The Last Mimzy

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The Last Mimzy
The Last Mimzy.jpg
US Promotional poster
Directed by Robert Shaye
Produced by Michael Phillips
Screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin
Toby Emmerich
James V. Hart
Carol Skilken
Based on "Mimsy Were the Borogoves
by Henry Kuttner
C.L. Moore
Starring Rhiannon Leigh Wryn
Chris O'Neil
Rainn Wilson
Joely Richardson
Timothy Hutton
Michael Clarke Duncan
Kathryn Hahn
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography J. Michael Muro
Edited by Alan Heim
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • March 23, 2007 (2007-03-23)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget 27,297,451

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 ten-year-old Noah.

Plot[edit]

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 attempt by humans in the distant future to avert a catastrophic ecological disaster that has destroyed their world. High tech devices disguised as toys are sent back in time to Noah and Emma Wilder, children living in early 21st century 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 strangeness of the devices, the children initially keep their discovery secret from their parents.

Emma becomes telepathically connected to the stuffed rabbit, named Mimzy, and learns how to operate the devices. Interaction with the devices causes the children to develop advanced knowledge, genius-level intelligence and psionic abilities. Because of her psychic connection with Mimzy, Emma's development of her abilities is much stronger than her older brother's; she is 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 strong psionic/physic abilities are developed through a card and a seashell. He gains increased intelligence, knowledge, telepathy, empathic communication with, and control over, arthropods. 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 have successfully returned. Mimzy is the last one remaining, but is now dying. The reason for the other Mimzys' deaths is 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 to prevent them, Noah and Emma use their psionic abilities to escape so that they can activate a time portal. 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 of the portal 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.

Cast[edit]

Well-known string theorist Brian Greene has a cameo appearance as an Intel scientist.

The "Toys"[edit]

The "toys" are high-tech devices sent from the future by a scientist to obtain uncorrupted DNA. They were sent in a box that has three compartments despite its outside appearance suggesting it has only one. The floor of the first compartment opens to access the second; the floor of the second compartment opens to access the third, . 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 object based on nanotechnology, in the form of a white stuffed rabbit, which can telepathically connect with certain individuals.
  • Green card - a green-colored card with endless, moving light lines that make it seem fractured. To most people, it looks like a small, black rectangular slab. It can enable users 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 longer distances and over a wider range of 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 set spinning in a circle, they create a visible force-field that allows the user to view the time period from which the "toys" came.

The "toys" can be used to send Mimzy back to its original time period. To do this, the green card is first fused with the blue blob to create a generator. Then, the spinners are used to create a force field. Finally, the generator must be used to create energy and blast it at the force field, giving it the power needed for the transmission. This can only be done once. After that, the remaining "toys" break and cannot be used again.

Development and production[edit]

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.[1] 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).[2] 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.[3]

Reception[edit]

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"."[4]

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."[5][6] Calling the film "lightweight", the Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated it a "small gem".[7][8][9] 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.[10] 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";[11] 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".[1]

Soundtrack[edit]

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.[12]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "The Mandala" – 1:37
  2. "Whidbey Island" – 3:21
  3. "Under the Bed" – 2:46
  4. "Cuddle" – 1:28
  5. "Beach" – 1:59
  6. "Scribbles" – 2:39
  7. "Blackout" – 3:17
  8. "Palm Readings" – 4:12
  9. "I Love the World" – 0:52
  10. "Help!" – 1:20
  11. "I Have to Look" – 4:20
  12. "Can I Talk?" – 5:26
  13. "Eyes" – 2:15
  14. "The Tear" – 4:07
  15. "Through the Looking-Glass" – 5:03
  16. "Hello (I Love You)" (with Roger Waters) – 6:16

Awards[edit]

Award Category Nominee Result
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films[13] Best Performance by a Young Actor Rhiannon Leigh Wryn Nominated
Best Science Fiction Film Nominated
29th Young Artist Awards[14] 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
Marc Musso
Megan McKinnon
Nicole Muñoz
Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Norwood, Rick (2007). "Review: The Last Mimzy". SF Site. Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Movie Review: The Last Mimzy". Hollywood.com, Inc. Archived from the original on 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  3. ^ Bielik, Alain (March 23, 2007). "The Last Mimzy: Magical Reality VFX". AWN, Inc. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  4. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mimzy/
  5. ^ "Catsoulis, Jeannette (March 22, 2007). "Box to the Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  6. ^ "Fox, Ken. "The Last Mimzy". TV Guide. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  7. ^ "Ringel Gillespie, Eleanor. "A gentle fantasy that takes its cue from "E.T."". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  8. ^ "Anderson, John (February 5, 2007). "The Last Mimzy". Variety. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  9. ^ "Stax (March 22, 2007). "An overstuffed mess". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  10. ^ "Budasi, Teresa (March 23, 2007). "'Mimzy' whimsy comes up flimsy". The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-10-22. 
  11. ^ Granger, Susan. "The Last Mimzy". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Retrieved 2007-12-11. 
  12. ^ PR Inside. ""Hello (I Love you)" article". Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
  13. ^ "The 34th Annual Saturn Awards". Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ "29th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved May 14, 2012. 

External links[edit]