Nim's Island

March 26, 2021 Sarah Episode 4
Nim's Island
More Info
Nim's Island
Mar 26, 2021 Episode 4

Cancel culture! Rip-off sequels! God! And what actually happens when you're swallowed by a whale! 

Just some of the insights my guest - 9 year old Cassian - offered up when we explored Nim's Island. 

I am pretty good at knowing the limits of my own knowledge, so it was only right that I get an expert in. Amazingly I also managed to shock him back with some Tales From The Olden Days, otherwise known as my '70s and '80s childhood. 

In this 2008 fantasy family adventure Gerard Butler plays Jack Rusoe (geddit), a widowed marine biologist living with his daughter Nim on a volcanic island in the South Pacific. Jodie Foster plays Alexandra Rover, the author of Nim's favourite adventure novels featuring the grubby-yet-brave Alex Rover, also played by Gerard Butler.  

Warning: as usual, very spoilery.

Show Notes Transcript

Cancel culture! Rip-off sequels! God! And what actually happens when you're swallowed by a whale! 

Just some of the insights my guest - 9 year old Cassian - offered up when we explored Nim's Island. 

I am pretty good at knowing the limits of my own knowledge, so it was only right that I get an expert in. Amazingly I also managed to shock him back with some Tales From The Olden Days, otherwise known as my '70s and '80s childhood. 

In this 2008 fantasy family adventure Gerard Butler plays Jack Rusoe (geddit), a widowed marine biologist living with his daughter Nim on a volcanic island in the South Pacific. Jodie Foster plays Alexandra Rover, the author of Nim's favourite adventure novels featuring the grubby-yet-brave Alex Rover, also played by Gerard Butler.  

Warning: as usual, very spoilery.

Sarah (  0:02  
Welcome to the Gerald Butler podcast Gerrystorm in which I take a deep dive, or sometimes a shallow bellyflop, into the filmography of our Greatest Living Scotsman. I'm Sarah from, and I literally had to fly in from outer space.

Sarah  0:21  
This time we're revisiting family adventure movie Nim's Island starring Gerard Butler as the kind of dad who leaves his 11-year-old daughter alone while he goes off on a two-day boat trip. It may well have shocked its young audience when the film was released in 2008, though possibly not any 1970s-raised parents watching with them. It's another Butler film featuring dragons – see also Reign Of Fire and the How To Train... series – though this time it's the bearded variety rather than fire-breathing ones. Here to discuss Nim's Island with me is Cassian, aged 9.

Sarah  0:50  
Cassian would you like to say how we know each other?

Cassian  0:53  
Well you're my mum.

Sarah  0:55  
I'm going to give a brief synopsis of the film. Cassian, that means I'm going to say what happens and what it's about.

Sarah  1:00  
Nim (Abigail Breslin) is 11 and lives on a volcanic island in the South Pacific with her marine biologists dad Jack Rusoe, played by Gerard Butler. Her mum died when she was very young. Her dad has told Nim she was swallowed by a blue whale. Nim has several animals to keep her company: a sealion called Selkie, a bearded dragon called Fred, a pelican called Galileo and a turtle called Chica. Jack leaves on a two-day trip in their boat to find some glowing plankton he's discovered, called Protozoa Nim. Meanwhile, Alexandra Rover, the author of the Alex Rover adventure books Nim loves, emails asking Jack for help with the science of a story she's stuck on. Nim thinks Alexandra is Alex Rover himself and replies. Jack is caught in a storm and his boat is wrecked. Alexandra, who suffers from agoraphobia, starts the long journey from San Francisco to the island to rescue Nim, helped by the imaginary Alex, also played by Gerard Butler though this time he's Scottish. 

Sarah  1:50  
The film is about bravery and courage in the face of our own demons and how we all have to find those qualities every day. So Cassian, did you enjoy the film?

Cassian  1:57  
Yeah, it was a lot of fun watching it.

Sarah  2:00  
And who was your favourite character?

Cassian  2:02  
Um, I think Jack because he's adventurous.

Sarah  2:07  
Jack or Alex Rover?

Cassian  2:09  
Ooohhh... both really.

Sarah  2:11  
Both of them?

Cassian  2:11  
Yes. Since they're both adventurous.

Sarah  2:14  
Did you realise that they were played by the same person?

Cassian  2:16  
At the first part of it I didn't know because Gerard Butler was playing with two different accents in it.

Sarah  2:26  
And also he wears different kinds of clothes, doesn't he? 

Cassian  2:28  
Yeah he wears like two different styles of clothes like one of them, the style of clothes is a bit like the Wild West or something like that. 

Sarah  2:38  
Oh when he's being Alex Rover.

Cassian  2:40  

Sarah  2:40  
We do see him as Alex Rover because he visits Alexander Rover who writes the books, he visits her in her imagination doesn't he, so no one else can see him. But also, when Nim is reading the books, what happens?

Cassian  2:54  
She imagines it.

Sarah  2:57  
So for us watching it we can see the scenes cant we, with him in them. And she's sitting there in her bed reading her book.

Cassian  3:03  
Yes but from her perspective, she's just imagining it, but we have a better view of it.

Sarah  3:09  
And what kind of things happened to him? Can you remember what scrapes he gets into?

Cassian  3:13  
Oh, yeah, people capture him. And then in one part of the movie, he basically gets thrown into a pit of lava I think.

Sarah  3:24  
He does, he's tied to like a big stick that they're carrying along. And he's got a blindfold on.

Cassian  3:28  
Yeah, so he can't see. For some reason whenever I have a blindfold on, I can still see through it. I don't tell you one, or else they'll think I'm cheating in, like, a game.

Sarah  3:41  
Oh I see. If you ever get kidnapped, that'd be quite useful. So did you preferJack or Alex or did you like them both the same?

Cassian  3:48  
I liked them both the same.

Sarah  3:50  
Do you understand about his name? So he's called Jack Rusoe. Which sounds like Jack Crusoe.. Robinson Crusoe is a book about a man who was shipwrecked on a desert island. It's a very old book, which I've never actually read. So I think that's why they've called him that. I don't know about Nim – I've never heard that name before. So Nim is homeschooled. Well, island-schooled she calls it doesn't she because they live, just the two of them, on this island. And where do they live? What do they live in?

Cassian  4:17  
Don't they live in like a hut or something – that's structured around a tree, on like a desert island.

Sarah  4:25  
It's sort of like a giant treehouse isn't it. And it's quite well equipped, isn't it? They've got everything that they need.

Cassian  4:31  
Yes but that's because they've got supply boats coming every few months to bring them stuff.

Sarah  4:38  
Because you were really impressed that they had a Mac wheren't you?

Cassian  4:40  
Yeah, even though they are on a desert island. I didn't know it was possible. Because at first I thought "how is that possible without a supply ship?" But then I found that there was a supply ship.

Sarah  4:53  
Then we saw the ship. So Nim lives there with her dad, and he's a marine biologist. So he's doing research and she plays on the beach all day or he teaches her. So you've been homeschooled a lot in the last year, haven't you?

Cassian  5:05  
Yeah, because of COVID-19 and lockdown. 

Sarah  5:09  
And have you enjoyed being homeschooled? 

Cassian  5:12  
When you think about it sounds fun because you're missing school. But when you're actually doing it, it's not that fun because like, sometimes you just forget that you have to do your assignments. Sometimes I got my work done in under an hour because it was quite easy, but sometimes it took a few hours. 

Sarah  5:33  
And I wasn't very good at year 4 Maths was I.

Cassian  5:36  
Yes! Because our printer wasn't working.

Sarah  5:39  
Yeah, our printer broke as well, which made it really difficult. So I think if you were living on the desert island like Nim, I think you'd find it quite tricky, wouldn't you?

Cassian  5:46  
Yeah. Because like, you're all alone and like you can't interact with anyone else apart from your dad.

Sarah  5:53  
And you missed your friends, didn't you? That's one of the reasons you were pleased about going back to school. But she does have some friends.

Cassian  5:58  
Oh, yeah. She has animal friends. There's a sealion. And then there's this other animal called Fred. 

Sarah  6:09  
He's called a bearded dragon but he's basically a lizard. 

Cassian  6:11  
 Yes, he's basically a lizard. 

Sarah  6:13  
And there's a turtle and the pelican, Galileo. And the turtle Can you remember why Nim can't go with her dad?

Cassian  6:21  
Yes, it because the turtle was hatching its eggs.

Sarah  6:25  
So Jack goes off, and he's looking for this glowing plankton. And then Alexandra starts emailing Jack and thinks that Nim is Jack's research assistant, and she wants help with her story. I think she wants to know about a volcano, doesn't she?

Cassian  6:42  
Yeah, because she wanted information on like maybe ideas for her story like her upcoming new Alex Rover book.

Sarah  6:52  
Because she keeps getting stuck on it doesn't she.

Cassian  6:54  

Sarah  6:54  
She's not sure how to finish the latest bit of the adventure. So Nim climbs up the volcano, to see what it looks like inside – if there's lots of bubbling lava. But there isn't, is that there's just like a sort of crust and some smoke.

Cassian  7:07  
Yeah, just like a little bit of crust with smoke coming out.

Sarah  7:11  
And in San Francisco where Alexandra lives, she's got agoraphobia, which is when you're really scared and anxious about going outside. So even when the postman comes, if he leaves something by the gate, she gets really nervous about going out to get it. But after a while, when Alexandra realises that Nim is on her own and that her father is missing, she decides to go and rescue her doesn't she?

Cassian  7:32  
Yes because if she couldn't, she'd be marked with not saving a child for her entire life. It's not like work where you can Tippex it out.

Sarah  7:42  
That's a really, really good analogy. So yes, she'd always be known as the person who didn't go and save the girl on her desert island!

Cassian  7:50  
Yeah it'd be marked on her for the rest of her life.

Sarah  7:53  
And when she's nervous about going, really the courage comes from inside here, but how do we see it on the screen? Who's helping her?

Cassian  8:02  
Well, it's the character in her story.

Sarah  8:05  
It's Alex Rover, isn't it. Yeah, the Wild West guy.

Cassian  8:08  
Yeah, he looks like a Wild West person.

Sarah  8:10  
He looks quite grubby, like you could do with a good bath. His clothes look quite grubby. And then she's trying to get in a taxi. But she's really, really nervous because she's got to go to the airport. And it's a really long journey with lots and lots of plane rides and boat rides. And she doesn't want to go out the front door does she.

Cassian  8:25  
Yeah. So basically, from her perspective, it's the Alex Rover guy pulling her outside. But from the taxi driver's perspective, the taxi driver just saw a woman that looked like someone was dragging her but like there was nothing there.

Sarah  8:45  
Yes, she just like she was waving her arms and legs around, didn't she? 

Cassian  8:48  

Sarah  8:48  
And then she has a really, really long journey. She has to go on big plane, then a little plane and then I think is there a boat as a boat. And then maybe, oh, then a helicopter. And then another boat. And while she's travelling, there is a big boat, which visits the island and Nim's on her own with her animals. And it's a tourist boat, and they send tourists to have a day on the beach. And Nim has to get rid of them doesn't she?

Cassian  9:15  
Because they they went to the island because they thought it was deserted. And it would be a good place to like, make a hotel or something. And there was this thing I found funny in it – so on the second plane Alexandra Rover got mixed up. And I'm pretty sure in the country they were in, big planes were the size of a Cessna.

Sarah  9:39  
Oh, but I think they need little planes to land on these little islands. So you get a big plane to the main island. And then you get teeny planes going to the little islands and also because they wouldn't be that...

Cassian  9:52  
And normally there'd be only one runway, sometimes not even a runway and there's some planes that can land In water so that's why probably see some of them.

Sarah  10:04  
Now Nim doesn't want people to land on her island so what does she do to try and chase them away?

Cassian  10:11  
Oh yes, I think she got her animals and then like got like a slingshot then she slingshotted her animals onto the beach to get the tourists away.

Sarah  10:24  
That was quite funny, wasn't it? Because that was Fred.

Cassian  10:26  
Yeah, that was funny. I didn't know but I think there were more lizards because like when she slingshotted them there were, like, three others.

Sarah  10:38  
Yes. And she did something else as well didn't she, she went up the volcano.

Cassian  10:39  
She wanted to scare the tourists away by making them think the volcano was active but at one point she accidentally made it active without knowing so she was trying to pull a prank on them but the prank went wrong.

Sarah  11:02  
Oh yes because she was trying to push some boulders down the side of the volcano so it looked like a mini-eruption or something. But instead it went in the volcano.

Cassian  11:11  
And then it broke the crust across. Then it was actually active it's just she couldn't see it.

Sarah  11:19  
It looked like snow didn't it, all the the ash coming down. And so everyone starts running to get to the little boats to go back to their big tourist boat, their pleasure boat, and there's a boy isn't there? 

Cassian  11:29  
Yes, there's a boy who goes into the island and then and he sees Nim trying to get up the volcano. This is before it erupts. But then he follows her and then I'm not sure if this is after or before, there was like a big stare-off of them both. And then he said "Do you live here?" And then Nim touched his face because Nim thought it was like the invaders from the story. It was called The Bucca...

Sarah  12:04  
The Buccaneer. You're right.

Cassian  12:05  
Yes The Buccaneer. And in the story that her dad told, The Buccaneer boat goes near and then a whale swallowed her mum. 

Sarah  12:15  
Yes! So The Buccaneer was involved in the story her dad told her about the whale swallowing her mum and then she sees this other boat called The Buccaneer. Buccaneer means pirate, so it's probably quite a common name for a boat. So she touched him – that's really well remembered, I'd forgotten about that. So she thinks, you know, "is he even real." And then he goes back.

Cassian  12:33  
Yeah, and later on in the movie, when Alexandra Rover is on The Buccaneer boat, while she's in the dining room warming herself up, she was trying to get the crew onboard the ship to believe her that there's a girl still on the island. And is trying to get them to go back to the island. And then the boy called Edmund hears her and says to Alexandra Rover, "you're not going crazy. There was a girl on that island. I saw her."

Sarah  13:13  
Yeah, you've remembered this really, really well. So I mean, the whole theme of the story is about being brave. And I think her dad tells Nim near the beginning that you have to find your courage every day. So it's not just something you can assume you have. You might have to keep doing it.

Cassian  13:27  
Yes, you have to do something to get it. Like you can't just get straight away. You have to do something for it.

Sarah  13:33  
Yes. And she's pretty brave, I think, when he's away, isn't she because to start with she thinks everything's gonna be fine. But then he doesn't come back. She doesn't know where he is. And it gets scary.

Cassian  13:43  
It would be, like, if I was left alone, I'd be really, really scared already, after like, the next hour. Say, you went to the shops, and I was all alone, without my brother. And after you said, you'd be back in an hour. And after an hour, I'd probably start to get worried.

Sarah  14:04  
Yes, I haven't actually left you ever to go to the shops, because I'd be really worried about doing that. But I'm going to tell you a story about when I was young. So when I was little, I was 11, and your two aunties were 13 and eight, and your uncle was 15. And my dad had been given a sabbatical – that's some time off to go and do something to do with your job. So he'd been given a sabbatical to go and write a book at Oxford University. So he went down and stayed there for quite a few months writing his book. At the same time, my mum had been ill in hospital. And when she came out, she went down south to Somerset to stay with her mum to get better. And they left us in the house for quite a few weeks. And sometimes dad came back at weekends, but sometimes he didn't. And we lived in this big house, and it was falling down, and we still had to go to school and youe would never be able to do that now. If I did that I would probably end up in prison.

Cassian  14:58  
Yeah, you'd end up in prison because that would be child endangerment or something like that, leaving your child alone. But some childs are used to it already, they're, like, really used to it, being left alone. And you probably were because of your mum being ill, and you had to stay all alone, but your brother was 15. You're with a teenager, and a brand new teenager.

Sarah  15:27  
Yes – and also the neighbours knew, so they were around if we needed help. But also this was nearly 40 years ago. And you know, back then people did leave their children...

Cassian  15:37  
It was common.

Sarah  15:38 go to the shops, or you would send your send your little children to the shops for you. 

Cassian  15:42  
Yeah, because laws weren't as bad back then, you'd be a lot more free to do things you like. But now you'd have to wait to do those things until you're a specific age.

Sarah  15:54  
Yes. And another story I'm going to tell you about. My brother was off school ill and he was in his room and mum went to the shops and left him in the house and someone broke into the house and he heard them downstairs. So he coughed – which scared the burglar – climbed out of his window onto the garage roof, jumped down and ran all the way around the block to go to a neighbour in his pyjamas. And then when mum came back from the shops there were police everywhere.

Cassian  16:18  
So a burglar broke into the house, while he was ill. And then the burglar thought there was like a rogue person in the house?

Sarah  16:30  
Exactly. He probably thought there was an adult upstairs when he heard the cough. And so he ran away scared. But in some ways, that's maybe the nearest thing in our family to knowing what Nim would have felt like. So she was perfectly happy and confident at the beginning. And then her dad didn't come back. And she knew there was a storm because she was in their little treehouse when the storm hit. And she knew who was out there. And he didn't come back and he didn't come back. So she was having to be brave about her dad, and be brave about chasing these people off the island. So should we talk about Jack, who is on his boat...

Cassian  17:01  
Wait, there's one more thing about that burglary. So he actually opened his window and so was there an area on the roof so that he could jump on to?

Sarah  17:14  
Yeah, so we had, they're called sash windows. It was a Victorian house and he opened the window. Those windows are quite heavy, so that was quite good anyway. And underneath his window, the garage had been built. He didn't have to jump to the ground, he'd had to jump onto the garage roof, go to the edge of the garage roof and then I think he let himself down carefully onto the ground from there. So we were going to talk about Jack Rusoe, which is Nim's father. So he's gone off on his boat and a storm has come up and – he's not shipwrecked really – but he wakes up after the storm in the bottom of the boat, and there's lots of water coming in.

Cassian  17:48  
Yes he wakes up and then he notices that there's a puncture in the boat and water is spurting in.

Sarah  17:57  
And he kind of creates – I don't know how he does it but he creates, like, a homemade pump to pump the water out.

Cassian  18:02  
Yeah. I think he just happened to have materials since he had this little area under the boat where he could lie down in and there were some materials and stuff. 

Sarah  18:15  
Mmm, his little cabin. And then he's trying to fish and a pelican appears and catches the fish and then he realises eventually that it is?

Cassian  18:24  

Sarah  18:24  
Galileo, yes. And Galileo has actually flown from the island to find him and he's been catching fish for him.

Cassian  18:32  
Yes, so he doesn't starve.

Sarah  18:34  
He doesn't starve. And then I think he sees the plankton doesn't he, because it gets dark and it's all glowing round about. It does look pretty, doesn't it. 

Cassian  18:42  
Yeah, it's actually really nice. It's a light blue glowing acid colour.

Sarah  18:47  
Yes it's really really nice. And then I think there's another storm – lots of storms. I think it's, is it a cyclone? Is it called a cyclone in that part of the world?

Cassian  18:55  
Or maybe a hurricane?

Sarah  18:57  
We need to check we need to check what they call storms in the South Pacific. And he then has to create something else to power the boat back and it's like a giant fan or something.

Cassian  19:06  
I think he got that from like, I can't remember from what part of the movie it was, but I think he found those materials. And there's this other part that I thought was a bit sad. So basically, Nim was trying to get in contact with her dad through, it was as like a walkie talkie.

Sarah  19:30  
Oh, the radio.

Cassian  19:30  
Yes, the radio. And when he was battling one of the storms the antenna thing fell off into the water. At first I didn't know what it really was until when I saw Nim was trying to contact him and then it just shows it at the bottom of the ocean with sharks and fish, where the antenna thing was at. At the bottom of the seabed.

Sarah  19:59  
So You thought that was really effective? 

Cassian  20:01  

Sarah  20:01  
So he makes this, it looks like a giant propeller or something to propel the boat back...

Cassian  20:06  
... a turbine.

Sarah  20:07  
A  turbine. You see, you're better at this than me. So he's using that to get back and he's really excited. And then the turbine gets blown off as well. Oh, he sees a whale, a whale comes by and he calls it Emily.

Cassian  20:19  
Maybe that was the mum's name.

Sarah  20:22  
It could have been the mum' s name. Yes.

Cassian  20:23  
And like he thought to himself "oh, what if that's the whale..."

Sarah  20:28  
Maybe she really was swallowed by a whale?

Cassian  20:29  
Yeah, but like the chances are really low. Because there's loads of whales in the South Pacific ocean, there's just so many. And if it was true, how could it happen to be that exact one out of loads of whales, loads?

Sarah  20:48  
That's true. And also, I thought at the beginning of the film, because they have animation, like a little cartoon at the beginning...

Cassian  20:54  
A cartoon saying who the character is.

Sarah  20:58  
...and showing her, she's an oceanographer, Nim's mum. And she's on her boat, she's watching the whale, and then that ship, The Buccaneer that you mentioned, comes along, scares the whale and the whale swallows her. And I thought that was just a story he told Nim, but maybe she really was swallowed by a whale?

Cassian  21:13  
Maybe she was. And then the mum's name was Emily. And then like, he thinks to himself, "what if Nim's mum is lurking inside that whale?" But she would already be destroyed because earlier today I was watching this thing about "what if you were swallowed by a whale?" And then it was like from the acid, your skin would probably melt or something like that. Because of the stomach acid.

Sarah  21:42  
Oh, my goodness. Gosh, that's really interesting! I had no idea that someone would have actually worked out what happened if you were swallowed by a whale. So Jack has a lot of bad luck, doesn't he?

Cassian  21:53  
Yeah, like a lot of bad luck. But he can clearly defeat it.

Sarah  21:58  
He can. So he makes his turbine. And then he sees the whale. And he promises the whale that he'll get back to Nim. Which is why I think yeah, that the whale is his dead wife or something. And then the turbine gets blown off in another storm. And he gets thrown into the water.

Cassian  22:14  
Yes, then in a later scene, you just see his boat at the bottom of the ocean. But somehow close to the end when Nim finds her dad, her dad suddenly floats basically to the beach.

Sarah  22:35  
So we see the boat at the bottom of the sea. And I think the director is trying to make you think that the dad has died.

Cassian  22:40  
Yeah. And then there's a sense of surprise. 

Sarah  22:44  
Yes, but I think it'd be a bit mean if her dad died as well as her mother. So they quite often in films, I mean, I remember you saying to me once that quite often in films, the mum dies before the film starts. And so this is what they did in this film as well. And I think it's a catamaran he builds which is a kind of boat.

Cassian  23:00  
Yes but somehow he managed to do that. Unless when his boat was about sink he quickly grabbed his materials.

Sarah  23:09  
Yes because he'd made sails and everything.

Cassian  23:11  
Yeah, it was a bit like a life raft.

Sarah  23:14  
So I don't know how he did that. But he appears at the end. But he's quite impressive. Do you think he's good actor?

Cassian  23:21  
Yeah, he's actually a good actor. Well, that's my opinion. Because it's just, the way how he was expressing his emotions and sometimes, like how it works. But there's this thing I've always wondered: how do they get the actors to cry in some films since I thought they would put onions up against their eyes? 

Sarah  23:47  
Well, it's interesting that you asked that...

Cassian  23:50  
...But that wouldn't be that convincing because then the scene would already have the person crying. But they want the person to start to cry.

Sarah  24:01  
Oh I see, to start crying during the scene? 

Cassian  24:03  

Sarah  24:03  
So he doesn't cry, but he just shout quite a lot, doesn't he? Because he's so desperate to get back to her. And Nim, back on her island, when Alexandra finally turns up and Nim has to rescue her doesn't she, because Alexandra has landed in her helicopter on The Buccaneer, and then steals a rowing boat – this is in the middle of another storm – to get to the island to rescue Nim. But Nim has to rescue her.

Cassian  24:26  
Nim has to rescue her but she's trying to rescue Nim. 

Sarah  24:30  
Yes they're each trying to rescue each other. And Nim is quite cross at first because she thought it was Alex Rover and it's Alexandra.

Cassian  24:35  
Yes, and Nim was kind of boasting a bit about like, "I thought you wanted to save me?" or something. But Nim managed to save the other.

Sarah  24:46  
So I think when it comes to crying, Nim does start crying when Alexandra has turned up. Nim is very upset that her dad still hasn't come back, it's been about four days now which is twice as long as he said he'd be gone. And Alexandra goes after her and Nim gets upset about her dad and starts crying. And you were asking when we watched that, how did they make them cry? They do two things. First of all, this probably wouldn't work with a child, but some actors are just very good at thinking sad things.

Cassian  25:12  
Yes they think deep into their mind about the saddest things that they can think of. And then they just think about it really hard until they cry.

Sarah  25:25  
And some actors, I think, are very good at making thmselves cry. With children, I think you can use – well, you can do it with adults as well – but you can use drops in your eye, which I don't know if it's just the drops look like tears, or whether the drops actually make you produce proper tears.

Cassian  25:38  
Maybe to get some children to cry, they'd like squint their eyes really tightly.

Sarah  25:45  
Oh, like squeeze them? I don't think you'd be allowed to hurt a child to make them cry through. But she does cry. She does cry in that. And then I think is that when they look up, and then they see him arriving on his catamaran that we don't know how he made!

Cassian  26:01  
Unless he just stumbled upon a piece of seawood or something. 

Sarah  26:05  
Maybe he did, because it's got sails, it's got everything you need to get back.

Cassian  26:08  
Unless there was like, maybe – this just came into my mind – what if the parts that he found to make the catamaran basically was parts of the boat that Nim's mum was on?

Sarah  26:22  
Oh, from a long time ago. Maybe he'd kept them on his boat. Yeah, maybe he kept them on his boat and used that. That's a really interesting idea.

Cassian  26:27  
There's always ideas that you have, but the directors, since you can't really keep in touch with them because they're so busy, like, you'd have to ask the director "how did he get the stuff?" Because there's always a storyline. It's just that the director doesn't tell the papparazzi.

Sarah  26:47  
So the director might have it in his or her mind how he did this? Or maybe it's just that it's a film that's so fantastical that we just have to assume that he managed to do this because he has just been talking to a whale. It's quite an odd story. So Jack has to show his courage because he has to keep fighting against all the storms to get back to Nim.

Cassian  27:06  
It's a bit like – since to me God feels like a person who helps me in my life journey. So maybe there's a figure or a guardian for him that helps him but he's just secret.

Sarah  27:21  
Oh, I see, so maybe he's got like a guardian angel or something like that helping him, or maybe Nim's mum is looking down and helping him.

Cassian  27:27  
Yes, looking down from heaven. Since that's a common thing I think when like someone's died like they'll always be in your heart.

Sarah  27:36  
That's a really lovely way to put it. And do you really think that God is there helping you, each day?

Cassian  27:40  
Yes, each day, just a teeny bit of help every day. But over time, it makes a really big help.

Sarah  27:48  
So he has to be brave. Nim has to be very brave on the island, and also very resourceful. Do you know what resourceful means?

Cassian  27:56  
Like is ready to battle or something? 

Sarah  28:00  
And has great ideas...

Cassian  28:02  
It's a bit like games like Minecraft where you have to be ready for battles and stuff like that.

Sarah  28:11  
Yes and being able to think on your feet. So she thought her dad was going to be gone for two days. He's been gone for longer, she has to get rid of the tourists, she has to feed herself for longer.

Cassian  28:21  
To her it's like the tourists are pirates. That's what she thinks in her mind. So it's a bit like Alexandra Rover, she sees something but it's really something in her head that's helping her.

Sarah  28:36  
That's a really good point. So everyone is drawing on their reserves – reserves means the extra bits that you've got just waiting to be used – of courage and bravery, and they just have to pull them out of the bag. So Nim has to do that because she's faced with lots of situations she wasn't expecting. She just thought her dad would be gone for two nights and that would be it. Her dad has to fight several storms and losing his boat.

Cassian  28:59  
Like what's the chances of going through seven storms? But it is the South Pacific ocean.

Sarah  29:05  
Maybe it's the time of year when they have lots of storms. And Alexandra has to be very courageous...

Cassian  29:11  
Wait there's just one thing that I'm not sure about what would happen. What if it snowed in the Pacific Ocean? Like where'd the snow go? Unless it just melts into the water? 

Sarah  29:25  
Interesting. I don't know whether the water is too warm and the air is too warm for it to snow.

Cassian  29:30  
If it snowed for a few minutes, would he be able to use the melted water from that to drink?

Sarah  29:40  
He probably would if it snowed. I don't know if it would snow in those areas, unless you're in a very mountainous region. Maybe the air above the water would be too warm so that it wouldn't ever snow. That's a good point. So Alexandra has to draw on all her reserves of courage just to get out of her house. And she's doing it like you said to rescue a child.

Cassian  29:58  
To her it's a massive accomplishment, but to normal person, it's just everyday life.

Sarah  30:05  
Now one of the things we talked about when we watched it, Alexandra brings lots of soup with her, doesn't she? 

Cassian  30:10  
Yes and you told me that sometimes the products are actual products they're not just made up. And basically what they do is they pay money to be in the film. It's a bit like a sponsor without saying it, and since it's a common thing, you don't need to say what it is because people just know what it is. Because it says on the can and she always brings a can of it. 

Cassian  30:38  
Yes, that's true. It's called Progresso Soup, which I'd never heard of. We googled it didn't we. It's an American soup. And it doesn't look very nice, but it probably looks better than the mealworms that Nim makes!

Cassian  30:50  
Yes, see to her that's normal food for her because she lives on a deserted island with only two inhabitants. And that's the thing she normally finds. But wouldn't she find an apple tree or something like that, and why doesn't she go fishing?

Sarah  31:09  
I think they go fishing. That's very interesting about an apple tree. I don't know if apple trees would grow there. Because you tends to have – in different areas of the world, different things grow. And I don't know if on an island, effectively a little desert island, apple trees would grow. They might or they might be other kinds of fruit that's a kind of apple. Or different fruit: you've got coconuts, they'll probably have other fruits as well.

Cassian  31:28  
Coconuts would be quite handy for something to drink. I'm not sure what they drink actually.

Sarah  31:36  
That's also a very, very good question. They would have to have fresh water. So there'll be a stream or something like that. 

Cassian  31:41  
I heard that if you boil salt water, it becomes fresh water. 

Sarah  31:48  
I don't know what you do. Because if you boil it too much, you just get left with the salt at the end. There are things you can do probably to take the salt out of it, but I don't know what they'd be. But they'll have lots of equipment because they get everything from the supply ships. That's a really good point. And do you remember what happens to Alex Rover at the end? Because he accompanies Alexandra on her journey and she's talking to him. And other people think that she's talking to them. And then they land on the island and Nim is upset that it's not Alex because she can't see Alex, because Alex is in Alexandra's head. But then when Nim runs off, Alex is saying to Alexandra, "you must go after her, you must go after her". And then he says that he's not going to stick around anymore, doesn't he? 

Cassian  32:30  
Yes because he's done his work. Like, he's helped her already. It's a bit like something that you dream about, sometimes there's things that you never really would understand who they really are. And it's very sudden for Alex Rover to just suddenly start walking into the ocean, and then just quickly swims right under the water and then just disappears.

Sarah  32:59  
Yes, I wonder what the actor had do for that if he just had to swim underwater for a bit until the cameras stopped.

Cassian  33:03  
Yes maybe he just quickly does that. And I'm not sure if they actually recorded it on a desert island.

Sarah  33:10  
Well, maybe they used a stuntman to swim away if he had to hold his breath under the water.

Cassian  33:16  
I heard that in Harry Potter, in one of the scenes, they actually had to hold their breath. And that wasn't the stuntman.

Sarah  33:25  

Cassian  33:25  
So they actually did have to hold their breath.

Sarah  33:28  
Let's have a look online and see where they filmed this. Hold on. Okay. It was filmed on Hinchinbrook Island off the northeast coast of Queensland in Australia.

Cassian  33:38  
So it's an Australian movie, I think.

Sarah  33:41  
Well, it was filmed around there. Let's see. 

Cassian  33:46  
That's quite crazy since Gerard Butler is from Scotland, and Scotland is about 17, 19 hours away from Australia.

Sarah  33:57  
Is it? So it is an island but with a narrow channel between it and the mainland.

Cassian  34:04  
Ah I see it in the picture.

Sarah  34:06  
Yeah, that's interesting. 

Cassian  34:08  
Yes, very interesting. 

Sarah  34:09  
So what was the most exciting bit for you? Or maybe the bit you liked best?

Cassian  34:13  
I think when they use the helicopter and they try and land it and... it's like the boat thing. She wants to get to a place but it's like either someone mishears or it's a different meaning in someone's different language, or she didn't understand what they meant. They're on a boat, and then they just stop it just a little bit off the coast of the island. 

Sarah  34:42  
Oh, then she has to wade to shore, doesn't she. 

Cassian  34:45  
Like same with the helicopter. When the helicopter is there, she wants to get to the island but the helicopter driver just lands on the boat because it's really near and the helicopter driver doesn't want to go through [the storm]. But the passenger, it's the passenger who wants to get somewhere because she she wants to know if Nim's okay.

Sarah  35:09  
Yes. So what score would you give this film out of five?

Cassian  35:14  
Um, 4.1

Sarah  35:17  
4.1! So you liked it a lot?

Cassian  35:19  

Sarah  35:20  
They did do another one, a sequel to it. I think it's called "Return to Nim's Island", but it's not the same actors and actresses, it's different people.

Cassian  35:28  
Oh okay. That's the thing I don't like. It's a bit like a rip-off movie. Like Home Alone. Home Alone 2 was good, because they use Macaulay Culkin as Kevin. But the other movies were just kind of like rip-off versions because they didn't have the same actors. I mean, maybe they couldn't get Abigail Breslin to do it again, because it might have been a few years after the first movie, and she might have looked different. 

Sarah  35:57  
Yes she might have grown up a lot. So that was really great – thank you very much for coming on the podcast. Have you enjoyed it?

Cassian  36:03  
Yes, it's a lot of fun.

Sarah  36:04  
Would you like to do another podcast?

Cassian  36:06  

Sarah  36:07  
Maybe we'll get you back on. Because you were asking me a question about podcasts before weren't you?

Cassian  36:10  
Yes. Has it ever happened to you if you like you've done a whole podcast, and then you found out that it's not recording?

Sarah  36:18  
Now, that is probably every podcaster's nightmare. The other day I was doing a podcast. I was recording it and it was on Zoom. And I suddenly looked up – normally it says at the top "Recording", and it didn't say it and I was like "Oh my god, we're going to have have to go back," and it'd been recording at the beginning. And then I hovered the cursor over the top, and it was just hidden and it was still recording. But that's the scariest thing.

Cassian  36:40  
It's one of those things that you have to move your mouse on to it so it appears. It's one of those things that you notice and you're worried but it's just another feature in the coding.

Sarah  36:55  
Yes. But I was very, very worried. Because you could re-record...

Cassian  36:58  
It's just so much else to redo all over again. 

Sarah  37:03  
It is. And you might not remember the same things. And there might be certain things you said in a really good way that you were really pleased with and you can't remember the exact way you said them. And also your guests might not want to go through it all again. They might say "well, I did it for an hour, I don't want to do it any more."

Cassian  37:16  
Yes because it would just just feel even more tiring. And it could easily malfunction again, and then you'd have to do it again.

Sarah  37:27  
Yeah, at least we can see – because we can watch it on screen – I think it is recording.

Cassian  37:30  
It is because there's like a red line going along. 

Sarah  37:34  
Yeah. So that's the end of our Nim's Island podcast episode. So Cassian, thank you very much!

Cassian  37:41  
You're welcome.

Transcribed by (and Sarah!)