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Western Animation / Mosaic

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A direct-to-video animated movie presented by Stan Lee in 2007. An aspiring actress, Maggie Nelson, must track down her father, an Interpol agent, who has been taken by members of the underground, special-powered race called the Chameliel. Aided by Mosaic, a Chamelial himself, Maggie searches for him and learns to deal with her own special powers, given to her through a freak accident.

Can currently be viewed for free on Hulu.

No relation to a 2019 Adventure Game of the same name, or to one of the first web browser.

Tropes present in this work:

  • Animorphism: Maggie and the Chamelials can change their DNA to other creature besides humans.
  • Art Shift: The opening titles look more like a graphic novel, as opposed to the film's more traditional animation style.
  • Attempted Rape: Though it's not overtly stated, Maggie foils a rape attempt at the Central Park Zoo by changing into a cheetah to save a young woman, then directing a security guard to the would-be rapists as her human self.
  • Badass Longcoat: Mosaic and Mannequin. Fashion sense must run in the family.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Maggie and the Chamelials get this when they turn invisible, even though they're actually wearing clothes and extends to anyone they're hiding as well, which leads to an awkward moment (for the viewer) when Maggie has to hide herself and her father when Mannequin's henchmen try to kill him in his hospital room.
  • Betty and Veronica: Mosaic vs. Stephen.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Maniken and his plans to revived his Wife and take the world has been foiled, Nathan Nelson (Maggie's Father) has been saved, but Mosaic presumably falls to his death taking Maniken (who is reveal to be his Father) with him. Maggie is sadden and learns his father plans to wipeout the Chamelials, Maggie is also reunited with him and decides to used her Powers for good, she sets out to find the remaining Chameliel Stones and to honor Mosaic's Memory, she becomes the new Mosaic.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted. Though not to the level of outright Gorn, there's decent amount of blood in the fights, the largest spilled being when Polar Bear!Maggie swipes Mannequin in the eye.
  • Comes Great Insanity: The power that Facade created centuries ago enables alchemy without the tools the Chamelials usually use, naturally it also caused her to lose her mind and nearly destroy the world.
  • Cross-Cast Role: In-universe, Maggie is introduced playing Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the role of which has been played by women in Real Life, so it may be an In-Universe case of Ability over Appearance.) The end of the movie has her studying to play the lead role of Hamlet with some lampshading from her father.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both Maggie and Mannequin.
    • Mosaic and Maggie's dad have their moments too.
  • Expy: Some people have noted that Maggie is an interesting combination of Spider-Man, Mystique, and the Invisible Woman.
    • Mosaic himself looks a lot like Angel.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Maggie scans Facade's DNA in Italy and later uses it to distract Mannequin during his ritual.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Stephan to Maggie, though not to a creepy extent as he just Cannot Spit It Out (though he tries) and Maggie is insanely Oblivious to Love.
  • Fallen Hero: Facade, the high Priest of Chimera and Mannequin's wife/Mosaic's mother, figured out to use alchemy without tools but went mad with power and had to be put down by a an alliance of humans and Chameliel.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Chamelials have experienced this in the past and choose to remain hidden to avoid conflict; Mannequin certainly has it in regards to humanity, blaming them for the death of his power-mad wife even though it was an alliance of both humans and Chamelials that stopped her from devastating the world. When rescued at the end of the movie, Maggie's father unfortunately feels that all the Chamelials are dangerous like Mannequin and should be destroyed since he doesn't realize that the young man that saved him (Mosaic) was also a Chameliel and his daughter has their powers.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Maggie's father is a sympathetic version as he's more concerned with her supporting herself than any disdain for her theater work. After he's injured in the line of duty by Mannequin, Maggie lightly teases him about how "safe and secure" his job is. He comes around at the end when he sees that Maggie isn't neglecting her school work and follows through on his promise to help her rehearse.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Cheese and crackers! What the heck happened to him?" Said by New York detective upon seeing a Chamelial killed by Mannequin.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Maggie is a beautiful blonde and a genuine Nice Girl.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Mosaic ends up taking Manniquin down a cliff with him.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Chimera, the Chamelial's island home. However it was destroyed long ago in a volcanic eruption.
  • Human Subspecies: The Chameliel.
  • Interspecies Romance: Not so much out and out romance as some light flirting between Maggie and Mosaic, unfortunately cut short by Mosaic's supposed death while fighting with his father. Maggie's discussion with Stephan at the end of the movie has her admitting that she regrets not telling Mosaic how she felt.
  • Love Triangle: Between Maggie, Stephan and Mosaic.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Mosaic is the son of Mannequin, the movie's Big Bad. Not a surprise to Mosaic who's been tracking his father, but it sure was to Maggie.
  • Missing Mom: Maggie's mother is mentioned when she and Mosaic go to Italy, Maggie saying her mother had promised to take her to Europe; this and other hints strongly indicate that she died some time ago. Mosaic's mother is also deceased, but much more important to the plot.
  • Monumental Damage: The Capuchin Crypt. By chipping away at a couple of STONE supports with a staff, no less.
  • Ms. Exposition: Maggie takes a moment at a park to basically summarize the plot up until that point... out loud, to nobody(?) She might have just been collecting her thoughts, but the fact they animated her lips makes it confusing.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Maggie, as much as the rating would allow. She spends most of her time at home in a midriff-baring top and sleep pants (even doing a hip-shaking dance to some rock music) and has a "Not Wearing Pants" Dream where she runs around in a bra and panties. Even her Puck costume in her introduction really shows off her figure for a male character. It's little wonder that Stephan is so smitten with her.
  • Neck Snap: How Mannequin kills a security guard in the opening scene. To his surprise, the guard is actually a Chameliel agent placed by Mosaic.
  • Never Found the Body: Mosaic and Mannequin both fall into an icy crevice that removes them from the story but doesn't confirm their deaths.
  • Oblivious to Love: Maggie is an intelligent young woman but she is painfully blind to the fact that Stephan is head over heels for her. When Mosaic asks if he's her boyfriend, she automatically corrects him with "best friend."
  • Older Than They Look: Mosaic admits Chamelials age slower then humans when he relates events from several centuries with surprising familiarity. Maggie then asks him how old he is and receives a knowing smirk in return.
  • Plot Coupon: The artifacts of the chamelial.
  • Shout-Out: Several to Spider-Man:
    • Maggie wonders if it would have been easier getting bitten by a radioactive chameleon instead of being struck by lightning.
    • A boy who sees Maggie climbing a wall mistakes her for the webslinger, his mother telling him he reads too many comic books.
      • Interestingly, a similar gag also happened in Spider-Man's debut comic, in which the mother tells the boy he watches too many monster movies.
    • One of the forms taken by Mannequin resembles The Lizard, a Spider-Man villain (and Stan Lee creation.)
    • Mosaic's death seems awfully close to Sherlock Holmes and his temporary death.
  • Shown Their Work: There really is a crypt full of monks' skeletons.
  • This Was His True Form: Chamelials lose their human disguises upon death.
  • Title Drop: There is a character named Mosaic, but curiously he's not the main character (Maggie is.) She does adopt his name after his death at the very end, however.
  • Won The Superpower Lottery: Maggie gained several powers beyond those of a chameleon (or the chamelial's.) For example, she could see the DNA of people and animals and imitate their forms as well as having Super-Strength, enhanced agility and thermal vision.