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 memory flashback by a woman named Lena that takes place in the distant future, The Last Mimzy is the story of a distant future's attempt to avert a catastrophic ecological disaster that has destroyed their peaceful world. High tech devices disguised as toys, are sent back into the distant past and into the hands of Noah and Emma Wilder, two children who live with their parents, Jo (Joely Richardson) and David, (Timothy Hutton) in early 21st century in Seattle. The "toys" are mostly 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 a secret from their parents.
Interaction with the devices causes the children to develop highly advanced knowledge and genius-level intelligence, and other psionic abilities. Emma becomes telepathically connected to the stuffed rabbit, from which she learns the rabbit's name, Mimzy, and how to further operate the devices. Because of her psychic connection with Mimzy, Emma's development of her unique abilities are much stronger than her older brother's, being the only one of the siblings 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 visible force-field. Noah's incredibly strong psionic/physic abilities are developed through a green card and a seashell, consisting of ingeniously increased intelligence and knowledge, empathic communication with and control over arthropods, and limited telepathy, and he can also use the green card to enable him to telekinetically teleport objects through a small dimensional rift after staring at it and observing his surroundings. At one point, Noah seems somewhat envious of his sister's psionic prowess, but she reveals to him that even though she is the Chosen One, he is her Chosen Engineer and she cannot "build the bridge to the future" without him.
The children's unusual psionic and mental abilities and Emma's obsessive attachment to Mimzy soon alert their parents and schoolteachers to the devices; later, Noah accidentally fuses the green card with a blue blob, turning it into a Generator that causes a power black-out of half of the state of Washington, alerting the FBI to their activities as well. 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, which Emma explains to mean that pollution has corrupted humanity's DNA. Many rabbits like Mimzy were sent to the past, but none had successfully returned alive; Mimzy is the last one remaining, but is now starting to die. The reason for the other Mimzys' deaths is revealed to be because the Chosen Ones before Emma had no Engineers (like Noah) to help build the bridge across time and they were too afraid to attempt it. Mimzy explains to the children that they must use the toys as a time machine to return her 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 the ecological problems.
Despite attempts by an unbelieving FBI to hinder them, Noah and Emma use their unusually strong psionic abilities to escape with Mimzy and the other objects and are able to activate the time portal by which Mimzy can return to the future, saving her life. Before leaving, Mimzy absorbs a tear from Emma, thus providing the pure DNA required to prevent the disaster. Emma is almost sucked into the future with Mimzy, but Noah grabs Emma's foot and pulls her out just as Mimzy is sent to her own time. In the new distant future, Emma is revered as the "mother" of all the present generations, and the children and teacher who narrated the movie exhibit the same telekinetic gifts and abilities that Emma had developed but on a much stronger power-level. The world has become a more beautiful place, where it is presumed that humanity has integrated better 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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