The upcoming Netflix movie Slumberland, starring everyone’s favorite Hawaiian, Jason Momoa was released today in select cinemas in the U.S. and Canada. Don’t worry though if you are not from these two countries – It will have a Netflix premiere on 18 November. The movie follows an eleven-year-old girl called Nema, who recently lost her father to a sailing accident. She moves in with her uncle who is nothing like her father. While she had all kinds of different adventures with her late father, his brother is pretty dull compared to him. One night, in her dreams she encounters an odd mystical creature named Flip and a magical place called Slumberland. We know that Slumberland is not a real-life location, and due to that, let’s see where Slumberland was filmed!
All of the Slumberland filming was done in Canada, specifically in Ontario, Toronto. The team was spotted filming on Front Street in Ontario, and at the Royal York Hotel which resides on the same street. The rest was filmed in an entertainment venue that is currently under construction, Ontario Place, and the Pinewood Studios.
Now that we found out where the filming of this upcoming movie took place, let’s take a look at the photos and dive deeper into the story behind the project. If you found this interesting so far, stay with us and keep reading!
Where was Slumberland filmed?
Netflix’s Slumberland is actually based on the 1905 comic strip called Little Nemo by Winsor McCay. It was published in the New York Herald up until 1911. In the original story, the plot follows a young boy, but the Netflix adaptation will follow a young girl played by young actress Marlow Barkley.
Alongside Berkley, Jason Momoa is set to star as Flip, a nine-foot-tall mystical creature with shaggy fur and long curved tusks. His character was created with CGI and performance capture. Primetime Emmy winners, Kyle Chandler in the role of Nemo’s father and Chris O’Dowd as Nemo’s uncle.
The Fairmont Royal York Hotel
The full name of the hotel is The Fairmont Royal York and it is a luxury hotel with a lot of historic importance located in Toronto on Front Street West. Furthermore, it’s residing in the Financial District which is located in Downtown Toronto.
Taking the credit for its design is Ross Macdonald, in collaboration with Sproatt and Rolph. In addition, it was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway company and is presently managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
The next location follows the first and it’s as we’ve mentioned earlier, a street called Front Street, here are the pictures. This street is an east-west road going through Downtown Toronto and according to this Wikipedia page, it was first laid in 1796 and is one of the original streets of the Town of York.
On three artificial landscaped islands located just off-shore in Lake Ontario, we have our next filming location Ontario Place. It opened in 1971 and initially operated as a theme park and its main theme was family attractions up until 2012 when the Government of Ontario made an announcement that it would be closing its doors because of renovations.
While filming for Slumberland it had reopened as a park without admission and without some of its old attractions. Although, the Government is once more considering further development of the site. This location and the next one was where the team built the Lighthouse where Nemo and her dad used to live.
Pinewood Toronto Studios
Pinewood Toronto Studios is the final location on this list, it’s a facility for domestic and international film and TV productions. The contemporary 250,000 square feet production space is located on a 20-acre site, minutes from Downtown Toronto. Here are some of the photos taken while Slumberland was filming there.
What is Slumberland about?
We’ve mentioned earlier how Slumberland is actually based on a comic strip from 1905, back then it was one of the most important starting points in animation. Sometime after its release in the New York Herald, it became one of the first multi-media cartoon icons.
This comic was later instrumental in animation development since it inspired one of the first animated films done in a speed drawing technique. Believe it or not, but at the beginning of the 20th century, it was drawn to life on four thousand pages of rice paper. Some years after that, Yutaka Fujioka, a Japanese animator had a vision for his new project.
He wanted to collaborate with American animators and create a large-scale American Japanese full-length project. He acquired the rights to the original comics and started to contact different American animators and directors like George Lucas, Chuck Jones, Ray Bradbury, and finally William T. Hutz who was in the end the one who stayed for the finished film.
It was a difficult project and it even had Hayao Miyazaki working on the project but soon after a few months into the pre-production a lot of the creatives left because of creative differences. This went on for four years before the movie actually came out.
There were a lot of problems surrounding the idea for the project to represent an American-Japanese collaboration. There was a language barrier and everyone had different methods of working. The final project was released in 1989 and the animation is very well done.
That was due to the animators who worked on it that would eventually go on to work at Studio Ghibli: Kazuhide Tomonaga, Nizo Yamamoto, Nobu Tomizawa, and Kyoto Tanaka. The film didn’t do well in cinemas, later it would go on to do better in the DVD release.
There are three versions of the film that were also released after some time. Three Pilot movies, all from different directors, the first one is by Sadao Tsukioka, then Andy Gaskill and Yoshifumi Kondo and the final version is by Osamu Dezaki. All three have distinct styles and visions.
When you compare these to the final result there’s a lot left to be desired. This project had a lot of potential but at one point there were just too many cooks in one kitchen.