The Last Mimzy
||This article or section may fail to make a clear distinction between fact and fiction. (January 2013)|
|The Last Mimzy|
US Promotional poster
|Directed by||Robert Shaye|
|Produced by||Michael Phillips|
|Screenplay by||Bruce Joel Rubin
James V. Hart
|Based on||"Mimsy Were the Borogoves"
by Henry Kuttner
|Starring||Rhiannon Leigh Wryn
Michael Clarke Duncan
|Music by||Howard Shore
|Cinematography||J. Michael Muro|
|Editing by||Alan Heim|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||96 minutes|
The Last Mimzy is a 2007 science fiction adventure drama film directed by Robert Shaye and loosely adapted from the 1943 science fiction short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett (the pseudonym of husband and wife team Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore). The film features Timothy Hutton, Joely Richardson, Rainn Wilson, Kathryn Hahn, Michael Clarke Duncan, and introducing Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as seven-year old Emma Wilder and Chris O’Neil as fourteen-year old Noah.
Presented as a story by a group of students and their teacher Lena that takes place in the distant future, The Last Mimzy is the story of the distant future's attempt to avert a catastrophic ecological disaster that has destroyed their world. High tech devices disguised as toys are sent back in time into the distant past to Noah and Emma Wilder, children in early 21st century in Seattle. The "toys" are incomprehensible to Emma (Rhiannon Leigh Wryn) and Noah (Chris O'Neil), except for what appears to be a stuffed rabbit. Sensing the paranormal supernatural strangeness of the devices, the children initially keep their discovery secret from their parents.
Interaction with the devices cause the children to develop advanced knowledge, genius-level intelligence and psionic abilities. Emma becomes telepathically connected to the stuffed rabbit, from which she learns the rabbit's name is Mimzy, and how to operate the devices. Because of her psychic connection with Mimzy, Emma's development of her abilities are much stronger than her older brother's, the only one to display empathy, telepathy, levitation, and telekinesis (though Noah can also telepathically communicate with her once she has telepathically contacted him). Emma is also the only one who can use the Spinners, strange spinning, telekinetically floating rocks that produce a force-field. Noah's incredibly strong psionic/physic abilities are developed through a card and a seashell, ingeniously increased intelligence and knowledge, empathic communication with and control over arthropods, and telepathy, and he can also use the card to enable him to telekinetically teleport objects through a small dimensional rift after staring at it and observing his surroundings.
The children's unusual psionic and mental abilities and Emma's attachment to Mimzy alert their parents and schoolteachers to the devices; later, Noah accidentally fuses the card with a blue blob, turning it into a Generator that causes a power black-out over half the state of Washington, alerting the FBI to their activities. The family is held for questioning by Special Agent Nathaniel Broadman (Michael Clarke Duncan), and it is revealed that Mimzy is actually a highly advanced form of artificial life utilizing nanotechnology created by Intel. Mimzy has brought a message from humanity's distant future. Emma explains that pollution has corrupted humanity's DNA. Many rabbits like Mimzy have been sent to the past, but none successfully returned; Mimzy is the last one remaining, but is now dying. The reason for the other Mimzys' deaths is revealed to be that the Chosen Ones before Emma had no Engineers (like Noah) to help build the bridge across time. Mimzy explains to the children that they must use the toys as a time machine to return it to the future with uncorrupted 21st century human DNA, which the people of the future can use to correct the damage to their DNA caused by ecological problems.
Despite attempts by the FBI, Noah and Emma use their unusually strong psionic abilities to escape with Mimzy and the other objects and activate a time portal able to return Mimzy to the future. Before leaving, Mimzy absorbs a tear from Emma, thus providing the DNA required to restore humanity's corrupted DNA. Emma is almost sucked into the future with Mimzy, but Noah grabs Emma and pulls her out just as Mimzy is sent back to its own time. The world has become a beautiful place, where humanity has integrated into the constructed ecosystems. The story ends with Emma's teacher (Julia Arkos) calling on Emma in class, asking what she did over her weekend break. Emma simply smiles.
- Rhiannon Leigh Wryn as Emma Wilder, who discovers the "toys".
- Chris O'Neil as Noah Wilder, Emma's elder brother.
- Timothy Hutton as David Wilder, father of Noah and Emma
- Joely Richardson as Jo Wilder, David's wife and mother of the children.
- Rainn Wilson as Larry White, Noah's science teacher.
- Kathryn Hahn as Naomi Schwartz, Larry's fiancee.
- Michael Clarke Duncan as FBI Special Agent Nathaniel Broadman.
- Patrick Gilmore as FBI Task Force Agent.
- Kirsten Williamson as Sheila Broadman, Broadman's wife.
- Marc Musso as Harry Jones, Noah's best friend.
- Megan McKinnon as Wendy.
- Irene Snow as Lena, the story's narrator.
The "toys" are high tech devices that were sent from the future by a scientist to obtain uncorrupted DNA. They were sent through time in a box that has three compartments. The floor of the first compartment opens to access the second, and the floor of the second compartment opens to access the third, despite its outside appearance suggesting it only has one. The "toys" all have special abilities, and are able to give Emma and Noah genius-level intelligence and psionic abilities of their own.
- Mimzy - an intelligent, white stuffed rabbit-shaped object made from nanotechnology, and can telepathically connect with certain individuals.
- Green card - a green-colored card with endless, moving light lines that make it look fractured. To most people, it looks like a small, black rectangular slab. It can enable the user to teleport objects after staring at it and observing their surroundings. It can also fuse with the blue blob to turn it into a Generator.
- Seashell - a white seashell-shaped object that allows the user to hear across greater distances, and frequencies, than normal.
- Blue blob - a blue blob that can fuse with the green card, turning it into a Generator.
- Spinners - a large black rock that can break into smaller rocks. The rocks can spin slightly off the ground, and when put spinning in a circle, they create a visible force-field that the user can put their head in to see the time period that the "toys" came from.
The "toys" can be used to send Mimzy back to the time period that they were all sent from. To do this, the green card must first be fused with the blue blob to create a generator. Then, the spinners must be used to create a force field. Mimzy must then be put into the force field. Finally, the generator must be used to create energy and blast it at the force field, giving it the energy needed to send Mimzy back to her time period. This sort of thing can only be done once. After that, the remaining "toys" break apart beyond repair and cannot be used again.
Development and production
The Last Mimzy is loosely based on the classic science fiction short story "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" by Lewis Padgett, the pen name of collaborators Henry Kuttner & C. L. Moore; the story appeared in John W. Campbell's magazine Astounding in 1943. Both the film's and short story's titles are derived from third line of the nonsense verse poem Jabberwocky in Lewis Carroll's novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. The adapted screenplay is by Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost, Deep Impact) and Toby Emmerich (Frequency). The film’s production team also included editor Alan Heim (All That Jazz, The Notebook) and sound designer Dane Davis (The Matrix). Visual effects were created by The Orphanage, and location filming was done in Roberts Creek and Collingwood School.
Critical response to The Last Mimzy was mixed, and ranged from saying that it holds appeal for family audiences – especially children – to describing the storyline as distracting. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 53% approval rating saying "The Last Mimzy makes efforts to be a fun children's movie, but unsuccessfully juggles too many genres and subplots -- eventually settling as an unfocused, slightly dull affair"."
Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times called it, "Wholesome, eager entertainment that doesn't talk down", agreeing with Ken Fox of TV Guide's Movie Guide who said it was "a thoughtful and sincere interpretation that actually get kids and their guardians thinking and talking." Calling the film "lightweight", the Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated it a "small gem". The Chicago Sun-Times went as far as to say The Last Mimzy is an "emotionless empty shell" compared to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Critics diverge about the scientific validity of the film. Reviewer Susan Granger said, "There’s some validity to the challenging science depicted in the film,[clarification needed] according to Dr. Brian Greene, Columbia University physics professor, and Dr. Susan Smalley, UCLA neurobehavioral genetics professor"; by contrast, Rick Norwood (The SF Site) writes, "The Last Mimzy has carefully expunged all of the ideas from the story, and replaced them with the New Age nonsense that passes for ideas these days. They have also taken a very personal story about one family and a box of toys from the future and turned it into an epic story in which childlike innocence saves the human race".
The soundtrack for the film was composed by Howard Shore, the award winning composer behind the scores of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters also collaborated on a song called "Hello (I Love You)". "I think together we've come up with a song that captures the themes of the movie – the clash between humanity's best and worst instincts, and how a child's innocence can win the day", Roger Waters commented.
- "The Mandala" – 1:37
- "Whidbey Island" – 3:21
- "Under the Bed" – 2:46
- "Cuddle" – 1:28
- "Beach" – 1:59
- "Scribbles" – 2:39
- "Blackout" – 3:17
- "Palm Readings" – 4:12
- "I Love the World" – 0:52
- "Help!" – 1:20
- "I Have to Look" – 4:20
- "Can I Talk?" – 5:26
- "Eyes" – 2:15
- "The Tear" – 4:07
- "Through the Looking-Glass" – 5:03
- "Hello (I Love You)" (with Roger Waters) – 6:16
|Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films||Best Performance by a Young Actor||Rhiannon Leigh Wryn||Nominated|
|Best Science Fiction Film||Nominated|
|29th Young Artist Awards||Best Family Feature Film||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Young Actor||Chris O'Neil||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Young Actress||Rhiannon Leigh Wryn||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Young Ensemble Cast||Chris O'Neil
Rhiannon Leigh Wryn
- Norwood, Rick (2007). "Review: The Last Mimzy". SF Site. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
- "Movie Review: The Last Mimzy". Hollywood.com, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- Bielik, Alain (March 23, 2007). "The Last Mimzy: Magical Reality VFX". AWN, Inc. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- "Catsoulis, Jeannette (March 22, 2007). "Box to the Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Fox, Ken. "The Last Mimzy". TV Guide. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Ringel Gillespie, Eleanor. "A gentle fantasy that takes its cue from "E.T."". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Anderson, John (February 5, 2007). "The Last Mimzy". Variety. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Stax (March 22, 2007). "An overstuffed mess". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- "Budasi, Teresa (March 23, 2007). "'Mimzy' whimsy comes up flimsy". The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- Granger, Susan. "The Last Mimzy". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
- PR Inside. ""Hello (I Love you)" article". Retrieved 2007-01-16.
- "The 34th Annual Saturn Awards". Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- "29th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved May 14, 2012.
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