Slumberland Plot Synopsis
Slumberland, the latest fantasy movie to land on Netflix, tells the story of a young girl named Nemo who lives in a lighthouse on an isolated island with Peter, her father.
On the day of a dreadful storm, Peter is called out to sea to rescue a ship that is in trouble. He leaves Nemo alone and heads out on his mission but unfortunately, he doesn’t return.
Later, the authorities call at Nemo’s home and tell her the bad news: her father has died. She is then sent to live with her father’s brother Phillip who lives in the big city.
Life is now very different for Nemo, not only because she has to attend school for the first time but because living with Phillip isn’t quite the same as living with her dad. He isn’t as good a storyteller, he doesn’t have the same spirit of adventure, and as he regularly mentions his doorknob business, his conversations are rarely interesting.
Nemo misses her father desperately and assumes that she will never see him again. But one night after falling asleep, her stuffed pig miraculously comes alive and she enters into the magical world of Slumberland, the place where we all apparently head to when we start to dream. For Nemo, this isn’t just a place of her subconscious, however. She discovers the world she has entered is real and after meeting with a roguish outlaw named Flip, she learns of a way to be with her father again.
So, does Nemo find her father? Or are the two destined to never be reunited? Let’s take a closer look at the movie.
Who is Flip?
Nemo’s father used to tell her stories about his friend Flip and the adventures they shared together. Nemo assumed Flip was a fictional character and a figment of her father’s dreams, but when she enters Slumberland and the dream-like version of the lighthouse she grew up in, she discovers he is real when she finds him rooting around in her late father’s things.
We learn that Flip chose to stay in the dream world after falling into it three decades earlier. Since that time, the Bureau of Unconscious Activities (BOSA), the agents who govern Slumberland, have been trying to hunt him down to stop him from entering other people’s dreams.
We later learn of Flip’s real identity but for now, that doesn’t really matter. What matters most is Flip’s connection to her father, who he still remembers, and the information he holds that can help Nemo get back to him.
How can Nemo be reunited with her father?
To see her father again, Flip tells Nemo that she needs to find one of the pearls that can grant the user a dream of their choosing. The location of the pearls is on the dream map of Slumberland, which Nemo eventually finds. She discovers they are located within the Sea of Nightmares so that becomes the destination that Nemo and Flip must travel to.
Nemo’s dream is obviously to see her father again but we learn that Flip also has a reason for seeking the pearls. His dream is to wake up and remember who he was in the waking world. As such, they both have very good reasons for embarking on what turns out to be a very hazardous journey.
Does Nemo find the pearls?
To get to the Sea of Nightmares, Nemo and Flip have to follow a path through various dreams. One dream takes place in a truck being driven by a young kid through a tall glass city and another dream involves Nemo and Flip taking part in a ballroom sequence that is populated by people made out of butterflies.
Their journey is made difficult because Agent Green, an agent at BOSA, is hunting Flip down before he breaches any more boundaries. As Nemo is with Flip, she also becomes a subject of Green’s mission. Nemo is also chased by a giant squid, a sea monster that she had previously learned about when listening to one of her father’s stories. We later learn that the creature following her is a representation of the grief that won’t let go of her.
After having various adventures together, Agent Green catches up with them and Flip is locked up. During his imprisonment, Nemo returns to the waking world where she spends time with her uncle.
While watching home videos that feature the childhood adventures of Phillip and Peter together, she realises the ‘Flip’ that her father talked about in his stories was actually Phillip. This will come as no surprise to anybody who realised the connection between the two names.
The reason why Phillip has lost his sense of adventure is because that side of him is still stuck in the dream world. Upon realising this, Nemo knows that Flip/Phillip is in much need of the pearls as she is.
On her return to Slumberland, Nemo rescues Flip from captivity. They continue their journey and reach the sea but when Nemo tells Flip of his real identity, he decides he doesn’t want to wake up and be the boring person that Phillip has become.
Nemo then continues her journey for the pearls alone but it’s halted when she is woken up by her schoolteacher who has discovered her sleeping in the basement.
Back at her uncle’s house, she and Phillip argue and Nemo runs away. She manages to get a boat which she intends to use to get to her old home: the lighthouse. Unfortunately, she is knocked out on the way there and she slips into unconsciousness. In the real world, her life is in danger because she is slipping into the ocean. In the dream world, she finds the dream version of her father’s old boat within the Sea of Nightmares and inside, she finds the pearls. Just as she finds them, the squid arrives but before she is swallowed up whole, Flip arrives to rescue her.
Does Nemo survive the ocean?
Flip manages to rescue Nemo in Slumberland but she starts to feel ill. This is because her real self is in falling into the sea. Thankfully, Phillip has called the coastal guard and travelled across the ocean with them to find Nemo.
Back in Slumberland, Nemo uses the pearl she has found but instead of asking to see her father, she uses her one wish to save Flip. She wishes that he would wake up, which is a good thing because back in the waking world, her uncle is suddenly stirred into action. When the rescue boat discovers Nemo’s body in the water, Phillip dives in and saves her.
Does Nemo find her father?
Nemo has used up the pearl’s power and returned Flip to Phillip, giving her uncle the sense of adventure that he lost many years ago. This is great news for Phillip but Nemo has seemingly lost the ability to find her father.
Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost for Nemo. Agent Green tells her to squeeze her surprisingly nimble pig and when Nemo does so, a pearl drops out of the pig’s mouth. She uses that to make her wish and after doing so, she is given the opportunity to be with her dad at the lighthouse. They spend the day reminiscing together and enjoying one another’s company. Before they part, he asks her to keep an eye on his brother and instructs her to have adventures in the real world.
When Nemo wakes up, she realizes life must go on without her father and this is something she now feels able to do after spending her last few moments with him. Luckily, she now has the newly-invigorated Phillip to spend time with and together, they start their new lives with the courage that has now been instilled within both of them.
Read More: Slumberland Movie Review