Slumberland - Movie Content Review

Slumberland - Content Review - Picture of Nemo and Pig

Sometimes a few spoilers are necessary to properly discuss the content of the movie

Slumberland is a movie made for adults that's advertised as a children's movie.  After her dad tragically dies, Nemo becomes obsessed with sleeping and trying to manipulate the dream world, Slumberland, as a way to see her dad again.  With help from her dad's old Slumberland outlaw friend named Flip, they perilously traverse other people's dreams while running from the Slumberland police and Nemo's nightmare monster.

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Slumberland concentrates on delivering an emotional story, rather than imparting a specific message.  However, that leads to several problems for children watching the movie:

First off, Slumberland doesn't seem like it was made with children as the target audience.  Yes the main character is an older child and she has a stuffed animal, but there's not much else that's relevant to children.  To me it feels more like a movie that was made for adults or older teens and it happened to secure a PG rating, so it was then advertised as a family movie.  The movie is quite intense and dark, unlike the happy and silly trailers I saw.  I also can't recall another "kids" movie with even half as much swearing either.

Flip describes himself as an outlaw.  He does whatever he wants to fulfill his own selfish interests, including ruining other people's dreams, lying, manipulating people, breaking things, and a lot of stealing.  His speech is equally harsh and selfish.  In some ways he reminds me of a less likable Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.  On one occasion he mentions drinking until he forgets and also finding someone's ex-girlfriend (it's never specified why).  Flip also pushes Nemo out an open window to her "death" so she'll wake up from the dream world.  Additionally the Slumberland police, specifically Agent Green, have pursued him for years because of his bad behavior.  Nemo calls out his stealing the first time she meets him, but he quips back and that's the last time his bad behavior is called out.  Then Nemo quickly decides to partner with him and even calls herself an outlaw later in the movie.  

Conversely, Nemo herself isn't punished by the police for doing the same things (minus the theft) that Flip does.  The Slumberland police just let her go when she's caught.  Back in reality, there's no consequences when she ditches school or runs away (and almost dies) either.

The Slumberland police are represented as more of a corrupt organization.  While they do pursue Flip because of his misdeeds, they also tightly control what dreams people have and bar them from participating in any other dreams or from altering their own dreams.  Flip and Nemo are pursued by them for the entire movie, and until one of the final scenes where Nemo is let off the hook, they're basically the bad guys.

Combine all this with the viewer feeling intense negative emotions through out the movie and the "trippy" nature of a movie about navigating many dreams in a dream world... Slumberland just doesn't feel like a movie made for kids.


Slumberland - Language - Picture of Flip pointing at Nemo


Slumberland contains over a half dozen swears (H-word, A-word, D-word, B-words), including some spoken by Nemo, plus many instances of various swear replacement words like "heck".

Slumberland - Fears - Picture of Nemo screaming


Nemo's nightmare is represented by a giant scary octopus-like monster made out of thick black fog.  It follows her through out Slumberland and tries to kill her.  

It's made very clear on several occasions that if you die in Slumberland outside of your own dream, then you die in the real world.  Flip and Nemo nearly die several times.

Drowning isn't specifically mentioned, but it's a topic that's alluded to several times, including Nemo needing lengthy CPR after nearly drowning.  But also towards the end of the movie there's a long scene where breathing underwater in Slumberland isn't a concern at all.

There's several sea storms in reality and in Slumberland.  Nemo's nightmare also enters the scene in a storm-like way on more than one occasion.

Flip is kind of like the Beast in Beauty and the Beast: he's hairy, has horns, has scary looking teeth, and is grumpy.  Some kids may find him scary, especially in the beginning when he's the grumpiest. 

Although no one is afraid of the dark in the movie, the majority of the movie is dark scenes and there's enough scary stuff going on in those dark scenes that kids who struggle with scary darkness are probably going to be scared.

It is specifically mentioned that Nemo is afraid of being alone after her Dad has died.  Nemo's home is broken into.  As an outlaw Flip, and by extension Nemo, are constantly running from the Slumberland police.

Nightmares are mentioned constantly.  Along with Nemo's octopus monster, she also falls to her death in a dream.

There's no fire, clowns, or strong villains.

Slumberland - Family & Relationships - Picture of Nemo happily playing the piano with her dad

Family & Relationships

The movie initially establishes Nemo's strong bond with her father, but soon after that he dies at sea.  Nemo then spends the rest of the movie trying to manipulate Slumberland into giving her a dream of her father so she can see him again.  It's mentioned on a few occasions that Nemo's mother is dead, but Nemo's grief is fixed solely on her father.

Nemo is sent to live with her awkward uncle and their relationship is also awkward.  He doesn't know how to raise a child and even ponders giving her away several times.  At the end of the movie they establish a healthy relationship where he will raise her like she was his own child.

Flip mentions being handsome while doing a pelvic thrust on a couple occasions.  On one occasion when he's upset, Flip also implies he'll go into someone's ex-girlfriend dream to find the ex-girlfriend... and "why" is left for the viewer to ponder; but based on the context, kids will probably presume he wants to take her out drinking with him.

Nemo deceptively uses her uncles phone, sneaks out of his house, runs away on a boat, and nearly drowns.

Flip lies, manipulates, and steals from the people in Slumberland for his own gain.

Slumberland - Other Content - Picture of Nemo and Pig looking at her hand omniously with the lighthouse in the background

Other Content

Slumberland is a dream world, so there's tons of nonsensical magical things shown.  Some can even be a little visually or mentally "trippy" at times too.  Additionally, Flip and Nemo are obsessed with finding magic pearls that will allow them to wish for anything they want in Slumberland.

This movie is nearly non-stop negative intense feelings.  Nemo's love for her dad is excellently established in the beginning of the movie, but soon after he dies at sea and the viewer really feels Nemo's loss.  Then Flip tells Nemo about the magic pearls, and she becomes obsessed with obtaining them; during which time the viewer feels a growing impending doom as she talks about not caring if she dies in the real world, only wants to sleep so she can go back to Slumberland, lies and sneaks around to accomplish the extra sleeping, and takes increasingly more risks in Slumberland.  At the end of the movie there's a series of intense scenes where it seems like Nemo is going to both die in the real world and Slumberland.  For additional feelings of hopelessness, Agent Green also constantly pursues Nemo and Flip with a powerful gun that freezes them in place.  Eventually she freezes them and they're thrown into jail for life.  Then on top of all of that, Nemo's scary nightmare almost kills her and Flip on several occasions as it relentlessly pursues them the entire movie.

Flip mentions finding a bar so he can drink until he forgets who he is.

Slumberland - Content Review - Picture of Nemo and Flip screaming


Slumberland feels like it was made for adults or older teens due to the amount of included swearing, non-stop intense negative emotions, and lack of moral compass.



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