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Hugo is a 2011 British-American-French historical family mystery adventure drama film based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Released in theaters on November 23, 2011, it is director Martin Scorsese's first foray into 3D filmmaking.

The film comes out in two different versions: the original live-action film, and the alternative live-action/animated film, which is also known as Hugo & Splodyhead.

PlotEdit

Original versionEdit

In 1931, 12-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris with his father, a widowed, but kind and devoted master clockmaker. Hugo's father (Jude Law) takes him to see films and loves those of Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) best of all. When Hugo's father dies in a museum fire, Hugo is taken away by his alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), who maintains the clocks in the railway station of Gare Montparnasse. Claude teaches him how to tend to the clocks, then disappears. Hugo lives a secretive life in the station's hidden chambers and passageways, maintaining the clocks, avoiding the vindictive Station Inspector Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his Doberman Maximilian, and working on his father's most ambitious project: repairing a broken automaton—a mechanical man designed to write with a pen. Hugo begins stealing the parts he needs for the automaton, but a toy-store owner catches him and confiscates his carefully drawn blueprints.

The automaton is missing a critical part: a heart-shaped key. Convinced that the machine contains a message from his father, Hugo goes to desperate lengths to fix it. He gains the assistance of Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), the toy shop owner's goddaughter who becomes his partner. He introduces her to the movies, which her godfather has never let her see. Remarkably, Isabelle turns out to have the automaton's key. When they use it to activate the automaton, it produces a drawing of a film scene Hugo remembers his father telling him about. Hugo and Isabelle discover that the film is called "A Trip to the Moon", which was created by Isabelle's godfather, Georges Méliès (a cinema legend, now neglected and disillusioned), and that the automaton was his beloved creation from his days as a magician. The duo head to the Méliès household, where they find a cache of the filmmaker's fantastic drawings that have a connection with the automaton's drawing featuring the moon from "A Trip to the Moon". However, Méliès catches them in the act, admonishes Isabelle, and banishes Hugo from their home.

The next day, Hugo and Isabelle travel to Paris' great Film Academy Library, where they find a book with photos and biographical information about Méliès. The duo meet René Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), a film expert who venerates Méliès, and who, like most of the film world, assumes Méliès is dead, as he was never seen after World War I brought an abrupt halt to his career. René shows Hugo and Isabelle the collection of rare Méliès memorabilia in his Library office. Isabelle informs René that Méliès is alive and living in Paris, then invites him to reunite with Méliès. René becomes incredulous, then excited at the possibility of meeting the great man again.

Hugo and Isabelle take René to the Méliès home, where they encounter Méliès's wife, Jeanne (Helen McCrory), whom René immediately recognizes as the star of many of Méliès's films. René, who has brought along a small projector, shows the group his copy of "A Trip to the Moon", which is revealed to be one of Méliès's surviving films. When Méliès finds the four in his parlour, he is outraged, but Jeanne convinces him to cherish his glorious accomplishments rather than regretting his lost dream. He recounts his history as a film-maker and his bankruptcy during The Great War (World War I), finishing with the sad tale of donating his beloved automaton to a museum, where it was ignored and destroyed in a fire.

Realizing that his automaton is Méliès's creation, Hugo races back to the train station to retrieve it. However, he is spotted by Inspector Gustave, who has recently discovered that Claude has passed away and who chases Hugo through the station. As he approaches one of the train platforms, Hugo stumbles and the automaton flies from his grasp, landing on the tracks. As he struggles to retrieve it, a train approaches, but the Inspector manages to rescue Hugo and the automaton a split second before the train would have crushed them. As the Inspector is about to take Hugo to the orphanage, Méliès arrives and claims Hugo as his child, and he decided to go with them.

Alternative versionEdit

In 1931, 12-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in Paris with his father, a widowed, but kind and devoted master clockmaker, and his three experiment pets, consisting of Experiment 613 (Yaarp), Experiment 608 (Slugger), and Experiment 619 (Splodyhead). Hugo's father (Jude Law) takes him and his pets to see films and loves those of Georges Méliès (Ben Kingsley) best of all. Hugo also likes to feed Splodyhead popcorn when he and his father are at the movies with him, Yaarp, and Slugger. Unfortunately, Splodyhead accidentally causes Hugo's father to perish to death in a museum fire, and ends up being charged with murder due to being involved in the incident he had inadvertently caused, despite Hugo's efforts to defend him. As a result, Hugo and his pets, including Splodyhead, are taken away by Hugo's alcoholic uncle Claude (Ray Winstone), who maintains the clocks in the railway station of Gare Montparnasse. Claude teaches Hugo how to tend to the clocks and how to protect Splodyhead (as he believes the experiment is innocent), then disappears. Hugo lives a secretive life in the station's hidden chambers and passageways with his pets, maintaining the clocks, avoiding the vindictive Station Inspector Gustave (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his Doberman Maximilian, and working on his father's most ambitious project: repairing a broken automaton—a mechanical man designed to write with a pen. Hugo begins stealing the parts he needs for the automaton with Yaarp and Slugger, but a toy-store owner catches the three and confiscates Hugo's carefully drawn blueprints.

The automaton is missing a critical part: a heart-shaped key. Convinced that the machine contains a message from his father, Hugo goes to desperate lengths to fix it. To this end, Hugo and his pets go to the toy shop owner's house, where they meet his goddaughter Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz), who, like Hugo, also has three experiment pets: Experiment 523 (Slushy), Experiment 513 (Richter), and Experiment 221 (Sparky). Isabelle realizes the current situation Splodyhead is in, and decides to become his lawyer while also becoming Hugo's partner. She provides a special disguise for Splodyhead so that anyone who suspects him as a murderer will be unable to recognize him. Hugo introduces her to the movies, which her godfather has never let her see. Remarkably, Isabelle turns out to have the automaton's key, but when they use it to activate the automaton, it produces two drawings, one on each paper: one of a film scene Hugo remembers his father telling him about, and the other of what appears to be a comic strip featuring Splodyhead's rescue attempt, plus some tips on how to prove the experiment's innocence after the attempt failed. On the first drawing, Hugo, Isabelle, Yaarp, Slugger, Splodyhead, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky discover that the film is called "A Trip to the Moon", and that it was created by Isabelle's godfather, Georges Méliès, who was a cinema legend, but is now neglected and disillusioned. On the second drawing, they discover that the automaton, which was Méliès's beloved creation from his days as a magician, might be linked to Splodyhead. The duo and their pets head to the Méliès household, where they find a cache of the filmmaker's fantastic drawings that have a connection with the automaton's drawing featuring the moon from "A Trip to the Moon". However, Méliès catches them in the act, and Splodyhead inadvertently reveals himself. He, Hugo, Yaarp, and Slugger are banished from Méliès's home.

The next day, Hugo and Isabelle travel to Paris' great Film Academy Library with their pets, where they find a book with photos and biographical information about Méliès. Hugo, Isabelle, Yaarp, Slugger, Splodyhead, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky meet René Tabard (Michael Stuhlbarg), a film expert who venerates Méliès, and who, like most of the film world, assumes Méliès is dead, as he was never seen after World War I brought an abrupt halt to his career. René shows Hugo, Isabelle, Yaarp, Slugger, Splodyhead, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky the collection of rare Méliès memorabilia in his Library office. After Isabelle informs René that Méliès is alive and living in Paris, Hugo explains to him that Splodyhead is in trouble, as he accidentally killed his father while trying to rescue him, and shows him the automaton's drawing featuring the experiment. Upon seeing that drawing, René tells Hugo that he will help him find evidence so that he can prove that Splodyhead is innocent and not guilty. Isabelle explains to René how she became Splodyhead's lawyer, then invites him to reunite with Méliès. René becomes incredulous, then excited at the possibility of meeting the great man again.

Hugo and Isabelle take René to the Méliès home with their pets, where they encounter Méliès's wife, Jeanne (Helen McCrory), whom René immediately recognizes as the star of many of Méliès's films. Hugo is able to talk sense into Jeanne by showing her the automaton's drawing featuring Splodyhead, and René uses a small projector he brought along to show the group his copy of "A Trip to the Moon", which is revealed to be one of Méliès's surviving films. When Méliès finds the nine in his parlour (the tenth, Splodyhead, hid under the table), he is outraged, but Jeanne convinces him to cherish his glorious accomplishments rather than regretting his lost dream. As Splodyhead slowly starts to emerge from his hiding place, Méliès recounts his history as a film-maker and his bankruptcy during The Great War (World War I), finishing with the sad tale of a crime scene that occurred after donating his beloved automaton to a museum: it was ignored and destroyed in a fire that was caused by an experiment, whom he thought was the murderer. However, that experiment wasn't, and the only key that can support the experiment's innocence is his lost automaton.

After realizing that the experiment in question Méliès had talked about was Splodyhead, Hugo is informed by René that a full-working automaton (which was Méliès's creation but currently belongs to Hugo) can act as evidence in order to prove Splodyhead's innocence, alongside its drawing featuring the experiment. Equipped with this information, Hugo leaves the automaton's drawing featuring Splodyhead with Isabelle, then races back to the train station with Splodyhead, determined to retrieve the automaton so that he can prove that Splodyhead is really innocent once and for all. Hugo and Splodyhead enter the train station, but are spotted by Inspector Gustave, who has recently discovered that Claude has passed away and who chases them through the station. As he and Splodyhead approach one of the train platforms, Hugo stumbles and the automaton flies from his grasp. Splodyhead tries to catch it, but is unable to do so, and the automaton lands on the tracks. Hugo and Splodyhead get on the tracks and try to retrieve it, but struggle to do so. A train approaches, but the Inspector manages to rescue Hugo, Splodyhead, and the automaton a split second before the train would have crushed them. As the Inspector is about to take Hugo to the orphanage and Splodyhead to jail (for he's a murderer), Méliès arrives, claiming Hugo as his child and finally declaring that Splodyhead is an innocent pet. Isabelle gives Hugo the automaton's drawing featuring Splodyhead back, allowing the boy to eventually defeat the Inspector by showing it to him, causing the Inspector to faint.

Afterwards, Hugo is approached by the press, who want to interview him. With the help of Isabelle and Méliès, Hugo manages to tell the entire story revolving around Splodyhead attempting to do the right thing during the museum fire incident that occurred a long time ago. Impressed at the story, the press finally concludes that Splodyhead has been proven innocent before wrapping up the interview. With that, Hugo's story is proven true, and the case has been solved, thus allowing Hugo and Splodyhead to live a new life with Isabelle and Méliès.

DifferencesEdit

Between the book and the original and alternative versions of the filmEdit

Both the original and alternative versions of the film follow the book very faithfully, but there are some differences enough to be pointed out to those who have read it.

  • Some shots are inconsistent with the illustrations they are based upon: One example being Hugo who looks through the number 4 on the clock of the train station, while in the book he looks through the number 5.
  • Like most adaptations, many details (such as the mention of Hugo's school friends Louis and Antionne and Hugo's trip on the Paris Métro en route to the film academy library) are omitted or cut completely from both the original and alternative versions of the film to save time.
  • The Station Inspector is given a larger role in both the original and alternative versions of the film than in the book, he has a metal brace on his left leg, provides a small support of comic relief against his antagonistic personality, and is accompanied by a Doberman Pinscher named Maximillian. Also, his outfit is blue rather than bottle-green in the book. This was because the film's costume designer, Sandy Powell, felt that the blue was more realistic.
  • In both the original and alternative versions of the film, the new character of Lisette is introduced, the flower seller who is involved in a romantic subplot between herself and the Station Inspector.
  • Hugo and Isabelle's adult friend, Etienne, who helps the duo sneak into the local movie house and helps Hugo learn about the history of film at the library is omitted and many of his actions are either performed by Hugo or Isabelle as a means of allowing both the original and alternative versions of the film to follow those two main characters (as well as their six experiment pets (Splodyhead in particular) in the latter version).
  • Hugo was about to steal a book on magic tricks when Etienne stepped in and gave Hugo some money so he could buy the book instead. This isn't included in the original and alternative versions of the film, however.
  • Isabelle was the one who could pick locks in the book, while in the original and alternative versions of the movie, Hugo is the one shown with the skill.
  • The drawing the automaton produced looked different in the book, the one shown in both the original and alternative versions of the film being more comical-looking.
  • In both the original and alternative versions of the film, Isabelle willingly handed her heart-shaped key over to Hugo, whereas in the book he hugged her and took the necklace without Isabelle noticing as he did so.
  • In both the original and alternative versions of the film, right before the automaton is activated, Isabelle didn't attack Hugo, but in the book, she did.
  • Isabelle is much more friendly and optimistic in both the original and alternative versions of the film than she is in the book.
  • In both the original and alternative versions of the film, Papa Georges never mentioned that he hated the clicking of shoes.
  • In the book, Hugo decides to run away from the train station after Uncle Claude has gone missing for three days and eventually comes across the automaton at what is left of the burned down museum. In both the original and alternative versions of the film, Hugo is working on the automaton in his house and takes it (along with Yaarp, Slugger, and Splodyhead in the latter version) with him when Uncle Claude takes him under his wing.
  • In the book Hugo gets his right hand slammed on the door while following Isabelle after the discovery of the automaton's drawing, and while Isabelle tries to open the cabinet with Georges' drawings, the stool she is standing upon snaps and she breaks her leg. In both the original and alternative versions of the film, both children manage to open the cabinet without any injury (although Yaarp ended up getting injured in the latter version, landing belly-first on the ground right after the chair Isabelle is standing on collapses after she and Yaarp retrieve the box). Whatever the reason for this change is not revealed.
  • In the book, the ending takes place six months later with Hugo becoming a magician known as Professor Alcofrisbas. *In both the original and alternative versions of the film, the aforementioned information is somewhat implied, as it is Isabelle who writes a story about Hugo (and his experiment pets Yaarp, Slugger, and Splodyhead in the latter version) during the after-party in the home of Papa Georges.
  • The book's ending reveals that the entire book, including pictures, was created by an automaton built by Hugo Cabret after the events of the story. The ending of both the original and alternative versions of the film reveals that the story was written in a journal by Isabelle.

Between the original and alternative versions of the filmEdit

The plot of the alternative version of the film is similar to that of the original one, but there are some differences.

  • New characters are added in the alternative version alongside all of the returning characters from the original version: Splodyhead, Yaarp, Slugger, Slushy, Richter, and Sparky, all from Disney's Lilo & Stitch, have major roles, where they are all redrawn and reanimated to a style similar to that of the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Splodyhead was animated by Andreas Deja, Yaarp and Slushy were animated by James Baxter, Slugger and Sparky were animated by Nik Ranieri, and Richter was animated by Dale Baer), and appear as pets owned by Hugo and Isabelle (Hugo owns Splodyhead, Yaarp, and Slugger while Isabelle owns Slushy, Richter, and Sparky). Their voice actors, Frank Welker (Splodyhead, Slugger, Slushy, and Sparky), Jeff Bennett (Yaarp), and Tress MacNeille (Richter) are uncredited, however. Aside from the six experiments, the firefighters and the news press are also added.
  • Due to the experiments being involved in the alternative version (especially Splodyhead), new scenes are added, some scenes from the original version have been edited and lengthened, and extra dialogue has also been added.
    • Because of this, the run time of the alternative version is much more longer than the original version.
  • The museum fire incident that costed Hugo's father his life is revealed to have been accidentally caused by Splodyhead, which might be the reason why Splodyhead has the largest role out of the six experiments and the case to prove Splodyhead innocent (as well as the strong bond between Hugo and Splodyhead) becomes one of the three driving forces in the alternative version.
  • The first meeting between Hugo and Isabelle is different between the original and alternative versions: in the original version, Hugo tries to get Isabelle's attention by throwing a pebble towards her bedroom window, but in the alternative version, it was the battle between Slushy (Isabelle's missing experiment pet) and Splodyhead that attracted Isabelle's attention, which causes her and Hugo to intervene long enough for the battle to be broken up, which subsequently leads to a reunion between Isabelle and Slushy.
  • In the original version, Isabelle is revealed to be a orphan just like Hugo after her biological parents died when she was a baby, but in the alternative version, she claims she doesn't remember her parents, and thus, her status as orphan is not mentioned, even though she's Papa Georges and Mama Jeanne's goddaughter in both versions.
  • The Station Inspector's large role in the original version has been further expanded in the alternative version, as he is not only after Hugo, but after Splodyhead as well.
  • In the original version, during the confrontation between Hugo and Isabelle (plus their experiment pets in the alternative version) and the Station Inspector, Isabelle mentions her cat and recites a poem by the poetess her cat is named after. In the alternative version, however, Isabelle didn't mention her cat nor did she recite one of the poetess's poems. Instead, she misleads the Inspector by revealing that the wanted suspect (Splodyhead) has been left behind at her "cousin's" home and replaced by a Yorkshire Terrier named "Fluffy", although Splodyhead is actually with her and Hugo, being completely disguised as Fluffy.
  • In the alternative version, it is Splodyhead (as Fluffy) who discovered Isabelle's heart-shaped key first, not Hugo.
    • Also in the alternative version, 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 version, during the scene where Isabelle and Hugo (and their experiment pets in the alternative version) find a box filled with drawings made by Papa Georges in the cabinet, Isabelle retrieves the box alone, whereas in the alternative version, Yaarp assists her in retrieving the box.
  • In the original version, 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 version, 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 alternative version, 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.
  • In the original version, when Isabelle asks him if he would like to meet Papa Georges, René says that he already met him. In the alternative version, however, Isabelle suggests that René would meet Papa Georges again, to which René replies that he would like to before telling her that he had met him for the first time as a child.
  • Aside from being author and a devotee of Papa Georges' films, René is also revealed to be a detective in the alternative version, as he willingly agrees to help Hugo prove Splodyhead innocent.
  • In the original version, Hugo is completely silent when alone, but in the alternative version, 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).
  • While the orphan cage appears in both the original and alternative versions, the cage used to lock Splodyhead up only appears in the alternative version. 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 version, Hugo hangs from one of the clock's hands with both hands, but in the alternative version, 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 version, 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 alternative version, he was on the tracks once (in reality during the climax when he and Splodyhead are trying to retrieve the automaton).
  • During his dream that involved the train crash in the original version, Hugo was run over by a train, but in the alternative version, during the same dream he had, Hugo was instead rammed by the train alongside Yaarp and Splodyhead after Slugger manages to get off the tracks and away from the incoming train with the heart-shaped key he found.
  • The role Uncle Claude had in the original version has been expanded in the alternative version, as he told Hugo that he believes Splodyhead is innocent right after the museum fire incident happened.
  • In the original version, the Station Inspector did not faint at all, but in the alternative version, he did faint (he fainted after Hugo showed him the automaton's drawing featuring Splodyhead near the end of this version).
  • Aside from his friendship with Isabelle (which has been shown in both the original and alternative versions), Hugo is also shown to have a strong bond with Splodyhead in the alternative version.

TrailerEdit

Hugo - Official Trailer HD02:26

Hugo - Official Trailer HD

ProductionEdit

  • Directed by: Martin Scorsese
  • Produced by: Martin Scorsese, Johnny Depp, Graham King, and Tim Headington
  • Written by: John Logan (screenplay), Brian Selznick (original story)
  • Cinematography by: Robert Richardson
  • Musical Score by: Howard Shore
  • Editing by: Thelma Schoonmaker
  • Production Studios: GK Films and Infinitum Nihil
  • Filming Locations: London's Shepperton Studios, as well as locations in London, England and Paris, France
  • Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
  • Run time: 127 minutes

CastEdit

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