Nim’s Island tells the story of 11-year-old Nim (Abigail Breslin), who has lived on a secret island with her scientist father, Jack (Gerard Butler), since the death of her mother when she was a baby. Nim is left alone on the island for a few days when Jack leaves on a scientific voyage to find rare algae. Nim enjoys her time alone on the island reading her favourite Alex Rover adventure novels until all hours and hanging out with her animal friends.
Things change when a bad storm hits and leaves Jack stranded at sea. Nim now has to fend for herself against several natural and some not-so-natural threats. Despite her resilience and courage, Nim is frightened at being alone and worried for her father’s safety. When she receives a chance email from her favourite adventure novelist, Alex Rover, Nim decides to ask for help, believing that Alex is the male hero described in the books.
On the other side of the globe, Alex Rover (Jodie Foster) is the complete opposite of her alter-ego hero (also played by Gerard Butler). The real Alex struggles with agoraphobia that has kept her housebound for several months. When she receives an SOS from Nim, a little girl alone and afraid, she decides to confront her fears and find the courage of her book character to help her.
There is adventure, action and courage aplenty as Nim, her father and Alex Rover fight their fears to find their way to one another.
Death of a parent; a child separated from a parent and left to deal perilous situations alone
- enactments of the Alex Rover novels include a number of Indiana Jones style scenes; a man captured by a number of attackers; a fight scene including knives; a man seen to have been killed in the fight; a man tied to a pole and thrown into a volcano
- cartoon depiction of Nim’s mother’s death which shows her being eaten by a whale
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There is minimal use of substances throughout this movie. There is one scene where adults are drinking cocktails on the beach.
Nudity and sexual activity
Women are shown wearing brief swimwear and revealing cleavage.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Purcell hand sanitiser, Coca-Cola, Apple computers, National Geographic, Progresso soup (American brand) and Avanti.
This movie contains infrequent, very mild coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Nim’s Island is an adventure film with a strong female role model based on the book of the same name by Wendy Orwell. The main messages from this movie are that courage is a choice we make and that you can be the hero of your own life story.
You could talk about these messages as well the values of resilience, determination and independence, individuality, family connection, and love of science, books and learning. You might also find it interesting to talk about how you would deal in real life with situations that force you to confront your own fears and how you would cope living without technology.