Nim's Island is a 2008 American-Australian adventure fantasy film directed by Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin and starring Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, and Gerard Butler. The story is based on the children's story of the same name by Wendy Orr. A young girl, Nim, seeks help from the author of her favorite adventure series when her scientist father goes missing. Nim, though, lives on an island in the South Pacific. The author, Alexandra Rover, is agoraphobic and lives in San Francisco. While Rover attempts to overcome her agoraphobia in order to set out in search of her, Nim tries to overcome her fear of losing her father. In the meantime, a cruise ship company attempts to invade Nim's island with uncouth tourists.
Nim (Abigail Breslin) is an 11-year-old girl whose mother, Emily, has died. Nim's father, Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler), a marine biologist, has told her that Emily was swallowed by a blue whale after it was scared by a ship called the Buccaneer. Nim lives with her father on a South Pacific island and has several local animals for company: Selkie the sea lion, Fred the bearded dragon, Chica the sea turtle, and Galileo the pelican. Jack takes the boat for a two-day scientific mission of to find Protozoa nim (a new species of plankton); he wants to take his daughter along, but she convinces him that she needs to stay to oversee the imminent hatching of Chica's eggs and can manage on her own; they will be able to communicate by satellite phone.
Nim, who is fond of Alex Rover adventure books written by Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster), receives an email addressed to her father with an inquiry about his field of knowledge. The sender, "Alex Rover", seems to be the explorer, but is actually Alexandra, a neurotic San Franciscan who constantly imagines that she is speaking to her fictional character Alex Rover (Gerard Butler again). An email conversation follows, where Nim first acts as her father's assistant. She goes to the island with the volcano, but is injured.
Jack suffers a shipwreck in a hurricane, making it impossible for him to communicate with Nim, and does not return as planned. Galileo brings Jack things he needs to fix his ship. Nim explains the situation to "Alex", but Alexandra suffers from agoraphobia and never leaves the house or even opens the door. The island is visited by tourists, whom Nim believes to be pirates. As the tourists approach the island, Nim makes it seem uninhabitable by catapulting lizards to shore. She also makes a fire in the crater of the volcano, which fools the tourists. By rolling down boulders to simulate an avalanche, she inadvertently activates a geyser. Without revealing herself, she gets out of the crater just in time as a plume of steam bursts out. Down at the beach the tourists scramble to the boats. One of them, a boy, Edmund, sees and catches up with Nim. He is confused by her presence and she tells him she lives on the island. He tells the others, but they do not believe him. Meanwhile, Alexandra travels to the island to "rescue" Nim, but she, expecting "Alex" (the male character), at first rejects Alexandra.
Nim later relents and they share a meal. The next day, Nim starts to cry, reasoning that her ever-successful father would be back by then if he were still alive. Fortunately, Jack reaches the island windsurfing on a makeshift catamaran. Jack and Alex meet and begin to get to know each other, and the film ends with them all playing on the beach using a coconut as a ball.
- Abigail Breslin as Nim Rusoe
- Elizabeth Banks as Liz Rusoe
- Jodie Foster as Alex Rover (Alexandra Rover)
- Gerard Butler as Jack Rusoe / Alex Rover
- Anthony Simcoe as First Mate
- Alphonso McAuley as Russell
- Morgan Griffin as Alice
- Michael Carman as Captain
- Christopher Baker as Ensign
- Maddison Joyce as Edmund
- Peter Callan Edmund's Father
The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 52% of critics, based on 102 reviews. The site's consensus reads "Despite good intentions, Nim's Island flounders under an implausible storyline, simplistic stock characters, and distracting product placement." Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 55 out of 100, based on 24 reviews. In its opening weekend, Nim's Island grossed $13.3 million in 3,513 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office behind 21. The film had a domestic box office gross of $48,006,762 surpassing its $37 million budget, according to Box Office Mojo and a foreign gross of $52,069,700 and total of $100,076,342 worldwide.
Home media release
Nim's Island was released on DVD on 5 August 2008. It opened at #1 at the DVD sales chart, selling 466,326 DVD units and earning $8,389,200 in revenue. As per the latest figures, 1,013,100 DVD units have been sold, acquiring revenue of $18,188,600.
- Bowen, Queensland, Australia
- Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia â" this serves as Nim's Island
- Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
- Warner Bros. Movieworld â" Pacific Highway, Oxenford, Queensland, Australia (studio)
The score to Nim's Island was composed by award-winning composer Patrick Doyle. He recorded his score with the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage during the week of 3 February 2008. This marked the first time in a decade that he recorded a score in Los Angeles.
The song playing over the closing credits is "Beautiful Day" by U2.
The film's soundtrack CD was released on 8 April 2008 from VarÃ¨se Sarabande.
A sequel, Return to Nim's Island, aired on the Hallmark Channel on 15 March in the U.S. and was released on DVD 19 March 2013, exclusively to Wal-Mart, and two days later on 21 March worldwide. Bindi Irwin replaced Abigail Breslin as Nim Rusoe, Toby Wallace replaced Maddison Joyce as Edmund, and Matthew Lillard replaced Gerard Butler as Jack Rusoe, Nim's father. Return to Nim's Island was released theatrically in Australia on 4 April 2013.
- WendyOrr.com â" Official website of the author of Nim's Island
- Nim's Island at the Internet Movie Database
- Nim's Island at Rotten Tomatoes
- Nim's Island at Metacritic
- Nim's Island at Box Office Mojo
- Nim's Island at AllMovie
- Nim's Island â" Full production notes for Nim's Island