Resan till Melonia (The Journey to Melonia) is a Swedish/Norwegian animated film which is very loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. It was the first fully animated film Per Åhlin directed and one of the most expensive Swedish animated films.
On the pristine and beautiful paradise island called Melonia, a wizard, Prospero, lives with his daughter Miranda, his garderner Caliban (who happens to have the appearance of a vegetable garden himself), the bird-like spirit Ariel and the artsy, theatre loving poet William. They live a peaceful life, thanks to Prosperos magic and Melonias lifeforce, which powers the magic. Among the magical inventions of Prospero is a magical elixir, which has the potential to make anything grow large in size, which is given to Caliban for using in the garden.
At the beginning of the film, this peace is disturbed when the greedy Slug and Slag from the nightmarish factory island Plutonia is about to arrive on Melonia for colonization and resource exploiting. With them they have not only Captain Tree-stand (Kapten Julgransfot), a female cook and a helmsman - They also have a refugee from Plutonia, Ferdinand, who had just escaped a life as a child slave on Plutonia factory.
Ariel uses his magic to send the ship to the bottom of the ocean. Luckily, the ships crew and Ferdinand survives, but so do Slug and Slag. The villains proceed to kidnap Caliban with his elixir while Ferdinand, Miranda and the rest of the cast decides to journey to Plutonia in order to free the rest of the children from Plutonia.
This movie provides examples of the following:
- Adaptational Heroism: Caliban wasn't exactly a heroic ficure in Shakespeare's play, but here he ends up as the movie's biggest (in all senses of the word) hero.
- Age Lift: Miranda and Ferdinand are young children in this movie, as opposed to their older counterparts from the play.
- Capitalism Is Bad: The whole film is An Aesop about this.
- The Eeyore: Caliban, who is always grumbling and complaining, and is contrasted with the ever-cheerful Ariel.
- Happiness in Slavery: As in the original play, averted. Caliban is decidedly not happy serving Prospero, and though Ariel is a lot more good-natured and upbeat about it, he still yearns for freedom.
- Hypocrisy Nod: Prospero, Twice. Slug and Slag wants to exploit the power that exists on Melonia, which Prospero tries to stop. However, the only reason why Prospero can use magic at all, and the source of his magical elixir, is exactly that. Caliban points out this, and Prospero admits to this. Also, Prospero and his people go on a quest to save the enslaved friends of Ferdinand - yet he is forcing both Caliban and Ariel to work for him against their will. In the end, he is forced to free them both.
- Mr. Imagination: William!Ariel: I see it!William: You see what you want to see, but what you see is an illusion, just a wave among other waves!Ariel: It is getting closer! It is getting here! In that box—William: You call it a box! I see a monster, that has lost its eyes!Ariel: Your imagination! A box is a box... is a box!
- Nature Spirit: Ariel, or it is at least very heavily implied that he is.
- Nightmarish Factory: Plutonia.
- No OSHA Compliance: The aforementioned Nightmarish Factory shows its workers working near unshielded circular saw blades and probably noxious fumes without any safeguards whatsoever. Oh, and did we mention that the workers are children?
- Plant Person: ...Or Rather a "Garden Person": Caliban
- Prophecies Rhyme All the Time: Subverted. Given that it is based on The Tempest, there is a fair bit of rhyming monologue and dialogue (at least in Swedish). However, whenever anything magic is spoken, you can be sure that it won't rhyme. Except for when Miranda does it.
- Shout-Out: The very name of William the Poet.
- Since the film is based on a Shakespearean play, that can be said about most of the characters.
- It gets practically meta when one of the sub-plots revolves around William trying to stage an amateur production of The Tempest, the very play the movie is loosely based on. At one point, Ariel ends up playing the roles of both himself and Caliban.