Between the style and sensibilities of Alice in Wonderland and The Little Prince, Winsor McKay’s hilarious weekly series Little Nemo in Dreamland deserves an adaptation. It’s not something people haven’t tried for years. (Hayao Miyazaki tried to make an animated version at one point. The live-action Dream One was the closest.) Francis Lawrence’s crummy and trashy children’s movie Constantine wasn’t worth it, it was even better. . McCoy is associated with the hyper-imaginative comics of the early 20th century.
Yes, the main character is named Nemo, and yes, most of the film takes place in the fantastical subconscious of the Death Eaters, where gravity and time work by completely unpredictable rules. But as far as similarities go, it might explain why Netflix doesn’t emphasize the connection in its marketing campaigns. Dreamland is nothing more than an adaptation of Little Nemo against great modern visuals in a great “inspiration” (Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty). Unfortunately, it seems).
Here’s the revelation: Nemo’s only child (that’s the name of the beautiful girl in the movie) is being raised in a lighthouse by his father, who tells him a vivid dream story before suddenly disappearing after the first scene. The accident happens off-screen and is barely resolved before Nemo goes to live in the big city with his clumsy uncle (Chris O’Dowd), whom he doesn’t even like. As Nemo’s new teacher, he sends him to school and struggles to gain closure, leaving Nemo in an even more terrifying nightmare after his father’s death.
On Nemo’s first night in his new home, long spider legs emerge from his bed, and he crawls out the window to the lighthouses, where he meets Flip, a thief in a pink, fluffy costume named “The Bandit.” This is a typical clown role for Johnny Depp, but it belongs to Jason Momoa. While this casting may seem like a distant second, it was the best thing to happen to Dreamland. Audiences aren’t used to seeing the comedic side of the “Conan” star, so seeing him with a bald stomach, pastel-colored nails and sharp teeth is a way to convey his mischievous dreamer look. As Nemo, newcomer Marlowe Barkley hints at a young Ronan Saoirse, but never gets a chance to show his potential or engage with his character’s complex feelings.
In contrast, Slumberland focuses on providing adventure for children. Flip himself (a recurring character from McKay’s original comics) and Nemo, who is smart enough to find it, search for a treasure map that will lead to a pile of wish-granting pearls. Nemo wants his father back, which might lead you to believe that the film is about grief and loss, but screenwriters David Guyon and Michael Handelman do a clumsy job of dealing with his father’s disappearance, so it’s no surprise that the story isn’t reprehensible. satisfactory
Dreamland is more about creating an emotionally satisfying backdrop than creating an elaborate dream world, which has also been true of Lawrence’s past projects. Like something out of a Pixar movie (“Monsters Corporation”, perhaps without the monsters), this film presents a fairly original vision of how dreams can be created and managed: all based on huge skyscrapers, where the genres differ. During sleep, the experience occupies a separate floor. Map in hand, Flip and Nemo figure out how to get between them, leading to a wild ride as a male wish-fulfillment fantasy in an Art Deco bathroom toilet filled with butterflies.
At times, Dreamland hints at a simpler, kid-friendly version of Inception, though Lawrence lacks Christopher Nolan’s sense of next-level logic and effective world-building. The film is sometimes effective, but often an eyesore, as Lawrence favors the wide angle, frenetic action and terrifying visual aesthetics.
The film lacks the usual villains, the dashing “dream cops” who act like Agent Smith in “The Matrix” and the squid-like nightmares that chase Nemo across Dreamland. It’s all a little weird and a little cleverly constructed, which is a shame because McKay pioneered an interesting style in the Little Nemo comics. Beautiful graphic sketches that look like cut-out paper dioramas – intricately designed end credits, hinting at other, more exciting adventures Nemo can discover.
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