?All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe?
The Mimsy before this one was apparently sent to Lewis Carroll, who shared it with his young friend Alice, who had an adventure in Wonderland. This last Mimsy, a stuffed rabbit doll from the future, is discovered in a box of toys, floating in the waters of a deserted beach, by Noah Wilder, a ten year old boy played by Chris ONeil, and his six year old sister Emma, played by Rhiannon Leigh Wryn.
Like Alice before them, their lives are transformed into a fascinating and sometimes dangerous wonderland. So goes the short story, ?Mimsy were the borogoves? by Kuttner and Moore, on which this movie, ?The Last Mimsy? is based.
Robert Shaye, the director, who has much more prior film experience as a producer of slasher and fantasy films, in this movie, emulates director Steven Spielberg, with a children's Science Fiction, Fantasy adventure. The premise is interesting; children discover a box of toys from the future. The uses of the toys, as well as their reason for being here, are a mystery.
Noah and Emma are taking their spring break, with their parents, at a lovely isolated Seattle beach cottage. Their overworked father, David, played by Timothy Hutton, and his wife, Jo, played by TV veteran, Joely Richardson, are unaware of their children's discovery. They consider their children average, and therefore are concerned and alarmed as they see unexpected changes in their behavior.
The toys the children discover are intriguing, pretty but mysterious, until Emma discovers in a hidden compartment, Mimsy, a telepathic teaching machine, in the guise of a cute stuffed Rabbit. Appropriate enough with the Easter holiday approaching. Mimsy has no motion ability, but is carried around as Emma?s favorite dolly. We can tell Mimsy is communicating, the sound designers of the film, give the toy a pleasing electronic purring noise, that only Emma can hear.
This aspect of the film works very well. The children can see the magic in the toys, whereas the adults can?t. This is best exemplified in one scene where Noah hands his mother a glowing opal like rectangular crystal. In her hands it appears as a rusty paperweight.
Two additional characters are added to the plot, Noah?s Science Teacher, played by Rainn Wilson, and his kooky, New age girlfriend, played by Kathryn Hahn. They notice the effects the toys have on the children.
The toys, have the ability to expand the mind and intellect of the children. At school, Noah comes up with a Nobel Prize winning Science Fair project, and both children playing with a generator toy, manage to black out the Seattle area power grid. This alerts Homeland Security, and in a scene that might have been lifted from the Spielberg handbook of quick panic shooting, has the CIA crashing the home of the unsuspecting family, and herding them off to a secret Intelligence headquarters. Notable is actor, Michael Clark Duncan as the perplexed but down to business, head of Homeland Security.
One of the major pleasant surprises of the movie, comes with the cleverest example of product placement that I have ever seen. On the other hand, the movies Prologue nearly robs the film of all it?s potential drama, suspense and magic. This I found to be a major flaw.
It?s a very acceptable family film, although the very young will squirm restlessly through the talkative exposition. The effects are just average CGI, it is to the directors credit that Mimsy remains throughout, a inanimate cute stuffed rabbit. The Ending is bright and optimistic, and dispels the sometimes threatening imagery depicted in scenes of the future. I give this movie *** out of five stars.