molly.
- While Molly is hypnotizing the crowd at the start of her show, the son of the family watching TV has his head down and wearing headphones while listening to an MP3, making him the only one who isn’t affected.
- Kubrick Stare: Molly can be seen doing this on the film poster. In the film, she pulls one on Petula when hypnotizing her. She does it again when attempting to hypnotize Hazel, but she is unaffected.
- 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)
- Loon With A Heart Of Gold: Professor Selkeem aka Axel is an unusual case, since his madness is a direct consequence of his moral qualities and self-sacrificial love. In order to protect his wife, he agreed to transport Princess Fang and her people in time, and multiple time travels shattered his mind.
- Mass Hypnosis: In both the book and movie, Molly unleashes her hypnosis on the whole crowd at her concert and those watching it on TV, so everyone believes she's a good dancer.
- Mind-Control Eyes: In the movie, when Molly hypnotizes someone, that person's eyes glow green for a moment to match hers.
- 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 attaching 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.
- No Animals Were Harmed: The credits of the film version state that "No animals were harmed during the filming of this motion picture, but some insects were accidentally trodden on."
- 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.
- Rags to Riches: In the movie, Molly goes from a lonely, orphaned girl to a famous superstar in London, but this is due to her hypnosis powers which cause everyone to make her one.
- The Runaway: Molly escapes the orphanage and goes out on the town, becoming a celebrity all the way. She eventually regrets her new life and decides to go home.
- 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.
- Speech Impediment: Lots of characters have them.
- Mrs. Trinklebury stutters.
- Spoonerism: The Maharaja of Waqt in Molly Moon's Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure often speaks using spoonerisms.
- Princess Fang has Elmuh Fudd Syndwome and a lisp.
- 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.