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Fun facts about 'Slumberland,' Netflix's new No. 1 movie

By NICK GARCIA Published Nov 23, 2022 5:02 pm

Netflix has a new No. 1 movie in Slumberland.

The fantasy adventure stars Jason Momoa of Aquaman and Game of Thrones fame and newcomer Marlow Barkley. Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids), and Weruche Opia (I May Destroy You) are in supporting roles.

The movie follows Nemo (Barkley), a precocious 11-year-old girl who happily lives with her father Peter (Chandler) in a lighthouse in the middle of the sea in the Pacific Northwest region.

When Peter gets unexpectedly lost at sea, Nemo has to live in the city with Phillip (O'Dowd), her estranged uncle and her late father's brother who means well but is deeply awkward.

Nemo struggles to adapt to the city life during the day. She finds respite at night during bedtime, hoping she'll see her father again in her dreams.

One night, she gets transported to the fantastic realm of Slumberland and meets Flip (Momoa), a rough-around-the-edges but lovable outlaw. They quickly bond and become partners in navigating Slumberland.

During their journey, they traverse dreams, flee nightmares, and avoid Agent Green (Opia), a representative from the bureaucracy governing Slumberland and is on the hunt for the likes of Flip.

Slumberland started streaming last Friday, Nov. 18 and quickly made it to the Top 10 on Netflix in days. Aside from currently being the number one English film in the Philippines, it's also in the top 10 in films in 88 countries on Netflix.

Here are some fun facts about the movie.

It's based on a comic strip

Slumberland is based on the 1905 comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland by American cartoonist Winsor McCay for the New York Herald.

The weekly strip depicted Nemo, who was having fantastic adventures only to wake up in the final panel.

Little Nemo in Slumberland is considered as McCay's magnum opus, in which he demonstrated mastery in color and linear perspective. He also experimented with panel sizes and shapes, as well as architectural and other details to enhance the narrative.

The comic strip ran in the New York Herald until 1911, when McCay brought it to another publication, the New York American. It was retitled In the Land of Wonderful Dreams, running until 1914.

Ten years later, McCay returned to the New York Herald and revived the strip under its original title until 1927, when he returned to New York American anew.

The comic strip's leading characters were changed for Netflix

Nemo is originally a boy in the comic strip. The character was inspired by McCay's son.

Flip, meanwhile, is not a gigantic satyr-like con artist but a cigar-chewing, fat green clown who's childlike in stature.

The Netflix movie's pig stuffed toy, apparently named Pig, isn't in the original comic strip either.

There are also other characters in the comics that didn't make it to the movie, like the tandem's companion African Imp.

Slumberland the dreamworld also has characters like Candy Kid, The Princess, Doctor Pill, as well as mythological characters like Morpheus, Sandman, Cupid, Father Time, and Santa Claus.

Filming was originally slated for 2020

Filming was supposed to begin during the summer (June) of 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A behind-the-scenes photo of Jason Momoa and Marlow Barkley during the filming of Slumberland.

On the bright side, other actors started joining the cast in October, while production was still in limbo.

Principal photography began in February 2021, and wrapped up in May or after four months.

Everything was filmed in Canada

In light of the public health crisis, the Slumberland crew filmed everything in the province of Ontario in Canada.

Filming locations included east-west road Front Street in downtown Toronto, theme park Ontario Place which has artificial islands off Lake Ontario.

L: Front Street, R: Ontario Place

Capital city Toronto's luxury hotel Fairmont Royal York was also used for the indoor scenes.

The rest of the shots were done at Pinewood Toronto Studios, particularly those involving computer-generated imagery.

The comic strip has several media adaptations already

When Little Nemo in Slumberland came out in 1905, there were already attempts to adapt it onstage. A vaudeville act materialized in 1907.

In 2012, Toronto-based theater company Frolick adapted the comic strip into a multimedia show Adventures in Slumberland. The show featured puppets of various sizes.

In the same year, the Florida-based Sarasota Opera adapted it into an opera, titled Little Nemo in Slumberland.

A photo of the actor who portrayed Nemo in Sarasota Opera's opera adaptation.

In 2017, a student theater organization from Fordham University in New York staged a one-act play, also titled Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Prior to the Netflix adaptation, the comic strip already has two movie adaptations: the live-action Dream One in 1984 and the animated Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland in 1989.

There's also a video game called Little Nemo: The Dream Master, developed by Capcom for Nintendo Entertainment System or NES in 1990. Capcom is known for titles like Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Resident Evil.