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Film / The Last Mimzy

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"Today, I'm going to show you a story. Let's all tune in together. A long time ago, the soul of our planet was sick. People had become isolated...warlike. Our world was frightened. It was dying. But a great scientist was trying to save us. He had tried many times, and knew he could only try once more. This was the last Mimzy."
Teacher in Meadow

A 2007 film centered around Noah Wilder, a video game-loving, somewhat irritable young man who believes that "school sucks, life sucks, and [he] suck[s]", and his sensitive and precocious younger sister Emma Wilder. While on vacation with their parents over spring break, Noah and Emma find a box filled with strange objects that are incomprehensible to them except for a stuffed rabbit named Mimzy that can communicate with Emma. Sensing that there is something odd about their find, they keep it a secret from their parents, particularly after Noah tries to show a translucent rock filled with constantly shifting green triangles to his mother and it appears to her to be a normal rock. Emma becomes emotionally attached to Mimzy as the mysterious objects begin to give the siblings psychic abilities and increase their mental capacities to genius level. Noah's science teacher Larry and his mystic wife Naomi get involved when Larry notices that Noah has been drawing mandalas, and the situation becomes serious when Noah accidentally assembles the objects into a generator that causes a blackout in the entire city of Seattle. The FBI discovers the source of the surge and the Wilder family members are arrested; meanwhile, Emma has elucidated that Mimzy and the other objects were sent from the future, and it is up to her and Noah to figure out how to send Mimzy back to her own time and save humanity's future.

The film is inspired by the short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: "I showed the green glass thing to Mom. She thought it was a paperweight." Indeed, by the end of the film, the adults—except for Larry and Naomi—are little more than hindrances to Noah and Emma. They thought they were helping out by throwing away the objects and Mimzy because it made Emma have a seizure but in the end, hindrance.
    • The parents didn't even know about Emma's seizure. Noah called them while it was happening, but Emma woke up before they entered the room. Mrs. Wilder threw out the objects because she thought all the "weirdness"—specifically, Emma levitating—would stop once she tossed them.
    • Larry even admits "this is SO far out of my league" when the Wilders describe what Emma did with the sugar.
    • Nathaniel Broadman and the Intel guy also openly admit they have no idea what's going on after seeing Emma use the "spinners".
  • All Myths Are True: Particularly Tibetan ones about mandalas.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Noah and Emma use the generator to build a bridge across spacetime to send Mimzy back to the future.
  • Artistic License – Biology: There is no DNA in tears. Well, technically, anyway. But "Emma's DNA from comparatively rapidly shedding epithelial skin cells that were transferred from her cheek to her tear" doesn't sound as good as "Emma's tears".
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Noah is abrasive to Emma at first, but by the end of the movie they are getting along swimmingly, and Noah ends up saving Emma's life.
    • Also demonstrated earlier when Noah tells Emma that their new "toys" could be dangerous. He does it gruffly, but he was clearly worried that Emma might have seriously hurt her arm after sticking it in the field produced by the "spinners".
  • Big Blackout: Noah accidentally causes a blackout that affects half of the state of Washington when two "toys" fuse to create a powerful generator. While the power goes back on very quickly, it leads Noah and his family to be Mistaken For Terrorists by the FBI once they trace the source of the blackout.
  • Big "NO!": Emma's reaction when her mom tries to make her throw away Mimzy. Thankfully, Noah rescues Mimzy and the toys from the dumpster later.
  • Brick Joke: Larry White's dream-visions of winning lottery numbers and mandalas he sees one in the end.
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: Emma is the only one who can understand Mimzy.
  • Cheerful Child: Emma, though not obnoxiously so.
  • The Chosen One:
    • Emma is the one with the task she needs Noah in order to carry out.
    • It's revealed that there were other Chosen Ones that received the Mimzies in their respective time periods, but they didn't have Engineers to build the necessary bridge to get Mimzy back to the future.
  • Close on Title: The movie's title appears after Teacher Lena finishes the story of the attempt, and the students leaving.
  • Companion Cube: When Emma gets attached to Mimzy, she starts carrying her everywhere. Emma even becomes very distressed when separated from Mimzy for any length of time.
  • Crapsack World: The future from which Mimzy comes. Poison, war, destruction, you name it. It looked like Mordor.
  • Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: An example that doesn't involve a human taking a shortcut. When Noah is developing his cross-time/space-continuum-bridge-building abilities, he does this to a golf ball, making his dad think he smacked the ball 300 feet.
  • Foreshadowing: Larry White's speech on how pollution damages DNA and causes harmful mutations. He has no idea how right he was.
  • Green Aesop: Justified in that the earth actually does go to shit in the future, which is why Mimzy was sent back to Emma; to obtain a sample of healthy DNA.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Mimzy near the end because of the message that she brings.
  • Humans Are Psychic in the Future: Well, not the Crapsack World future from which Mimzy was sent, but an even later future in which a teacher tells the story of Emma and Noah to an assembled class. This is justified because Emma gains psychic powers from the objects from the future and then gives some of her DNA to Mimzy. Said DNA was then used to "cure" the sick people of the future, and presumably was responsible for their new abilities.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: While discussing the ethics of killing animals for food, Noah points out that there's hypocrisy in Emma eating "chopped up cow" (hamburger).
    Emma: (with her mouth full) What chopped up cow?
    Noah: What do you think hamburger is?
    Emma: (Spits it out)
  • Invisible to Adults: The objects aren't actually invisible to adults, but Mimzy appears to be a normal stuffed animal at first glance and the awesome shifting green glass triangle thing looks like...a paperweight.
  • The Last Title: The title.
  • The Men in Black: The FBI agents who storm the Wilder house.
  • Multiple Head Case: Noah's science teacher brings a two-headed snake named Charlie to class.
  • Mundane Utility: Emma uses her telepathy to put sugar into her dad's coffee.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: They can be telepathically built by a preteen boy to transport a ridiculously high-tech rabbit plushie into the future.
  • Post Apocalyptic Gasmask: Humans of the future must wear respirators and green body-suits because they cannot withstand the toxins in future-Earth's environment.
  • Product Placement: Actually fits well into a very clever moment. When the bunny is examined closely it is discovered to be made of microprocessors — Intel microprocessors. This is obviously met with much shock by the lab as Intel can't do anything like this... yet.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Mimzy is a stuffed bunny.
  • Running Gag: "Did you see numbers?" "No."
  • Sage Love Interest: Naomi is one to Larry, with her Eastern mysticism and New Agey philosophy. Subverted a bit when it's shown that she's not above earthly temptations (like winning in a lottery), but her sage advice is still very helpful to the main characters.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: This is the intention of the scientist who created Mimzy.
  • Shout-Out: To Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking Glass, particularly the poem "Jabberwocky".
  • Supporting Protagonist: Noah is the protagonist of the film, but Emma is actually The Chosen One and Noah is her assistant/"The Engineer".
  • Time Travel: Mimzy is from the future. The bulk of the plot is sending her back.
  • The Unintelligible: Mimzy. The audience can hear her make a humming sound, but only Emma can actually understand her (except for when Emma first picks her up and the audience can just make out "Mim...zy!").
  • We Will All Fly in the Future: After humanity is brought back from the brink of extinction and the future looks bright, children float through the air to assemble on a grassy knoll for their school lessons, then floats away like dandelion seeds.
  • Weirdness Censor: What Mrs. Wilder tries to invoke (after Noah and Emma get Psychic Powers, she spends half the movie plugging her ears and going "la-la-la, my kids aren't magic, the paranormal doesn't exist").
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Mr. White raves about Noah's project and claims that it could win the National Science Fair, but we never know if Noah even placed. We also don't know if the kids kept their newfound abilities. Or if the former babysitter will continue to tell everyone the Wilders are aliens.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The teacher in the meadow, whose accent isn't identifiable. Justified due to how language changes over time-presumably her accent is one not yet developed.