It’s rare that a kids’ film – especially a non-animated one – fully catches my interest, but Slumberland did. The trailer boasted an unclear plot, but some really cool visual direction and Jason Momoa just straight-up doin’ his thing, and who am I to pass up Jason Momoa straight-up doin’ his thing? So, despite having never heard of it before its release, I decided to check it out.

I’ll start with the bad, which is fairly little. Firstly, while the visual direction is nice, and most of the CGI is actually very good (Pig is suspiciously convincing), it sometimes oversteps – there are a few settings in the titular dreamscape that really dunk your disbelief, failing to provide effects that can sufficiently support the fantasy. In addition, Chris O’Dowd’s American accent (when it decides to show up at all), is quite bad. I’m willing to forgive him, but the CGI less so.

The plot is not unusually difficult to predict, but is heartfelt and impressively well-acted, particularly by its star, child actress Marlow Barkley. It’s often surprising to find a young actor that I don’t… notice… is a young actor, but I found myself totally suspended throughout the whole runtime, and she does a pretty damn phenomenal job. If you chose to watch this for the same reason I did, though, it was for Jason Momoa, rockin’ horns, fangs, a circus outfit, a dad-bod, and having the absolute time of his life. If this movie is a ship (thematic! you’ll see!), Momoa is the hull, sails, rudder, and maybe even the… I dunno, I forgot all the parts a ship has… the poopdeck…? What I’m saying is, the movie wouldn’t work without him; but, like a younger brother who’s learning to box, it manages to hold its own long enough for him to show back up.

If you’ve got a kid you’re looking after, definitely don’t skip this… and, hey, even if you don’t, maybe give it a shot, yeah?

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