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Film / Slumberland

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"This is the world of dreams. Slumberland. Wish for whatever you want here. Jump from dream to dream to wherever we want to go."

Slumberland is a fantasy adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2) based upon Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo comics. It was released on Netflix on November 18, 2022.

The film follows a young girl called Nemo who finds a map to the magical dream world of Slumberland, and joins forces with a con artist named Flip (Jason Momoa) for a quest to see her late father one last time. India de Beaufort, Weruche Opa, Chris O'Dowd, and Kyle Chandler also star.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.

Slumberland contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the original comics, Flip is overweight and green-skinned. In the movie, he's played by the more fit and attractive Jason Momoa, due to being the dream self of Nemo's uncle Phillip.
  • Advertising by Association: The second trailer indicates the film is from the director of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
  • Afro Asskicker: Agent Carter certainly isn't idling in her task of tracking down Flip.
  • An Aesop: Having dreams is good, lest anyone want to ends emotionally dry, and living in the real world has advantages. Phillip forgot the former while Flip the latter.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: In Slumberland, Nemo's stuffed animal Pig is alive as her companion.
  • Big Bad: The closest the film has to one is the Nightmare cloud, which took Peter away from Nemo in the nightmare she had before being informed of his death.
  • Brick Joke: Flip and Nemo meet a Latina woman (named as Graciela by the film credits) in Slumberland who's seductively dancing around to Latin music in a beautiful, revealing dress. He flirts with her before reluctantly moving on, and comments that a lot of people there are very different from their waking selves. Later, when she's seen briefly again before her dream self is forced to wake up due to the Nightmare cloud, she is shown to be a nun who'd been dreaming while at her prayers, confirming his statement in her case.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Pig spends the entire movie swallowing inedible things only to spit them back up shortly after. In the third act, Nemo exploits this to use him to retrieve a pearl, having him swallow one to cough back up into her hands.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Phillip shows Nemo how to pick a lock in an attempt to bond with her. Later on, Nemo asks Phillip if she can borrow the lockpicks so she can bring them into Slumberland and free Flip from the Bureau cell he was trapped in.
  • Dream Land: Flip confirms that, yes, Slumberland is still a land of dreams.
  • Dustbin School: the BOSC has a juvenile hall for young offenders.
  • Dying Dream:
    • In a case of Your Mind Makes It Real, Flip informs Nemo that while dying in your own dream just causes you to wake up, dying in someone else's dream means you can't wake up again.
    • Near the end of the film, Nemo is knocked out by a sailboat mast, and her trip into Slumberland eventually becomes this as her unconscious body in the real world falls into the water and she begins to drown. However, this becomes Subverted when through CPR, she recovers.
  • Fantastical Social Services: The Bureau of Subconscious Activities (BOSA) is tasked with protecting dreams and preventing trespass on these.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: At the climax, Nemo managed to acquire a pearl to make a wish for a dream of her choice, but Flip gets caught by her nightmare. Knowing that he's the dream self of her uncle Philip, she wishes on the pearl for Flip to wake up, restoring Philip's personality.
  • Gender Flip: The little boy Nemo is changed to a young girl identified as Nemo. Justified since she is the daughter of the original Nemo from the comic, now known as Peter.
  • Hero Antagonist: Agent Green of the Bureau of Subconscious Activity is in a sense this, even managing to capture Flip and Nemo halfway through the film, imprisoning the former before giving the latter a talk about what they do.
  • Horned Humanoid: Flip is portrayed as having long, curling ram horns.
  • Inspector Javert: Agent gReen is hunting down Flip since 30 years and it's her last case before the retirement she awaits since 30 years.
  • Lady in a Power Suit: Agent Carter wear a green houndstooth pantsuit, along with high heels, in the line of duty.
  • Longer-Than-Life Sentence: When Flip is arrested by Agent Green, she tells him he's facing an eternity in a ceil for his numerous violation of others' dreams.
  • Logo Gag: The teaser has the lines of the Netflix logo coloured brown, which surround the full logo. The main trailer is the same as the teaser, but the lines are amber instead.
  • Meaningful Name: Flip is the dream version of Phillip, having been disconnected from him for a long time.
  • Moody Trailer Cover Song: The backing track for the main trailer is a slow, instrumental version of "Clocks" by Coldplay.
  • Naughty by Night: The scantily-clad salsa dancer Flip dances with is, in the real world, a nun who's having these dreams while she'd fallen asleep while praying inside a church.
  • Naughty Nuns: Sister Graciela is, in her dreams, a scantily-clothed salsa dancer.
  • Older Than They Look: Agent Green is 160 and would have been retired 30 years ago had she caught Flip beforehand.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Nemo wishes on a pearl to make Flip wake up, which combines him with his waking self, her Uncle Philip. Philip stops clinging to the mast of the Coast Guard ship and bravely dives into the ocean to rescue an unconscious Nemo. He's afterwards shown to be much bolder and outspoken than he initially was.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Nemo is forced to use her pearl to save Flip, but finds out soon after that Pig actually acquired two.

"Life is waiting for you, Nemo. You can do anything you dream of."