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Trailer Watch: Scorsese's Magical Hugo Conjures Beloved Family Classics

by Maggie Lange and Anne Thompson
July 15, 2011 4:38 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Brian Selznick, the author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a 2007 genre-bending children’s book, was inspired by turn of the 20th-century film pioneer Georges Méliès. Perhaps that's why Selznick’s book seems to translate so easily to the screen.

The trailer for the Martin Scorsese’s recently retitled film adaptation, Hugo is out (it's posted below) and of course the visuals dazzle. The color palette, both luminescent and dreary, captures a shimmering hint of magic in turn-of-the-century industrial Paris. Paramount will release Scorsese's first venture into 3-D, which stars Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Jude Law and Emily Mortimer, on Thanksgiving, November 23, 2011.

Thompson on Hollywood

However, Scorsese is not your usual family-audience filmmaker. A close watch of this trailer reveals pieced-together scenes from other beloved children’s classics. When the young heroine declares that the magical world is “like Neverland and Oz and Treasure Island all wrapped into one,” she might describe the movie as well. A mild confrontation on a train platform with a dark-haired preteen misfit seems lifted from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; period costumes conjure up Mary Poppins; and a gaggle of sea creatures might have lost their way from The Little Mermaid.


  • peyman | July 16, 2011 10:17 AMReply

    scorsese is great absoloutly wonderfull movie and oscar nomination picture proboly

  • Anne Thompson | July 16, 2011 4:09 AMReply

    oo whoops - I did miss the Eiffel Tower - thanks for pointing it out! I'm changing it right now. It just reminded me so much of Mary Poppins!

  • Garbo | July 16, 2011 4:05 AMReply

    "hint of magic in turn-of-the-century industrial London"

    The book - and film - takes place in Paris, NOT London. Did you miss the Eiffel Tower (clearly meant to establish the location) in the first shot?

  • Sergio | July 15, 2011 8:13 AMReply

    Looks pretty much like a routine and generic children's film. There wasn't anything in that trailer that I haven't seen before in other kids movies

  • Hugofan869 | July 15, 2011 5:04 AMReply

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. I would come to see this amazing movie but the 3D makes me nauseous. Man!

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