Weruche Opia (left) and Marlow Barkley star in "Slumberland." (Courtesy of Netflix)
Weruche Opia (left) and Marlow Barkley star in "Slumberland." (Courtesy of Netflix)

If you are looking for a wonderful family film to watch during the holiday season, then Netflix’s “Slumberland” is a great choice. 

The film has a fantasy-adventure theme that also mixes in comedy. It is about a girl named Nemo, played by 14-year-old Marlow Barkly, whose father is tragically lost at sea. She is forced to move from the lighthouse her father raised her in to a more urban environment to live with her Uncle Phillip. Because of Nemo’s upbringing and the pain from losing her father, she is not enthusiastic about socializing with other kids. 

One night when Nemo is sleeping at her uncle’s house she ends up on a magical journey to an imaginary place called Slumberland. She then meets Flip, played by Jason Momoa, who also starred in the movie Aquaman. Flip tells Nemo about the magical pearls hidden in Slumberland and if she helps him find them, it will ultimately give her the chance to reconnect with her father. 

Slumberland is based on the comic book series titled Little Nemo, first launched on October 15, 1905. The series was created by the cartoonist Winsor McCay, who was born in Spring Lake, Michigan in 1869. Although the concept of Slumberland was taken directly from McCay’s comic book series, director Francis Lawrence said he used his own imagination to create the magical environment and look to the film. Lawrence also directed blockbuster smashes such as I Am Legend and The Hunger Games. 

The cast did an excellent job of keeping the movie entertaining. Jason Momoa gives a very Jhonny Depp-ish performance with his character Flip, a nine-foot tall creature who is half beast and half man. He tells Nemo that he has no interest in befriending her and only wants her to help him find the pearls, but as they embark on their journey together a true bond is created between the two. 

During the film, they are also being tracked down by Agent Green who works for the Bureau of Subconscious Activity. Agent Green is an afro-wearing African-American woman who gives the vibe of Foxy Brown. 

The actress Weruche Opia, of Lagos, Nigeria who plays Agent Green says, “The character is inspired by Pam Grier and a dash of Denzel Washington.” Opia is also set to play Coretta Scott King in Disney+ and National Geographic’s upcoming television series titled Genius: MLK/ X.

Slumberland was created with a $150 million budget and did a great job of putting it to use. The film was filled with amazing special effects thanks to production vex supervisor Adrian De Wet, who also worked on the films The Matrix Reloaded, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and The Hunger Games. The scenery was visually stunning and matched perfectly with the original music scored by Pinar Toprak. She also did the musical scores for Captain Marvel and The Lost City. 

I would recommend this movie as one to surely watch during the holiday season. If you like fantasy movies or have a big imagination then this is the kind of film that will keep you glued to the screen. 

There are even lessons that anyone can learn from watching this film. For example, at one point Nemo tells Agent Green, “I’m not afraid of anything,” and Agent Green responds, “Being brave isn’t about not being scared. It’s about doing what you have to do, even when you are.” 

That was a great takeaway for me as I watched the film but I am sure if you watch it yourself you will also find your own connection.

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