Just as I had done for the Disney Princesses, I will follow a similar format for the case of Princess Camille of Slumberland by speaking of her domain, her “sidekicks,” and her love interest following my take on her character.
Princess Camille was the first true princess character to break the common mold that I had made of royalty and of girls as a whole. At least for back when I was a naïve little boy that thought most girls were bereft with such things as cooties. During a time where I believed that princesses were made for saving and couldn’t offer much more than a kiss to their savior, that is of course if they weren’t being a general pain in the butt. Camille broke a lot of those expectations that I had of her though she did try her best to stand true to them.
Upon first being introduced to Nemo she is understandably less than impressed by his appearance given the fact that he is, after all, dressed in his pajamas, which she mistakes for being underwear. She goes on further to comment on Icarus, Nemo’s flying squirrel pet, to not being invited by her, and her father, and his being a rat to which neither boy nor squirrel take to kindly. Nemo, unsurprisingly, gives her a proper chewing out for it to which she responds in a way that neither he nor I could have expected.
She giggled. Honestly, giggles at him and even calls him cute before apologizing to him, saying that she did in fact not specify that he be dressed in formal attire. Of course, she unfortunately keeps calling Icarus a rat to which Nemo does demand an apology for, which she does deliver but to Nemo himself who responds that she should be apologizing to his rat and not him. Icarus, fed up with the both of them, climbs up atop a fountain to get away from them both despite the two apologizing for the unfortunate name-calling. Nemo climbs up after him but ends up slipping and falling to another unexpected action from Camille. As he falls, Camille runs to and successfully manages to catch him and Icarus though the three of them land in a bed of flowers as a result.
Less than five minutes and Camille broke what once were cardinal rules for princesses in my young little mind but the one that shattered the very foundation occurs much later in the film. The scene in question involves the infamous Flip the Clown who, upon being revealed that he possesses a map to Nightmare Land and is written in a code only he can read, teases the princess by asking if she’s going to come along with him, Nemo, and the Professor to Nightmare Land as well. He even offers her the chance to carry his cigars before blowing a cloud of smoke up into her hair and says that she’s rather cute when she’s angry.
I believe this little snippet below sums up her reaction rather nicely.
BOOM! Right hook to the face! My reaction was virtually a carbon copy to that of Nemo, Icarus, the Professor, and even the royal guards, a gasp of pure surprise. Back then, my little toddler self was under the impression that no girl, a princess especially, could hold her own in a fight and then here comes Camille who delivers a swift right hook to the clown that nearly sends him straight to unconsciousness though her royal decree forbidding him from smoking manages it just fine.
As to Camille’s domain of Slumberland, it is a world of dreams and exotic fantasies where such things as friendly crocogators, music enjoying dinosaurs, and flying ostriches exist. What’s really peculiar though is the fact that most if not all of the denizens are either dressed like they’d come straight from the circus or the highest of nobility and are all quite eccentric in their ways. I say this in the sense that those attending the party declaring Nemo as King Morpheus’ heir arrive by way of animal drawn carriages that include such creatures as lions, camels, flying peacocks, ginormous bunnies, and elephants.
The kingdom itself is rather… interpretive as to what is actually the palace itself of the royal family and what is the kingdom as a whole as the majority of the buildings look close to being the same. The fact that there seems to be no distinction of class, that everyone and anyone is treated equally and fairly save for the troublemaking Flip, who more than deserves the ire of the people, certainly doesn’t help matters.
As far as Slumberland’s connection to the waking world, it is never truly stated outright how deeply it is connected to our world but its connection to its polar opposite, Nightmare Land, is painfully evident. Upon the Nightmare’s release and the loss of King Morpheus, Slumberland is swiftly turned into a wasteland of crumbling towers sinking into the encroaching waves of a hungry ocean.
Contrary to most princesses of her era, Camille does and does not have a sidekick in the sense that while she has something of a favored companion in the form of BonBon, the candy girl in question is only seen in a few select scenes. Oh, and by candy girl, I mean that literally. BonBon, like most of her kind, is made up entirely of candy. If you feel the need to question this, please remember we are talking about a world that is made up entirely of dreams and nightmares alike so sensibility/actuality takes a flying nosedive out the window here.
As to Camille’s love interest, the titular Nemo… I think I will save a more in-depth review of his character for a later date but I will delve a bit into their relationship. Initially, Camille and Nemo do not get along but upon making up and making friends the two become quite close to the point that it is the mere sight of Nightmare attempting to do her harm that breaks Nemo’s silence and reveals his hiding place in the heart of Nightmare’s Castle.
At the end of their adventures, and Nemo’s dream, Camille joins Nemo on his journey back home and marvels at the sights of New York City (of the early 1900’s) before she tells Nemo that she did have fun with him during the little time they had together and with tears falling from her eyes, leans forward with puckered lips. Though initially surprised, Nemo reciprocates the kiss and that’s precisely the moment that he wakes up.
Awakened by true love’s kiss indeed…