Slumberland ending explained – what happened with Flip?

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: November 18, 2022 (Last updated: January 30, 2024)

We discuss the ending of the Netflix film Slumberland which will contain spoilers. What happened with Flip? Let’s find out!

There have been many films recently that have explored grief in different ways, and Slumberland does it through dreams. In this film, a young girl discovers a secret map to the dreamworld of Slumberland, and with the help of an eccentric outlaw, she traverses dreams and flees nightmares, with the hope that she will be able to see her late father again.

In some moments, young Nemo (Marlow Barkley) grounds the dreamlike fantasy with her grieving. The story works when Nemo is in reality with her uncle Philip (Chris O’Dowd)). Trying to navigate her father’s death is one thing, but then being linked to a fantasy dream world with him is her comfort. Her dad Peter (Kyle Chandler), would tell her wonderful stories and share the time he spent in Slumberland with her.

He shared his experiences and that is the one thing that she remembers him for. So, in order for her to feel close to her dad again, she enters the world. There, she meets Flip (Jason Momoa) who is a very obscure character. He’s excitable, friendly, and a bit sassy.

Slumberland ending explained – what happened with Flip?

There are some strong emotional beats between Nemo and Flip as they both explore their connection to Peter. On their quest to find the pearl that lets the user wish for anything they want in Slumberland, they start to see some similarities.

Flip and Nemo have been linked for many years and they discover what this link is. At the beginning of this film, before Peter dies, the final bedtime story he shares with Nemo is about him going on an adventure with Flip.

At first, Nemo didn’t think he was real until she bumped into Flip. Peter had chosen to stay out of Slumberland and his adventures when he had a family, but Flip found a way to stay in the dream world and hasn’t woken up in the real world for three decades.

The twist in this film comes as a shock because how could it be possible for someone to stay asleep for so long?

After decades of being lost in the dream world, he has forgotten who he is in the real world and doesn’t have any recollection of his life before he was Flip.

While Nemo has been getting to know her Uncle Philip, she finds that he is the total opposite of her father. Almost as if he had forgotten who he was. It wasn’t until they were both watching some old home videos that Nemo made the connection that Flip was her Uncle Philip.

While Philip was telling her stories about his fantasy adventures with Peter, he expressed that his outlaw name was Flip and he used that in their childhood games together.

So the loss is two-fold in this story Nemo loses her father, and Philip lost his brother a long time ago. He was never the same. During the grieving, Nemo told Philip that her father never forgot those adventures and cherished them, as he used those memories to tell her bedtime stories every night.

After Nemo discovers the truth about Flip, she heads back into Slumberland to save him from the bureau of Subconscious Activities. They had arrested him because he was altering the dreams of others and they didn’t want that.

Nemo rescues him and tells him the truth about who he is. And he is sad to know that he has become a dull doorknob salesman. They dive right into the Sea of Nightmares to retrieve the pearl so Nemo would be able to see her father again. Flip also does something odd and refuses to use the pearl to wish he was awake.

In the real world, Philip is dealing with Nemo sleeping all day and in Slumberland, Flip forces her to wake up. She escapes from her uncle’s house and starts to row back to the lighthouse where she lived with her father, but a storm hits and she’s knocked out by an oar.

As they’re in the sea in the dream world, the parallel of her being unconscious in reality makes sense. As Flip tries to help her, Philp is on the move as well.

In the end, Nemo learns that whatever happens in life, happens, and she can’t bring anyone back. So the film shows the process of grieving in a subtle way. Instead of using the pearl for herself, she uses it to wake Flip up.

The ending of this film shows that Nemo chooses to wake up in the real world, ready for her own adventure. There is also a level of connectivity between Flip and Philip that combine the reality and dream world, so they will see each other again.

What did you think of the ending of Slumberland? Comment below.

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