Flowy artwork and enjoyable storyline along with amazing characters make this movie worth watching. I watched it when I was a toddler and grew up loving it. Nemo is a boy plagued by nightmares and when the circus comes to town, he's taken off to Slumberland. There he meets the princess, King Morpheus, and many more friends that bring this adventure to a wonderful climax. If you liked Spirited away, you'll love Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. It's based off of a 50's comic strip by the same name. Very underappreciated and underexposed, but well worth watching.
Time to look at a genre that I have completely neglected in my previous reviews. The world of anime children's movies! What better place to start then with Little Nemo, the first anime movie ever to see widespread theatrical release in the United States? This was 1992, so I was only 4 when this came out in theaters and it...was an experience. I remember that much from my first viewing, but I didn't re-watch this film until recently.
Although released stateside in 1992, Little Nemo was actually made in 1989. I mention this because it was an odd period for kids movies. This was the 1980s,
right before the "Disney Renaissance" of bright, cheerful, musical kid's movies. The 1980s was a time when nearly ALL the kids movies tried to be dark, daring, and really push the envelope. Sometimes this resulted in masterpieces like The Neverending Story from West Germany, Miyazaki's Nausicca, and America's Secret of Nimh. Other times this attempt to be "dark and edgy" led to nothing but batshit insanity with nightmare fuel imagery for no reason, exemplified by films like The Brave Little Toaster. Little Nemo...is much more Toaster than Nausicca.
The plot is very loosely based on a 1905 American comic about a boy that falls asleep and has adventures in dreamland. He must help Morpheus the king of dreamland defeat the evil king of the nightmare world. At least the fact that he IS dreaming explains the very surrealist imagery, along with all the scenes young children would find disturbing. He is in the nightmare world after all, unlike Toaster where twisted, freaky shit just happens at complete random! In the end, Nemo defeats the Nightmare King, realizes it was all a dream (the cliche' award goes to...) and goes to the circus with his family. There really isn't much to say about the plot because Nemo is a purely visual experience. Unlike the 3 masterpiece children's films I mentioned above, Nemo doesn't really tackle complex issues or themes. It doesn't have a deep message with layers of symbolism for adults to enjoy like Nausicca or Neverending Story. It is an interesting little visual experience, but not really much else.
The characters in this movie are honestly really bland. Nemo himself is a very 2D character and the most memorable character is an obnoxious clown played by Japan's favorite comedian Mickey Roony! At least he isn't dressed up in "yellow face" in this movie. Instead the clown is drawn with what looks suspiciously like "black face" because that's...better?
It has a kind of catchy opening theme, but it is VERY misleading since it is so cheerful and light, yet this movie is mostly not.
Little Nemo was a box office disaster losing over 30 million dollars, which was a big deal in 1992. The film was critically panned by Roger Ebert, and most of the other elite American film critics of that time. Honestly, I don't blame them. The art and animation was good at times, but that is really the only thing positive I have to say about this movie. I have met a few other people my age that actually liked this POS, but then again my generation liked Space Jam. Overall, I wouldn't really bother seeing Little Nemo unless you are very interested in anime history or just morbidly curious.
Magical and exciting, this classic will keep you entertained.
After watching this movie once when I was little I immediately found myself hooked! I still watch it 10 years later! It's just so full of adventure, comedy, and sad moments. The plot, characters, scenery, && music are illustrated && played out very well. It's probably the most unique && original work of art you will ever come across next to Miyuzaki's 'Spirited Away' and 'Howl's Moving Castle'. I would recommened this to just about anyone who shares a love for imagination. This is deffinately worthy of the title 'classic'.
I actually seen this baby nearly 20 years ago when I was a kid. But due to how little I could recall of Little Nemo, I never got around to writing a proper review for it until I got a copy of the film just recently to cover.
A little known fact about this film to many folks is that Little Nemo was made as an attempted collaboration between American and Japanese animation studios planned during the early 1980s. However, differences in the creative direction of the film led to enough disputes between both sides that it took years before the film finally got a theatrical
release, which shows rather prominently in how the animation and plot to this are laid out. The look and feel for both are very Western-influenced as Little Nemo looks almost like a Disney film with its character designs and scenery, while sporting fluid movements and animated sequences. For an 80s anime, Little Nemo is easily among one of the better-looking animated films I've seen from the decade, being on par with Studio Ghibli films made during the time.
In terms of its plot and characters though, Little Nemo is rather underwhelming in both departments if you're not this baby's intended target audience of younger children. The cast mostly fill simple character types related to Western animated films and the plot's rather haphazard pace limit any world-building or character exploration that could have been utilized. The plot for it also milks a number of storytelling cliches that never get explored as Nemo is the "chosen one" to be Slumberland's prince, a typical good vs evil conflict involving the Nightmare King in the movie's later half, a number of the Slumberland residents looking like those part of the circus troupe he encountered at the start of the film and an attempt at incorporating some sort of moral related to Nemo's adventure. Pretty much, the film's intent is to keep its plot and characters as simple as possible for its target audience while anyone older may keep wondering why certain stuff to it is never explored.
Little Nemo also has its sloppy points in its writing. The later third of the movie features a couple points where Nemo is in some sort of hostile situation, yet he "wakes up" away from it only to discover he is still dreaming. The "wake up" bits function as a sort of deus ex machina to get Nemo out of trouble and seemed rather lazy in execution. The film's attempt at a moral is also rather questionable as it tries connecting a rather mundane incident that Nemo is involved with at the start of the film to later events in it when Nemo unintentionally triggers the threat of the Nightmare King for the film's second half. However, the events leading up to the moral being utilized are rather idiotic as a certain character was dumb enough to entrust the safety of his entire kingdom to Nemo (and not warning him of the danger in question) and our lead gets rather easily duped into triggering said events.
Overall, Little Nemo is mostly fare for younger children as its plot and characters are way too simple to appeal to older audiences in the same vain that many Studio Ghibli films are. I might have been in awe of the movie as a kid. But being older, it really loses its appeal when you begin to question the "whys" to it.
So, I recently rewatched the English dub of Little Nemo on Crunchyroll. Some of the movie I remember watching as a kid, but other parts I seem to have forgotten.
Story wise, tackling the idea of a repeating dream sequences can present problems, but the film seemed to mostly handle that well. The 'Oh, I'm still in a dream' notion does wear thin, but thankfully they don't dwell on that for too long. Other than that, the narrative is simple and family oriented. A good morality tale on keeping promises and finding the courage to fix
I think that this film's animation has held up reasonably well, on par with other animated features of the 80's and 90's. Not as good as Disney Renaissance, but better than Rankin & Bass. Sort of that Don Bluth film area. Slumberland and its inhabitants are whimsical and colorful, while their nightmare counterparts can be appropriately frightening to younger audiences. Perhaps too frightening for some children, so grain of salt for parents.
Is there an edited version of the English dub out there? I remember the clown character Flip being a typical hobo clown (light face makeup and dark mouth makeup), not a Minstrel Show clown with all racial baggage that carries with it. Now there's a third cringe joining Jynx and Mr. Popo in the world of Japanese animation transitions to the US.
The English dub has some issues. Moments of missing or awkward lip flaps, line delivery that is mismatched with the tone, and dialogue out of sync are all present at one point or other. Thankfully, this is more of an exception than rule. The music is alright, if a little flamboyant at times.
For a film that went through so many hands while in development hell, it has survived to be a decent film for the family. Hope you enjoy.
What an odd little movie. So bad, and yet such a colorful history.
You may notice I generally gave some poor scores, but highly recommend this movie. Why? It's a perfect example of why communication is important. This movie has everything it needs to be amazing. It was worked on by some true animation giants. Chuck Jones of Looney Tunes fame, who invented many standards of animation that are used to this day. Ray Bradbury, writer of Fahrenheit 451. Music by the Sherman Brothers, who wrote a ton of music I guarantee you know! Even Hayao Miyazaki, the man the myth the legend, worked on
the film for a brief time. If you look closely you can see their influences. And there are some other big names linked to this project.
So why do so many rights make a ginormous wrong?
Lack of communication.
Some are quoted as saying they asked the animators what they were working off of, "we're just illustrating what Bradbury is writing" and when Bradbury was asked what he doing he said "I'm just putting in writing what these wonderful artists are drawing"
Insert screaming melty man pop art. I highly recommend you watch this movie simply because it is such a piece of animation history with so many big names on it. You can see Chuck Jones' influence in the design of the squirrel Icarus. And some scenes, like them fancifully bouncing around the kingdom on balls while a song plays, are clearly worked on by Miyazaki. It's fun to watch and try to spot who animated what.
This is definitely a film to watch when you're in the mood for a bad movie.
Can we all just agree that dreams are fucking weird? They’re one of the least understood aspects of human life, and everybody but Mike Pence has them. Their are tons of theories about what their purpose is, what they mean, and why we’re always naked in them, but to this day, nobody can pinpoint what these bizarre movies we get to watch while we’re recharging even are. Sometimes they have purpose... Back when I was in a bad relationship where I felt trapped and with no control over my life, I’d constantly dream that I was stuck on a labyrinthian waterslide
that I couldn’t escape from. But they can be completely nonsensical, too. Maybe you’re fighting in a war with flamethrowers, but they suddenly turn into waterguns. Maybe you’re running from a spider that can fit through any crack. Maybe you’re beating up pedophiles, taunting serial killers, throwing horses at witches, fighting demons in the wild west, meeting people you don’t see anymore, running from a golden car like it’s a metaphor for Satan, or hell, maybe you get into a car crash but wind up in your living room, with your family ominously telling you “It’s waiting.”
For little Nemo, dreams aren’t quite like that. Every single one of his dreams is a lucid one, and he can use them to escape to big fantastical worlds, all by riding on his bed like it’s a magic carpet. One day, after seeing a parade and wanting desperately to go to the circus, Nemo drifts off and is invited to the world of Slumberland, a country governed by a kind, jovial king and his prickly little daughter, and inhabited by a whole host of wild and zany characters. Nemo is declared the King’s heir, and entrusted with protecting it from harm, but it isn’t long at all before one of these inhabitants, a chain-smoking green minstrel named Flip, tempts him into letting Slumberland get taken over by a terrifying sea of darkness, which leaves it in shambles and takes the King away to a faraway land. With the order of a whole world now at stake, there is only one chance at saving it... Joined by Flip, the princess, a wacky professor and his talking squirrel sidekick, Nemo must brave the horrors of Nightmareland to make everything right again!
If I were to show you Little Nemo directly, there are two reactions I expect from you almost immediately. The first would be disbelief at the fact that Nemo’s not a clownfish(although his world is populated by Clowns), and incredulity at the fact that it really doesn’t look like an anime. It is, I assure you... It was produced by Japan and released in Japan three years before it was released in the States, although I’d say roughly a quarter of the people credited to making it are american, including both of the screenwriters. The production was a mess of almost legendary proportions, with huge names from both sides of the ocean coming into the project and then leaving it just as quickly, leaving influence behind but rarely ever any guidance on how to implement it. Even Hayao Miyazaki himself was attached at one point, which is probably why the movie opens with a sequence of Nemo flying through the city on his bed. It was ultimately produced by TMS, a company that made Akira and animated several american cartoons.
And speaking of american cartoons, that’s exactly what this movie was based on. Little Nemo was originally a newspaper comic that ran in the early 1900’s, which doesn’t sound like something an anime would ever be based on, and yet lo and behold, that’s what we have here. Visually, this is exactly what I’d think of if I was told that an anime was being designed to look like an American product. First of all, being that this WAS a product of TMS, the animation budget was high, so there’s a lot of fluid animation and graceful character movement, sometimes almost to a fault. It is very lively, and it makes the movie feel really energetic, but there’s also a certain feeling of over-indulgence to it, like what the Nostalgia Critic might call movement porn. It never stops moving, which can almost feel exhausting at points. It’s one of those cases where something was new at the time, and had never really been attempted to such a degree, so of course it was impressive at the time for what it achieved, but looking back, it could have been done better.
For example, there’s a scene where the cast engages in a dance at the palace, and Professor Genius starts doing a weird dance(I’d be surprised if The Duke of Wesselton wasn’t at least partially inspired by this), and then the king joins in, and for this strangely surreal moment, it looks like the two are moving in synch, probably through some sort of rotoscoping, despite being at least a foot apart in height. It’s a really creepy bit of Uncanny valley. Oh, and speaking of uncanny valley, there’s also the facial animations, which I actually kind of had trouble watching. Characters were so far removed from your typical anime style that it honestly looks like something Chuck Jones would have animated while shit-face drunk, and this is reflected in the character designs. Most of the characters look all right, if a bit generic, but the animation doesn’t always work in their favor. Princess Camille, for example? Whenever she lets her shoulders slump, she looks more arrow than human. She looks like the love child of Bob Belcher and Marzipan from the Homestarrunner cartoons. At least the demons look cool, I guess.
When it comes to the music, I was actually kind of expecting the American and Japanese releases to have different soundtracks, but surprisingly, they don’t. Even though this movie was originally released in Japan, the OST was comprised of English language songs. On Wikipedia, the music is credited to a few American sounding names, including the Sherman Brothers, who are absolute legends in the field of family film musical scores. The film’s main theme, which is simply named Little Nemo after the Japanese title of the movie, is beautiful. I love it. It works great in the film, carrying the kind of epic whimsy that can only be found in nineties children’s movies, and it’s just as strong when listened to on it’s own. Melissa Manchester has an amazing voice, which I really shouldn’t have to tell anyone who’s familiar with her work, and it’s a testament to her strength as an artist that she can carry the Sherman Brothers occasionally awkward and flowery lyrics without ever sounding hokey or condescending.
Unfortunately, this mark of inspiration doesn’t really carry over to the rest of the soundtrack, which sounds about as standard for a generic children’s movie soundtrack that you can get, with some of the songs being directly attached to scenes that were clearly added to the film just to pad out the run time. This is no more clear than with the song Etiquette, which I think was supposed to be funny, but just winds up coming off as annoying. Melissa Manchester is nowhere to be found on this track, but she might not have been able to save it anyway, because she wasn’t able to carry her majesty from Little Nemo over to the song Slumberland, which is just kind of boring over-all. Songs like Fun and Laughter, The Boomps Song and Princess of Slumberland are safe, saccharine and forgettable, which is sadly par for the course with this soundtrack. The instrumental tracks are okay, but they’re not the kind of thing that could ever set the world on fire, and there’s nothing about them that really justifies going out of your way to find them.
The English dub is... Well, it’s also okay. There are a ton of really popular names credited to this film, including a pre-Simpsons Nancy Cartwright and a post-Vampire Hunter D Michael McConnohie. Actually, there area ton of voice actors attached to this project whose resumes would surprise you, as even beyond famous names like Tress Macneille, Jennifer Darling, Sherry Lynn and the late June Foray, there are names that may have flown under your radar like René Auberjonois and Gabriel Damon, and I’m sad to say this, almost none of them brought their A-game to this project. There are a few exceptions, like Laura Mooney in the role of the Princess, who was the only cast member who CLEARLY wasn’t trying; Bernard Erhard, who put his heart and soul into making King Morpheus the most likeable guy in the world, and strangely enough Mickey Rooney, who was obviously having a blast playing the mischievous and duplicitous Flip. It’s not a great dub, but it’s passable enough, which is good, because western releases don’t include a Japanese language sub track.
So, here’s an interesting little bit of trivia for you guys: this was the first anime I ever watched. It predates my experiences with Pokemon and Dragonball by nearly a decade, even. When I was little, like really little, my Dad would often rent movies on VHS and bring them home for my brother and me to watch. He’d go to the grocery store... Wegmans, in my area... Rent somne random movie with a G rating and bring it home for us. For those of you who are confused by those last two sentences, ask your parents. He’d bring home Disney movies, Don Bluth movies, straight-to-video shitfests(I saw Once Upon a Forest at least three times), and on one occasion, Little Nemo. Now, as a kid, I didn’t have the greatest attention span, but I always found myself getting absorbed in stories. I watched movies mostly attentively, and shamed people who didn’t(To this day, I get really annoyed by people who play on their phones during a movie), and as soon as I learned to read, I could go hours without putting a book or comic down.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however, and Little Nemo is one of them. My memory’s not great, but I’m pretty sure I only saw it once, and didn’t really pay attention to it. Even only a year later, all I could remember about it was the Princess Camille stuff, because even Little Naru loved him some princesses. I only really wound up thinking about it a few tiomes in the years that followed, like one time when I was reading up on the history of newspaper comics, or when Finding Nemo came out, or when I found out it was an anime, or when The Nostalgia Critic and The Mysterious Mr. Enter did some really good videos on it, ... But I never really started thinking about it seriously until I started reviewing anime, and I knew I’d have to hit it again eventually. Well, almost five years in, that time has finally come. I bought the movie online, let it sit on my coffee table for a few months(don’t judge me) and finally, I popped it in and watched it for the first time in over twenty years, and let me tell you, there’s a reason it bored me as a kid.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so to stay focused, I’m not going to go too far into any of the behind the scenes stuff. Production of this film was famously a nightmare, it’s apparently one of Hayao Miyazaki’s worst professional experiences, it was a huge bomb when it was released, and the production company, TMS, who were riding high after the success of Akira at the time, were so badly damaged by it that they haven’t been the same since. I don’t personally know any more about any of this than I’ve been told, I haven’t exactly done any research into it’s history... That’s not really the kind of thing I do here... But it’s lack of success isn’t really a surprise to me, and if you’ve ever seen it yourself, it doesn’t take a lot of run time to pick up on the fact that it was never going to be anybody’s favorite film for any reason but childhood nostalgia. The only thing I can really talk about here is my personal experience watching the movie, and if it helps, my thoughts as to why it flopped as hard as it did.
First of all, the main character... The titular Nemo... Is a special kind of bland. He has no personality to speak of, he has no interests or goals outside of visiting the circus and doing whatever the plot tells him to do, and if I had to guess, his companion, a little sentient flying squirrel with flight goggles on his head, was added to the story to make him more interesting in the new medium(it didn’t work. also, how weird is it that they had June Foray in the cast, the voice of rocky, but she didn’t play his arguable rip-off?)). He just goes with the flow while spouting off lazy little boy one-liners like Yippee! Gee Whiz! and Wowwee! He doesn’t even immediately grasp that a princess is a girl, a conversation which... to be fair... Was even dumber in the NES game. The worst thing about him isn’t how boring or bland he is, however... It’s how little agency he has in the story. for the bulk of the movie, he’s just following orders, going along with whatever the other characters want him to do, and when Flip pressures him to go back on some of these orders, he folds like origami.
The first real choice he makes is to try and undo that mistake... about twenty minutes after making it. He gains some agency in the third act, where he’s leading the charge to the Nightmare castle to rescue everybody, but even then, it’s hard to get invested because you never feel that he has any connection to any of it. He’s only known any of these people for less than a day, the whole world is just shallow eye candy with nothing substantial to offer, and I’m sorry, but a king who’s willing to hand a key to what’s basically the doors of hell to a child he just met fifteen minutes ago was asking for his kingdom to get taken over. In stories like these, the hero has to have a personal reason to save the world he’s wandered into, but with Nemo, he just feels like our excuse to explore a bunch of Candyland backgrounds in a barely story-driven animation demo, and the moments of actual story feel either distractingly stupid or gratingly annoying. When Nemo is being tossed around by spastic tutors trying to educate him on proper behavior, I wouldn’t care if he woke up, got up to use the bathroom, and then went back to bed and dreamed about running from monster tornadoes. I’d be just as engaged.
But perhaps the biggest problem is that we KNOW he’s just having a dream, and that there’s no more to it than that. Right in the beginning of the movie, we see most of the characters from Slumberland walking down the street in a parade, which is how he came to dream about them. That’s it. They’re not real. None of this is real. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if the dream-like aspects were the whole point, and it was just supposed to be a trippy experiences, but there’s a story and plot involved, and there’s almost no urgency behind any of it. If he fails, nothing is lost. If he succeeds, nothing is gained. There’s no interesting subtext, no metaphor to speak of, no commentary, just the classic artwork and imagination of Windsor McKay being shown off in a story that doesn’t do any of it justice. I mean, the only thing that does any work moving the plot forward is the character of Flip, but his motivation in the story is so completely bankrupt that he almost feels like the personification of the audience screaming “Get on with it!”
It doesn’t even manage to be dream-like. Like I said before, dreams are weird. They don’t have plots, they don’t contain full stories. Little Nemo is too conventional of a story to even grasp the surrealism that any good dream-based narrative should, at the very least, be able to pull off. Remember in Nichijou, when characters are put in bizarre situations like having to eat noodles off of a shoot before they hit the ground? Or having to buy a snowman off of the shelf before it melts, and they do so with actual sincerity, like they believe these tasks to be important? That’s how dreams work. Remember Alice in Wonderland, or the old Nightmare Ned computer game? That’s how dreams work. Okay, the Nightmare Ned TV series had consistent stories, but at least they had the benefit of being smart and well written. You wanna show me a dream with a solid narrative? Make a movie where someone has to deal with a cult of people who brainwash each other into mutilating the bone structure of their faces, or getting stuck in a pizza place that’s a metaphor for purgatory.
The actual story is bad enough, but there’s almost no creativity to the visuals, and while I get that the whole movie is based on a preexisting work, and they had established content to work with, but that shouldn’t have limited them so harshly. It’s an adaptation, but the concept surrounding it was just ripe for updates. They could have unleashed their imaginations upon the world, using McKay’s imagination as a pretty solid foundation for interpretation, but everything just feels so lazy and uninspired. The Slumberland sets basically went from Candyland to the ocean to a dark and dreary underworld, and a King of nightmares(or something) who just looked like Chernabog on a juice cleanse. That’s the best you got? Give me a demonic three headed goat or something(can you tell I crowd-sourced some weird dream ideas for this review?)! I haven’t been this disappointed since the villain in Insidious turned out to be Darth Maul’s edge-lord little cousin! There are so many ways this movie could have been great, but sadly, they didn’t take any of them.
Little Nemo, which has the additional subtitle of Adventures of Slumberland over here, is way out of print, but the Easternstar DVD is still really easy to find online for cheap. The original comic is also easy to find online, but it ain’t cheap, and the books they’re contained in tend to be gigantic, and can be a pain to display because of it. The entire Little Nemo franchise is in the public domain, so if you want to use it for yourself, you can do so without issue.
When I reviewed Spirited Away, I went into detail on my revised feelings towards children’s media, and that a movie doesn’t necessarily have to be critically good for kids to watch it. The only exception is when a movie teaches a bad message or could potentially provide a negative influence, and there’s nothing like that in Little Nemo, so do I recommend showing it to your kids? I guess so, but I can’t honestly see them asking to see it. It’s a fairly obscure movie, and if it didn’t develop a huge cult following after getting put out on DVD early this decade, then I doubt it’ll happen anytime soon. If you have fond childhood memories of it and want to show it to your kids for that reason, go ahead, but there’s no guarantee they’ll like it. I certainly didn’t. That aside, it’s a pretty firmly forgotten movie, and while I’d love to see someone else take a shot at adapting McKay’s opus... come on Disney, this shit has your name all over it... This is one nostalgic movie you can leave right in your memories where it belongs. I give Little Nemo a 3/10.
I first read about Little Nemo comic strips in a comic journal that I used to buy before it went bankrupt. I read there that the Little Nemo comic strips in the beginning of the twentieth century went to be highly influential with most comic authors that came afterwards, Disney being one of those.
Little Nemo does have something American and occidental in it, but it is an entirely Japanese production, but it certainly doesn’t seems like that, it sure looks more like a Disney or other occidental production. The character designs, as well as everything else in the animation, backgrounds, story, screams Disney.
regarding the pre-production of this movie is that Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata were to pick this in the beginning, unfortunately they never got to work on it, I wonder how it would have turned if they remained in charge here.
Here's a brief description on the story.
The story starts with a boy named Nemo and his weasel friend. Somehow Nemo is chosen to be the sole heir of Slumberland, so Little Nemo goes from his home back in NY to Slumberland without thinking twice. He is to learn on how to be a prince and everything that involves being a prince. But the king only asks Nemo to promise him one thing, the King gives Nemo the master key that opens every door in the castle to little Nemo and only makes him promise not to open the door which has the same symbol as the key, the forbidden door. While roaming through the castle, Nemo gets to know a little weird and malicious character, which incites him to run away from his lessons on how being a prince and later while escaping the guards in their fun, incites Nemo to open the forbidden door they that they had found… The rest, you can easily guess asthe story develops in a rather simplistic way.
The story was done thinking on an younger audience and it does have a simple story very easy to get without major plot turns for a easy understanding. But the good animation makes it for the simplicity of the story, even I get the feeling that I would like to watch this at a tender age.
While being a Japanese movie and being often referenced to Ghibli lovers, Little Nemo is by far a innocent view without any conscious and adult meaning in it. Ghibli recommendations, would probably be Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro for their both innocence.
Unfortunately, the file that I got was a dubbed old file, so my enjoyment could have been greater. The English voices sounded too much higher than the other background sounds and the usual music. But still I could notice that they were good voices and did fit each character well. It's a pity that I didn't get to hear the background music in all it's glory, I'll wait for a proper DVD release in the future.
Rate: 6/10 - A nice movie, but not really necessary to most folks. Only recommended if you're really into childrens animated movies.
"Little Nemo" is one of those movies where the backstory on it's creation is more famous (and probably more entertaining) than the movie itself. With such a tumultuous creative process from beginning to finished product, this film often gets a reputation for being such a train wreck. After watching it, I think it's not quite the demon from development Hell most make it out to be.
To start with the animation itself, it's actually pretty darn good for the late 1980s. It's smooth, colorful, with some neat characters (special mention to the absolutely terrifying Nightmare King). It resembles a Disney film in a lot of ways
with a realistic Japanese art style. The story is nothing special. Kid goes on a magical journey through a fantasy world where he overcomes his fears to save the day and learns many valuable lessons. Blah, blah, blah...
I have only seen the English version of this whose cast features a few names you might recognize. Veteran child actor (kind of an oxymoron, I know) Gabriel Damon in the lead as Nemo, plus the legendary Mickey Rooney, and Rene Auberjonois of "Star Trek: DS9" fame. Decent job by everyone overall, but playing characters that are mediocre at best.
This is a kids movie, pure and simple. And from that genre and target audience the film does pretty well. But, when you read the backstory (and I encourage you to) and watch it you start to catch glimpses here and there of what could have been rather than what it is. What it is is a halfway decent kids movie. What could it have been...? Well, the answer to that question is something we can only dream about. Fitting I suppose for this movie. Cheers!