Crazy Childhood: Little Nemo
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992)
Directed by: Masami Hata, William T. Hurtz
Starring: Gabriel Damon, Mickey Rooney, Rene Auberjonois, Danny Mann, Laura Mooney, Bernard Erhard, William E. Martin, Alan Oppenheimer, Michael Bell, Sidney Miller, Neil Ross, John Stepherson, Tress MacNielle
"Ma! Look outside the window! It's that dadgum flying bed again!"
You know, newspapers weren't always like "Garfield" or "The Family Circus", where they always needed humour. In the 1930's, there was a comic strip known as "Little Nemo in Slumberland" created by Winsor McCay. It really had no humour, just pure fantasy. The strip was popular enough to recieve a NES video game years later, two animated shorts, and the Japan-animated adaption that we'll be looking at.
I have had this movie on VHS for a long time, but only watched it once, and seeing how it's considered to be an animation classic, I guessed it was time to revisit this movie.
"Hurry up, ya little turd! The movie's gonna start!"
The first 15 minutes grabbed my attention almost instantly. This was a good sign, and I almost figured that this was going to be a flawless film. But as I got more into the film, it was certainly flawed, but was still a delight to watch.
The film is watchable enough for kids, but the story's pacing may have older kids and adults looking at their watches. It's mostly cutesy and bright material with barely any hard dillemas to deal with, and the remaining 20 minutes is lightly dark and then it's back to light and bright again.....Weak.
"Wow, and to think that this is all being detonated today."
Looks like Noah forgot a few animals for his ark.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Nemo and his pet flying squirrel (Mann) travel to a land called Slumberland via bed and meet a cast of nice characters, including a jolly king (Erhard), a beautiful princess (Mooney), a pompous professor (Auberjonois), and a wisecracking clown named Flip (Rooney).
But when the Nightmare King (Martin) kidnaps the king of Slumberland, it's up to Nemo and his friends to head to Nightmare Land to save him.
Oh, will somebody tell the Lost Boys from "Peter Pan" to start shaving???
WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT IT?
The animation is quite nice for kids and animation buffs young and old. While it rarely resembles the look of the comic, it pays tribute to it by having a few scenes from the strip, including the staircase scene and the bed walking with long legs.
The "Filp" character is the guy that steals the show, with his hijinks and lively personality. Move over, Bozo!
WHAT'S BAD ABOUT IT?
Aside from the story's slow pace, there are only two problems with "Little Nemo", and they're characters. The first one is Nemo, who spends most of the time in his pajamas, falling off his bed, and screaming at the top of his lungs, espescially near the end. Not exactly the best hero in animation history.
The other character who's a problem is the villian, The Nightmare King. His design kicks ass, but it's too dark, so you can rarely see him. He also does little, and makes his only appearance at the end, in which he's only on for 7 minutes. This baddie had potential, but thanks to the light-hearted and feel-good script, this villian is ultimately forgettable.
"Take this, writers!"
Awww, Iracus is so cute!
"Now, I suppose you're wondering why I called you here..."
"Little Nemo" is cute for kids, with good characters and interesting animation. It doesn't really break the rules and tries to be it's own thing, but it's not supposed to. It wants to be ananimated adaption of a comic strip, and it does it very well without soiling the virtues of the original strip.