US DVD cover

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, known in Japan as simply Nemo, is a 1989 animated feature film directed by Masami Hata and William T. Hurtz. Loosely based on the comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, the film went through a lengthy development process with a number of screenwriters. Ultimately, the screenplay was credited to Chris Columbus and Richard Outten; the storyline and art style differed from the original version. The original soundtrack was penned by the Academy Award-winning Sherman Brothers.


The movie begins with Nemo flying in his bed and finding himself in a creepy, abandoned town. Soon, he finds himself running away from a rather frightening looking train. When the malevolent train pursues Nemo to his house, Nemo wakes up and the audience realizes it has all just been a vivid nightmare, to which Nemo is apparently prone. That following morning, a circus parade arrives in town. Nemo wakes up, calls for his best friend Icarus (a flying squirrel) and takes him to see the parade. Suddenly, Usagi, Mamoru, Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako appear from their future in 1905 at Usagi's request to meet Nemo for real.

A cast of colorful characters leave little Nemo in awe: goofy clowns, a beautiful "Indian" princess who throws Nemo a flower, and the ringmaster himself. The ringmaster is so taken with Nemo's wide-eyed curiosity that he gives the little boy a ride on the back of one of the trained horses. When Nemo gets home, he tries to tell his "Papa" about his day, but Nemo's father is too busy to listen to him. When Nemo asks to go to the circus, his request is met with a hurried "Maybe tomorrow" from his parents. Nemo goes to bed that night feeling a little rejected. Usagi and her friend cheer him up by having a sleepover with him. Fortunately, he pretends to sleepwalk, much to Icarus' dismay while Luna spies on him. As he protects his friend, Nemo successfully opens the icebox to take out a pie, but his mother catches him and he runs back to his room because he broke his promise to not steal any pies. Luna and Artemis remember that in the present, Usagi was given the Silver Key by Sailor Pluto, the sixth Sailor Guardian and "keeper of space and time," who disguised as a fortune teller.

That night, as Nemo is trying to get to sleep, he notices a queer light emanating from the window. A tall, lanky man with a top hat comes out and introduces himself as one Professor Genius. He is there with a female clown named Bonbon to present Nemo with a royal invitation from King Morpheus of Slumberland, the capital kingdom of the Dream World, to come to his kingdom and be the official playmate of Princess Camille, the King's daughter. Nemo, reluctant at the thought of playing with a girl, quickly accepts when Bonbon presents him with an exquisite box of cookies, presents from the princess. Nemo climbs aboard along with Usagi, Sakura and their friends the dirigible which is to carry the group off to Slumberland.

Upon arriving in Slumberland, having been welcomed warmly by the people and having met Flip, a "Frightful Fellow" according to the Professor, Usagi gets off the dirigible and gives a big shout out to Slumberland and gives a big greeting to everyone. Mamoru wonders what the noise was and Usagi tells him she's saying hi and as soon as him walks down the dirigible steps she'll officially be there. Nemo reports to the King's Palace, only to discover that he is not in. A mad search ensues, with Flip showing Nemo and Usagi secret passages throughout the palace. A chance discovery lands Usagi, Luna, Nemo and Icarus in a large playroom, where a scale model of a locomotive has been set up. The conductor, a formidable man with a white beard, enlists Usagi and Nemo's help in repairing the engine and it is only when the two crash the train into the throne room that it is revealed that the conductor is none other than King Morpheus himself. Nemo is stunned, but the king, who tells Nemo and Usagi to call him "Morphy", is elated. He reveals that Nemo has been called to Slumberland because he has been chosen to be King Morpheus's sole heir. King Morpheus then entrusts to Nemo the Golden Key, which is wrought into a sinister-looking dragon shape. King Morpheus tells Nemo that this key can open any door in Slumberland, but that Nemo is not to use the key to open the door with the "Dragon" symbol on it. Nemo promises not to and is led away with Usagi, Sakura and their friends to meet Princess Camille.

The Professor, Nemo, Icarus, Usagi and her friends come upon Camille playing her harp and singing in a lovely room decorated with roses while Minako is happy to heard her singing. When the princess finishes her song, she dismisses the Professor and scrutinizes Nemo. After some initial snobbiness, the Princess comes to accept Nemo and he accepts her. The Princess then shows Nemo, Usagi and her friends all around Slumberland with Bonbon the clown. When the trio and Icarus return to the palace, the Professor grabs Nemo and hurries him to his "schooling" in preparation for his duties as a Prince. Camille takes Icarus away and leaves Nemo to be pounced upon by a litany of teachers. When the teachers are finished, Flip returns to the palace to see Nemo and cause mischief. Reluctantly, Nemo agrees to follow Flip and the two ride off on Flip's giant crow.

After indeed causing some mischief, the two discover a large door, which bears the symbol of the Golden Key. Nemo initially refuses to, citing his promise to the King, but Flip persuades him to do otherwise, saying that they would only take "one little peek." Unbeknownst to them expect Luna, the door holds the portal to Nightmare Land, a dark and horrible place at the center of the Dream World, where the Nightmare King, King Morpheus's enemy, is said to dwell. Suddenly, the Nightmare within rises up and hurls towards the door. Usagi, Nemo and Flip manage to close the doors before the Nightmare was able to get out. They both run away afterward without relocking the door.

Later that night, Nemo barely makes his coronation. The King crowns him and reveals to the crowd that he is entrusting Nemo, Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion with the powers of the Royal Sceptre. After a show of the Sceptre's power, the festivities commence with dancing, thus starting with the Professor dancing merrily, joined by the King. Endymion, as Tuxedo Mask, dances with Serenity and says that the Nightmare King is more dangerous than he thought and must conquer the Dream World to take over Slumberland, and that Morpheus wants Nemo to help defend his kingdom. However, the fun is cut short when the Nightmare King succeeds into busting the doors open and escapes, kidnapping Morpheus in the process. Nemo and Flip are left blaming each other for the King's disappearance. Camille is devastated and falls to the floor crying as Nemo wakes up.

When Nemo looks around his room, all seems normal, but he discovers that the Sceptre is hidden within his bedsheets and realizes Usagi, Sakura and their friends are still in Slumberland. Soon, a flood appears and carries him back to Slumberland, where he is reunited with his friends. It is revealed then that the King is thought to have been carried off to Nightmare Land and that Flip owns the only map of it (written in Flip's own secret code.)

After stopping Flip's banishment into space for allegedly causing the whole incident, under orders of Camille, the girls all transform into the Sailor Senshi, revealing their true identities to Nemo. Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus, Nemo, the Professor, Camille, Icarus, and Flip begin a journey to find the King. This results in them getting shipwrecked in Nightmare Land according to the map, but upon reaching shore, Flip discovers that the map has become illegible due to all the time it has spent in water. Nonetheless, Sailor Mercury had analyzed the map to Nightmare Land. She leads the little troupe deeper and deeper into Nightmare Land. Camille is grabbed suddenly by fierce water goblins who yield at the light of the Royal Sceptre, which Nemo still has.

As they trek on, Flip comes across four goblins called the Oomps, who all turn out to be friendly and offer to be their escorts. Later, while they are all camping, the Professor, Flip, and Princess Camille are kidnapped by minions of the Nightmare King. The Sailor Scouts defeat Dark Mercury once and for all. Unable to fully use Royal Sceptre because he has forgotten the incantation used to summon its powers of protection, Nemo remains with the goblins, helpless and soon wakes up in his room again.

This time, the Oomps are right there with him and the arrival of the Sailor Scouts. Sailor Mercury hinted that the Nightmare King is responsible for Nemo's constant nightmares and shortly thereafter another member of their clan, Oompo, falls through the roof and delivers a message from the imprisoned King Morpheus: the Sceptre's incantation written down on a piece of paper. Sailor Moon learns that the Royal Sceptre is the only thing that can defeat the Nightmare King. The goblins lead Nemo to the Nightmare King's castle, narrowly escaping many obstacles on the way. Soon, they all arrive to the dungeon where he sees the Professor, Princess Camille, and Flip being held prisoner in giant reliquaries by the Nightmare King himself.

The Nightmare King, sensing Nemo's presence, begins to taunt the boy, and tops it off by imprisoning King Morpheus in a reliquary of his own right before Nemo's eyes. Nemo screams for the Nightmare King to stop, but the Nightmare King only laughs. Sailor Moon finally knows that the true nature of the Nightmare King's evil plan to take the Sceptre to remake Slumberland in his image. He asks Nemo to give him the sceptre because, after all, Nemo cannot even remember the words necessary to use it. Nemo refuses and Sailor Moon looks at the Nightmare King with new determination in her eyes. She and Nemo team-up and valiantly use the scepter and the Moon Stick to fight off the Nightmare King and his minions, freeing their friends in the process. Unfortunately, while Sailor Moon uses the Silver Crystal to weaken the evil King, Nemo used all of his strength to activate the scepter to kill the Nightmare King, and when the battle is won by the Sailor Senshi, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, Nemo falls lifeless to the floor.

Sailor Moon reawakens on Tuxedo Mask's hands and sees Nemo's lifeless body. Camille, seeing Nemo's body as well, runs toward him and cradles him in her arms. She sobs and mourns the apparent loss of her best friend. The Professor, Flip, and the Oomps follow suit. King Morpheus, the last to wake, picks up his sceptre and brings Nemo back to life. Nemo apologizes for having released the Nightmares into Slumberland with the key, but the King forgives him, stating that Nemo showed immense courage in all he has done. For that, he is truly worthy of being a prince.

The troupe boards a dirigible sometime later and escorts Nemo home. Before he gets off, however, Princess Camille thanks him for all he has done for her and offers him a loving kiss, which he slowly returns. The next morning, Nemo wakes up to the sound of his mother's voice telling him to get up. He apologizes to her for not keeping his promise. She and his dad are taking him to the circus and Nemo realizes that everything about the night that had passed had all been a dream. Although his cycle of constant nightmares appears to have been broken, thanks to Sailor Moon.


Sailor SenshiEdit

  • Usagi Tsukino / Sailor Moon / Princess Serenity – Stephanie Sheh
  • Ami Mizuno / Sailor Mercury / Dark Mercury: the secondary antagonist of the movie – Kate Higgins
  • Rei Hino / Sailor Mars – Christina Vee
  • Makoto Kino / Sailor Jupiter – Amanda Miller
  • Minako Aino / Sailor Venus – Cherami Leigh
  • Chibiusa Tsukino/Sailor Chibi Moon - Sandy Fox
  • Sailor Pluto/Setsuna Meioh - Veronica Taylor
  • Sailor Uranus/Haruka Tenoh - Erica Mendez
  • Sailor Neptune/Michiru Kaioh - Lauren Landa
  • Sailor Saturn/Hotaru Tomoe - Christine Marie Cabanos
  • Mamoru Chiba / Tuxedo Mask / Prince Endymion – Robbie Daymond
  • Luna – Michelle Ruff
  • Artemis – Johnny Yong Bosch

Characters in the filmEdit

  • Gabriel Damon (Takuma Gōno in the Japanese adaption) as Nemo: the protagonist of the movie. He is a human boy living in New York City who is taken to Slumberland to be the official playmate of Princess Camille; in actuality, however, he is being summoned to be the heir to the elderly King Morpheus. He is given the key to Slumberland, but is warned by the king to leave a door with a coiled dragon emblazoned on it closed. Sadly, he opens the aforementioned door when he is tempted by Flip and goes on a quest to restore Slumberland to its rightful glory, save King Morpheus and defeat the Nightmare King.
  • Mickey Rooney (Chikao Ōtsuka in the Japanese adaption) as Flip: a supporting protagonist of the movie. Described as a "frightful fellow" by Professor Genius, he is wanted throughout Slumberland for "having fun" (the bounty on his head is a sizeable one) and his only friend is his partner-in-crime: a bird named Flap. He tricks Nemo into accidentally releasing the Nightmare King and blames him for the ruin of Slumberland. He is in possession of a map of Nightmare Land (hand-drawn and written in his own special code) and serves as the guide to the Nightmare Castle until he is replaced by Sailor Mercury and the Boomps. He has a serious smoking addiction. In the real world, he is a clown in a circus that stops in Nemo's town.
  • René Auberjonois (Kōichi Kitamura in the Japanese adaption) as Professor Genius: King Morpheus' advisor and a supporting protagonist of the movie. He comes to the real world to bring Nemo to Slumberland. A sophisticated man, he is quite punctual and prefers order as opposed to madness. He is quite a dancer, as he dances quite a bit during Nemo's coronation ceremony. In the real world, he is an organ player in a circus that stops in Nemo's town.
  • Danny Mann as Icarus: flying squirrel, Nemo's best friend and a supporting protagonist of the movie. Icarus is Nemo's only friend from the real world. He shows great concern for Nemo's wellbeing in a sense similar to that of two siblings. He speaks a mix of both squirrel and some English. His screech is painful to the ears of the Boomps. He detests being called a "little rat" (which Princess Camille mistakes him for). Unlike other squirrels, Icarus eats human food, like cookies. His initial relationship with Princess Camille, though rough, eventually changes for the better.
  • Bernard Erhard (Kenji Utsumi in the Japanese adaption) as King Morpheus: the elderly ruler of Slumberland and a supporting protagonist of the movie. He has protected Slumberland for years with the help of the royal scepter: an ancient weapon of great power. Though he is a child at heart, he knows when to be serious. He has Nemo brought to Slumberland so that he may become his heir to the throne. He gives Nemo the key to Slumberland, which can open any door; however, he warns Nemo of one door with a dragon symbol emblazoned on it that must never be opened. Like Professor Genius, he is quite a dancer, as he dances alongside the Professor during Nemo's coronation ceremony. When Nemo accidentally releases the Nightmare King, King Morpheus is captured and Nemo has to go and rescue him from Nightmare Land. In the real world, he is the ringmaster of a circus that stops in Nemo's town.
  • Bill Martin (Tarō Ishida in the Japanese adaption) as the Nightmare King: the main antagonist of the movie and the new antagonist of Sailor Moon. He is a demonic creature who was locked behind a massive door until he was accidentally set free by Nemo, who was given the key to the door by King Morpheus. Once free, he captures King Morpheus as revenge for his imprisonment and then retreats to the Nightmare Castle. When Nemo goes to the castle to save King Morpheus, the Nightmare King has his minions capture Nemo's friends (Professor Genius, Flip and Princess Camille). He is shown to be quite temperamental, as he destroys several minions for the failure of just one of his underlings (the general of his army). The only thing that can defeat him is the legendary royal scepter.
  • Laura Mooney (Hiroko Kasahara in the Japanese adaption) as Princess Camille: the daughter of King Morpheus and a supporting protagonist of the movie. Though she initially acts somewhat spoiled, she eventually grows to like Nemo. She also grows fond of Icarus (and vice versa, despite a rough start). When her father is kidnapped by the Nightmare King, she takes over as ruler, but decides to join Nemo in his quest to save King Morpheus after Usagi, Minako and their friends revealed their secret identities. In the real world, she is the daughter of the ringmaster of a circus that stops in Nemo's town.
  • Greg Burson (Tesshō Genda in the Japanese adaption) as Nemo's father
  • Jennifer Darling (Mari Yokō in the Japanese adaption) as Nemo's mother
  • Neil Ross (Hiroshi Ōtake in the Japanese adaption) as Oompa
  • Alan Oppenheimer (Keiichi Nanba in the Japanese adaption) as Oomp
  • John Stephenson (Masaharu Satō in the Japanese adaption) as Oompo
  • Sidney Miller (Kōzō Shioya in the Japanese adaption) as Oompe
  • Michael Bell (Hiroko Emori in the Japanese adaption) as Oompy
  • Kathleen Freeman (Kimie Nakajima in the Japanese adaption) as the dance teacher
  • Bever-Leigh Banfield (Seiko Nakao in the Japanese adaption) as the woman
  • John Stephenson (Kazumi Tanaka in the Japanese adaption) as the dirigible captain
  • Bert Kramer (Yukimasa Kishino in the Japanese adaption) as a goblin: A hideous creature that serves as a member of the Nightmare King's army. They are sent by the Nightmare King to ensure that Nemo doesn't reach his castle and free King Morpheus. Though the goblins succeed in capturing most of Nemo's friends, they fail to capture Nemo himself, and when the Nightmare King finds out, he kills them all in a fit of rage. The only goblins to survive are the Boomps (who, in contrast to the other goblins, are not hideous and are actually friendly).
  • Beau Weaver (Tarō Arakawa in the Japanese adaption) as a policeman



Transformation phrasesEdit



Songs written by the Sherman BrothersEdit

Music written by the Sherman BrothersEdit

  • First Dream
  • Circus Parade
  • Dirigible Ride
  • Flip's Theme
  • Coronation Procession
  • Hoedown
  • Off to Save the King
  • Battle of Nightmareland
  • Little Nemo is Alive

Reused FootageEdit

Real-world referencesEdit

  • The shot of Sailor Moon reaching out to Nemo on each side of the barrier formed by the Sailor Senshi before he awakens in his home again is reminiscent of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam.