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Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland Movie Review

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Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland has quite a few things going for it. Ray Bradbury created the concept for Chris Columbus’ screenplay and the animation effectively blends a fluid Disney-style animation with the charm of the original artwork by Winsor McCay. The thing that didn't work for me was the overpowering soundtrack. It was distracting to hear vocalists (including Melissa Manchester) blasting numbers reminiscent of Broadway show tunes when I were trying to focus on the story. The plot revolves around Little Nemo's vivid dreams, especially his valiant efforts to free the residents of Slumberland from the terrifying control of Night-mareland. Mickey Rooney is the voice of Flip the Frog, a character more mischievous than evil, even though he is responsible for most of the disasters that threaten the good guys. Rene Auberjonois plays Professor Genius, who is not much of a help to Nemo (Gabriel Damon) and his pet squirrel Icarus in a crisis. The whole thing is directed by Disney veteran William T. Hurtz. Nemo may be overcute for adult audiences, lacking the sly wit that makes the best of children's animation absorbing to adult viewers. (This is something that Disney himself would have made sure was the object of extensive research and development before the cameras ever rolled.) But, except for those songs and a dull teach-the-kiddies-a-lesson-in-responsible-values sub-theme, it's a painless way to pass 85 minutes and it even succeeded in giving me a nightmare or two when I got home.

1992 (G) 85m/C D: William T. Hurtz, Masami Hata; W: Chris Columbus, Richard Outten; M: Tom Chase, Steve Rucker; V: Gabriel Damon, Mickey Rooney, Rene Auberjonois, Daniel Mann, Laura Mooney, Bernard Erhard, William E. Martin. VHS, LV, Letterbox

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