Flackett, J. (Director), Levin, Mark. (Director), Bell, A.E. (Producer). (2008).  Nim’s Island. [Motion picture]. United States: 20th Century Fox.Genre: AdventureInterest Level: 3-6Subjects: Islands, Survival, Sea Lions, Iguanas, Sa Turtles, Fathers and daughters, Friendship, Authors, ImaginationLanguage: EnglishSubtitles: English, SpanishRated: PGRunning Time: 96 minutes

Flackett, J. (Director), Levin, Mark. (Director), Bell, A.E. (Producer). (2008). Nim’s Island. [Motion picture]. United States: 20th Century Fox.
Genre: Adventure
Interest Level: 3-6
Subjects: Islands, Survival, Sea Lions, Iguanas, Sa Turtles, Fathers and daughters, Friendship, Authors, Imagination
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
Rated: PG
Running Time: 96 minutes

“Everything I know about the world I learned from my friends. Anything else I need to know I just open a book.” Nim Rusoe

Nim is an 11-year-old funny, energetic, adventurous, and self-sufficient little girl with a vivid imagination. Nim’s father, Jack Rusoe, relocates the two of them to a remote and secret island in the South Pacific after the death of his wife Emily, an oceanographer who died at sea. Jack is a marine biologist who writes articles for National Geographic. He spends his days in search of oceanic discoveries while Nim enjoys her adventures with her friends; Selkie, the sea-lion, a giant lizard, Fred, Galileo the pelican, and a sea turtle she names Chicca. Nim, an avid reader of adventure novels, lives out her fantasies based on the tales of the hero in her favorite books by novelist Alex Rover. Nim visualizes the author as a courageous and larger than life hero, much like the main character in the books. Nim emulates this adventurer in her day-to-day island activities along with her friends, often holding imaginative conversations with him when needing a boost of courage. Nim’s father sets out one day on a scientific boat trip in search of a new species of plankton he plans to call protozoa nim. He intends to take Nim along, but she tells him that she must stay behind to look after the hatching of Chicca’s eggs so she can protect them from dying. He agrees to this since he will only be gone for two nights and they will be able to communicate using the satellite phone.

While her father is away, Nim, reads an email her father receives from Alex Rover, the author, inquiring about an island volcano she’d read about in one of Jack’s National Geographic articles. She is in search of an exciting ending to her most recent novel, and believes this to be an interesting possibility. Unlike the heroic character she writes about, however, Alexandra “Alex” Rover is a neurotic and agoraphobic petite woman, afraid of everything! Alexandra hasn’t been able to leave her apartment in San Francisco in almost five months. An email exchange follows, between Alexandra and Nim, with Nim first pretending she is her father’s assistant. After three days without her father returning from his trip at sea, Nim tells Alex that she is really an 11 year old girl alone on an island, worried that her father may be in grave danger, or worse yet, dead. Nim is unaware that Jack has encountered a monsoon, that has left him shipwrecked, trying to repair the boat in order to get back. Nim goes on to tell Alex that she is also suffering from a huge cut on her leg that has begun to infect, and she implores Alex Rover to come help her. Alexandra, struggling with her agoraphobia, argues with the main character of her novels, who she also engages in conversations with. She tries to convince him, and herself, that she can’t possibly rescue Nim if she can’t even leave her own apartment! “Be the hero of your own life’s story,” he tells her, “trust is the secret to adventure,” and so she sets out to rescue Nim. Her journey to the South Pacific ends in disaster by the time she reaches the remote island, and upon meeting the little girl, leaves Nim devastated by the truth, that the hero who had come to rescue her, is the very one who needs saving the most. Together, Nim and Alexandra discover they are braver than they knew they could be, and also discover that it’s more important to be the hero of someone else’s story than the hero of your own.

Nim’s Island is a delightfully touching, action-adventure movie based off of Wendy Orr’s book with the same title. Nim’s Island tells a story of courage and hope, and of overcoming one’s fears through the adventures of the story’s main characters. Nim Rusoe is played by Abigail Breslin, Gerard Butler plays both Nim’s father, Jack Rusoe, and Alexandra’s main character in her books, Alex Rover. And, Jodie Foster plays Alexandra Rover. This movie is a feel good tale to be enjoyed by all ages and genders alike filled with humor, an enjoyable cast, and beautiful island scenery. If other are curious what else is in store for Nim, they may want to read the book Nim’s Island and the sequel Nim at Sea. Other movies with characters finding their own strengths and courage with some aspect of fantasy or even the unexplained may enjoy Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium about a magical toy store, or the supposed truth behind the Loch Ness Monster in The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep.

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