Slumberland (2022)

Well, the credits are rolling and I’m wiping away my tears. Again. Oof, I probably shouldn’t have watched this film once I’d seen the premise.

But what a film! You know how Pixar do kids films but they gut you if you’re an adult? Slumberland just did that to me.

The energy of this film is of those best Pixar bittersweet moments. And the feel is dreamlike hyper-reality, like Babe or the even weirder sequel, Pig In The City. Or Happy Feet’s opera sequence. Indeed, I had to check this wasn’t written/directed by the Mad Max don, it’s so similar in specific peculiarity.

This is a film meant for kids that outshines allegedly adult fare in its acting performances, writing and direction. It is Paddington good and I don’t say that lightly.

Where is this level of commitment in grown-up fare? Why are adult films more escapist, less emotionally confrontational than this work? Just bunging in sex scenes and swearing doesn’t make a film adult, it makes it dull in the worst Frank Miller way.

The only warning I would give is for adults watching this: if you’ve been through recent heavy familial trauma, you might want to give it a miss. And one criticism: I lost interest most in the vast CGI sequences. The bin lorry chase was good but the rest kind Marvelled me into a light doze.

But then, when the actual actors came back on screen, BOOM, riveted.

Slumberland could have coasted by and I would have been fine with that. The fact that it tries to connect, that it gives so much is why it has to be an 8/10