Hugo & Splodyhead is a 2017 historical buddy mystery adventure drama novel. Based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it is a reboot to the original 2011 film Hugo, whose storyline serves as its inspiration. It is published on December 2, 2017.
In 1931, 12-year-old Hugo Cabret lives in Paris with his father, a kind, widowed clockmaker who also works part-time at a museum, and his three experiment pets Yaarp (613), Slugger (608), and Splodyhead (619). One day, his father finds a broken automaton - a mechanical man designed to write with a pen - at the museum. He, Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger try to repair it, with Hugo's father documenting the automaton in a notebook. Unfortunately, his father is killed by a fire at the museum, and Splodyhead is blamed and declared a murderer. After unsuccessfully attempting to defend Splodyhead, Hugo, along with Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger, is forced to live with his resentful, alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone) at the railway station of Gare Montparnasse, where Hugo is made to learn how to maintain the clocks and also must protect Splodyhead because Claude believes Splodyhead is innocent. When Claude goes missing for several days, Hugo continues to maintain the clocks, fearing that he and Splodyhead would be separated from each other by the vindictive Station Inspector Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his Doberman Maximilian if Claude's absence is discovered and Splodyhead is spotted outside the walls of the station, respectively, with Hugo being sent away as an orphan and Splodyhead being put in jail for eternity. With the help of Yaarp and Slugger, Hugo attempts to repair the automaton with stolen parts, believing it contains a message from his father, but the machine still requires a heart-shaped key that his father could not find.
Meanwhile, in present-day Zootopia, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) receive a message from Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), who urges them to come to New York City immediately, as he himself has received an emergency call from an messenger. Upon arrival, Judy and Nick, along with Mr. Peabody and Gidget (Jenny Slate), use the WABAC to time-travel to 1931. There, they spot an "Help Wanted" advertisement, and realize that the messenger who sent Mr. Peabody an SOS is Hugo himself. Entering Hugo's hidden room inside the walls, Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget are encountered by Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger, and decide to help in proving Splodyhead innocent. Later, Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger encounter Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), the goddaughter of toy store owner Georges (Ben Kingsley) who has three experiment pets of her own: Slushy (523), Richter (513), and Sparky (221). Isabelle offers to help Hugo get his father's notebook back after Georges threatens to destroy it, and Splodyhead begins to take an immediate liking to her, nuzzling up on her leg with affection, something which agitates Slushy. Meanwhile, Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget gather the first piece of evidence at the museum by finding drag marks Splodyhead had made while dragging Hugo's father and interrogating some alley animals, respectively.
Hugo learns Georges has forbidden Isabelle from going to the cinema, and introduces the medium to her, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky as his father had done for him, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger. As their friendship grows, Hugo and Isabelle exonerate Splodyhead by disguising him as a Yorkshire Terrier named Fluffy, and he introduces her, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky to Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget, who inform Hugo of their discovery at the museum. When Hugo shows Isabelle, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky the automaton, he is astonished when Splodyhead inadvertently caught sight of Isabelle wearing the key as a necklace given to her by Georges. When started, the machine draws out a scene that Hugo recognizes from his father's description of the film A Trip to the Moon. Isabelle identifies the signature, that of a "Georges Méliès", as her godfather. The automaton also draws out several comic strip-like pictures of Splodyhead's attempt at rescuing his father, and writes some tips on how to prove Splodyhead's innocence, revealing that it had taped the entire rescue attempt with the camera built within it, which is the reason why the automaton and Splodyhead are connected to one another. After Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget leave to work on the tips and new pieces of evidence, Isabelle, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky sneak Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger into Isabelle's home, where they find a hidden cache of more imaginative drawings of Méliès that are similar to the automaton's first drawing, but are caught by Georges. After Splodyhead's identity is accidentally revealed, Georges banishes Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger from his home.
Hugo, Isabelle, and their pets go to the Film Academy Library and find a book about the history of cinema that praises Méliès' contributions. They meet the book's author, René Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), a film expert who is surprised to hear that Méliès might still be alive, as he had disappeared after World War I along with nearly all copies of his films. After Hugo explains Splodyhead's current situation to him by showing him the automaton's two drawings, René, excited at the chance to meet him again, agrees to meet Isabelle, Hugo, and their respective pets at Georges' home to show his copy of A Trip to the Moon, hoping it will invigorate Georges, and also promises Hugo that he will find enough evidence to prove Splodyhead's innocence. Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget soon arrive at the library, and enlist René's help in finding footage of the museum fire incident. After finding and watching every image of said incident, Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget, now accompanied by René, leave to continue the case.
That night, Hugo has a dream in which he, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger discover that the key has somehow found its way onto the railway tracks in the station. As Slugger swoops onto the track to retrieve it, an train suddenly approaches him. Although he manages to escape with the key, Slugger inadvertently causes the train to go out of control and ram into Hugo, Splodyhead, and Yaarp, pushing them all the way towards the walls of the station, which are smashed through. Hugo wakes up in his second dream, where he notices that a pocket watch hanging from the rafters of his room is missing, although he can still hear an ominous ticking emanating from near him. When he realizes that the sound is coming from near his chest, he starts to get hot, and pulls up his pyjama shirt, only to discover, to his horror, that his torso has been filled with uncovered hydraulics which seem to be what keeps Hugo alive. As he tests his limbs, they too become purely mechanical. Horrified when he sees what's going on, Splodyhead tries to stop this from occurring, but can only watch as Hugo's head turns to metal, just as Hugo himself discovers he is turning into his own automaton. As the final stages of the transformation end - his hair and eyeballs disappearing and his face forming into that of his automaton - Hugo wakes up again to discover that these two dreams were just a nightmare, possibly and disturbingly symbolizing Hugo's belief of all beings having a sole purpose in life.
On the scheduled night, Georges' wife Jeanne (Helen McCrory) tries to turn Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, Slugger, and René away, despite being delighted to see Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget again, as they have slept at her and Georges' home several nights before, but René compliments Jeanne as Jeanne d'Alcy, an actress in many of Méliès' films, and Hugo manages to convince Jeanne that Splodyhead isn't exactly a murderer by showing her the automaton's drawing of Splodyhead's rescue attempt, having already shown her the automaton's first drawing of the moon. With that, Jeanne allows them to continue. After playing the film, Mr. Peabody shows the group the footage of the museum fire incident he, Judy, Nick, Gidget, and René have found, further convincing Jeanne that Splodyhead only wanted to help Hugo's father. Georges soon wakes up at the sight, but Splodyhead, scared that Georges will call him a murderer again, manages to hide under a table just in time, and Jeanne finally convinces him to cherish his accomplishments rather than regret his lost dream. Georges recounts that as a stage magician, he had been fascinated by motion pictures, and used the medium to create imaginative works through his Star Film Company, but was forced into bankruptcy following the war, closing his studio and selling his films to be turned into raw materials. He laments that even an automaton he made that he donated to a museum was lost in the fire that was caused by an experiment, who wasn't a murderer at all.
Hugo recognizes the experiment in question as Splodyhead, as he's the one who set the museum on fire by accident while attempting to get his father out of the locked museum. Not only that, René, Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget also realize that the automaton, which is the same automaton Hugo has, is the only witness of the museum fire incident and can serve as the only key that supports and proves Splodyhead's innocence, along with its two drawings and the pictures of the drag marks Judy, Nick, and Mr. Peabody took earlier. Hugo immediately races to the station with Splodyhead to retrieve the automaton, with Judy and Nick accompanying them. Unfortunately, Hugo and Splodyhead are caught by Gustave, who has learned that Claude's body was found some time ago, but Judy and Nick manage to distract Gustave long enough for the two to escape. As the four flee with the automaton, Georges arrives and tells Gustave that he will now see to Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger, adopting them as his son and his pets, respectively, before finally declaring Splodyhead's innocence. Isabelle is revealed to have taken great care of the automaton's two drawings while Hugo and Splodyhead are busy retrieving the automaton with Judy and Nick, and Hugo uses those drawings to defeat Gustave by showing them to him, causing Gustave to faint upon realizing that Hugo is right about Splodyhead being innocent.
Hugo is interviewed by the press, who has also reported on the museum fire incident, and manages to tell the entire story of Splodyhead attempting to do the right thing, the hard work Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget had done for him, and his own experiences. With that, Hugo's story is proven true, and Splodyhead has finally been proven innocent completely, thereby solving the case. Hugo thanks Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget for their help in proving Splodyhead innocent, and Mr. Peabody gives him and Isabelle two smartphones in return so they can keep contact with them before he, Judy, Nick, and Gidget go back to the present with the WABAC as Hugo and Splodyhead wave them goodbye.
Some time later, Georges is named a professor at the Film Academy, and is paid tribute through a showcase of his films recovered by René. Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger join in with their new family as they celebrate at the apartment, where the guests include a mellower Gustave who has a new leg brace is clearly in love with Lisette (Emily Mortimer), a flower seller at the station. As the movie ends, it is revealed that Hugo and Splodyhead's strong bond is still as strong as ever even after all they've been through, while the automaton is shown in Hugo's new room, staring into space.
Between The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Hugo & SplodyheadEdit
Like the original 2011 film, Hugo & Splodyhead follows the book very faithfully, but there are some differences enough to be pointed out to those who have read it.
Between the original film and Hugo & SplodyheadEdit
The plot of the reboot is similar to that of the original film, but there are some differences.
- New characters are added in the reboot alongside all of the returning characters from the original version: Splodyhead, Yaarp, Slugger, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky from Disney's Lilo & Stitch, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde from Disney's Zootopia, Mr. Peabody from DreamWorks' Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and Gidget from Illumination Entertainment's The Secret Life of Pets, have major roles, with the former six appearing as pets owned by Hugo and Isabelle (Hugo owns Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger while Isabelle owns Slushy, Richter, and Sparky), and the latter four being from the future that is several years after the year the reboot takes place. Aside from the ten animated characters, the firefighters and the news press are also added, as well as a 1931 version of Flash from Zootopia (who looks just like him and is an descendant of the 1931 version of himself), an hairless cat resembling Ozone from The Secret Life of Pets, and Benjamin Clawhauser, who plays a minor role at the beginning.
- Due to the animated characters being involved in the reboot (especially Splodyhead), new scenes are added, some scenes from the original film have been edited and lengthened (with a few of them being moved, including the one with Hugo's father, or deleted, including the one where Hugo is caught by Georges at the beginning and the first half of the chase scene, also at the beginning), and extra dialogue has also been added.
- Hugo's personality has been drastically modified in the reboot: instead of keeping his original personality from the Brian Selznick book and the original film, Hugo is now kind, friendly, and caring.
- The scene with Hugo's father (which was used as a flashback in the original film) has been replaced by a scene where Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget look for evidence at the museum, due to the former scene now serving as the prologue of the reboot.
- Also, the scene where Hugo and Isabelle are working inside the clocks at the train station in the original film has been replaced by Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, Gidget, and René looking for footage of Splodyhead's rescue attempt in the reboot.
- The museum fire incident that costed Hugo's father his life is revealed to have been accidentally caused by Splodyhead, which is the reason why Splodyhead has the largest role out of the six experiments featured in the reboot.
- Also, when Splodyhead inadvertently caught the museum on fire while attempting to get Hugo's father out of here, the museum is locked by a security guard, just like in the Brian Selznick book.
- Uncle Claude's first lines in the original film "There was a fire. Your father's dead." has been replaced by "I saw you defending Splodyhead at the museum.". This is done because Uncle Claude is one of the few besides Hugo who believes Splodyhead is innocent.
- The Station Inspector's large role in the original film has been further expanded in the reboot, as he is not only after Hugo, but after Splodyhead as well.
- In the original film, during the confrontation between Hugo and Isabelle (plus their experiment pets, Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget in the reboot) and the Station Inspector, Isabelle mentions her cat and recites a poem by the poetess her cat is named after. In the reboot, however, Isabelle was to recite the same poem by the poetess her cat is named after (despite mentioning her cat like she did in the original film), but only recites the first words before the Station Inspector shifts his focus on Splodyhead, who is disguised as a Yorkshire Terrier named "Fluffy", before she can finish the first sentence. Luckily, when "Fluffy" surprises the Station Inspector by growling at him, Mr. Peabody is able to convince the Station Inspector that "Fluffy" dislikes being around strangers before he, Hugo, "Fluffy", Isabelle, Yaarp, Slugger, Slushy, Richter, Sparky, Judy, Nick, and Gidget leave.
- In the reboot, it is Splodyhead (as Fluffy) who discovered Isabelle's heart-shaped key first, not Hugo.
- Also in the reboot, during Hugo's dream that involved the train crash, it is Slugger who discovered the heart-shaped key on the tracks first, not Hugo.
- In the original film, Isabelle handed over her heart-shaped key to Hugo herself, but in the reboot, she has Sparky hand it over.
- In the original film, the automaton produces just one drawing, but in the alternative version, it produces two drawings: one of the same drawing it also produced in the original film, and another of Splodyhead's failed rescue attempt, along with some tips on how to prove Splodyhead's innocence. This might be the reason why Splodyhead and the automaton are linked to one another and the automaton is the only key that can support and prove Splodyhead's innocence.
- Aside from writing and drawing, the automaton is also skilled with videotaping in the reboot, as shown when it recorded the entire museum fire incident that was accidentally caused by Splodyhead and the experiment's entire rescue attempt during said incident.
- Aside from being author and a devotee of Papa Georges' films, René is also revealed to be skilled with detective work in the reboot, as he willingly agrees to help Hugo prove Splodyhead innocent and even teams up with Judy, Nick, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget to do so.
- During his dream that involved the train crash in the original film, Hugo was run over by a train, but in the reboot, during the same dream he had, Hugo was instead rammed by the train alongside Splodyhead and Yaarp after Slugger manages to get off the tracks and away from the incoming train with the heart-shaped key he found.
- In the original film, Hugo is completely silent when alone, but in the reboot, there are some occasions in which Hugo speaks (whenever he speaks, he is always seen talking to, reassuring, scolding, discussing plans with, and giving orders to his pets, especially Splodyhead).
- All the scenes involving the Station Inspector, Lisette, Madame Emilie, and Monsieur Frick are now watched by Hugo, Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger through the clock's faces.
- Also, Hugo, along with Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger, is behind the clock's face when he witnesses an orphaned street kid being captured by the Station Inspector, instead of at the toy booth's counter.
- Lisette stays at the train station throughout the entire scene where Hugo goes to retrieve the automaton in the original film, but in the reboot, she immediately heads over to Papa Georges' house to warn Papa Georges at Judy and Nick's request after the Station Inspector captures Hugo and Splodyhead. She later appears with Papa Georges, Yaarp, Slugger, Isabelle, Slushy, Richter, Sparky, Mr. Peabody, and Gidget while the Station Inspector is chasing Hugo, Splodyhead, Judy, and Nick.
- While the orphan cage appears in both the original film and the reboot, the cage used to lock Splodyhead up only appears in the latter adaption. That cage is shown alongside the orphan cage during the scene where the Station Inspector locks Splodyhead and Hugo up in their respective two aforementioned cages.
- In the original film, Hugo hangs from one of the clock's hands with both hands, but in the reboot, he hangs from the clock's hand with his right hand, while he carries Splodyhead under his left arm with his left hand.
- In the original film, Hugo was on the train tracks twice (both in his dream that involved the train crash and in reality during the climax when he is trying to retrieve the automaton), but in the reboot, he was on the tracks once (in reality during the climax when he, Splodyhead, Judy, and Nick are trying to retrieve the automaton).
- The Station Inspector didn't save Hugo and the automaton (as well as Splodyhead, Judy, and Nick) from the incoming train in the reboot. Instead, Hugo, Splodyhead, Judy, and Nick saved themselves and the automaton by successfully lifting the automaton off the tracks, throwing it on the platform, and climbing back up before the train could run them over.
- In the original film, the Station Inspector grabs Hugo by the arm after saving him and the automaton from being run over by the train, and is about to take him to the orphanage when Papa Georges arrives and declares that Hugo belongs to him. In the reboot, however, Hugo, along with Splodyhead, Judy, and Nick, as well as the automaton, flees from the Station Inspector after lifting the automaton off the tracks and escaping from being run over by the train.
- In the original film, the Station Inspector did not faint at all, but in the reboot, he did faint (he fainted after Hugo showed him the automaton's two drawings near the end).
- In the reboot, Hugo is also shown to have a strong bond with Splodyhead, and the moments they spend together is shown much more than the moments Hugo spends with Isabelle.
- Unlike the Brian Selznick book and the original film, it is not revealed who wrote the entire story at the end of the reboot.
- Author: Me
- Picture on Front Cover: Hugo and Splodyhead: Best Friends Forever
- Characters featured in pictures (in order): Hugo's father, Automaton, Hugo Cabret, Splodyhead, Uncle Claude, Inspector Gustave, Maximillian, Mr. Peabody, Nick Wilde, Judy Hopps, Gidget, Yaarp, Slugger, Isabelle, Richter, Slushy, Sparky, Hairless Cat resembling Ozone, Lisette, Georges Méliès, Mama Jeanne, René Tabard, Madame Emilie, Monsieur Frick
- Country: Netherlands
- Language: Dutch
- Genre: History, Buddy, Adventure, Drama, Mystery
- Published: December 2, 2017
- Pages: 37
- Chapters: 38