Jun 16, 2009

The Little Nemo That Wasn't

Anyone who was watching animated features in the early 90's should be familiar with Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland. Now, I doubt that it's anyone's favorite film, but it has it's moments. The animation is fluid, the characters are endearing, and most importantly, it's fun. With that said, what could have made Little Nemo better? The love and care (and immense talent) of Studio Ghibli, perhaps?

In pre-Ghibli 1982, Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko) were developing the then titled Nemo as an American/Japanese joint project for TMS Entertainment. One of the duo's key animators, Yoshifumi Kondo (Whisper Of The Heart), put together this test pilot, which in under five minutes, far surpasses the version that we ended up with.

The production folded due to creative differences (i.e. Big American Dollars = Our Way Or The Highway), and Miyazaki and co. decided to pursue other projects. Namely, NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind; the movie that sparked the formation of Studio Ghibli. Although I admire them for leaving a production that compromised their integrity...I really, really wish they made it anyway! Little Nemo: Adventures In Slumberland holds a little place in my heart, but it's a little place. Not a BIG place like Ghibli's phenomenal library. C'est la vie.

Little Nemo didn't get a US theatrical release until 1992...a decade later! It's production is a bit of a legend in Hollywood animator circles due to the vast number of "hands" the movie went through before it's completion. Oh, and remember this?

Little Nemo: The Dream Master for the NES

1 comment:

  1. Little nemo saved me from a life of drinking alcohol and smoking.the vhs movie was the only movie i ever keeped in my house.i watched the vhs movie more than100 times.little nemo advuntures in slumberland is the greatest movie from my childhood.i hope to own the blu ray disc someday.so my future kids can watch little nemo.and be happy forever.