Camp Nowhere is among the many movies of the mid-nineties featuring kids rebelling against authority figures and setting off on their own for lots of mischief-making. Jonathan Jackson, former soap opera star and Daytime Emmy Award winner, is Morris “Mud” Himmel and the leader of the group of kids trying to avoid summer camp.
Jackson’s Mud, along with a handful of other young characters, faces off against Christopher Lloyd playing the antagonist, Dennis Van Welker in an improbable movie-long chase/heist. You also might recognize Jessica Alba as Gail, in her very first acting role, ever.
Although the movie didn’t perform incredibly well, it captures a very specific moment in entertainment for children. Much like other movies of the time, like The Mighty Ducks, Heavyweights, or Man of the House, it features children trying to find their independence, away from the authority figures in their life. Camp Nowhere features quite a bit of hijinks, but at its heart is a movie about friendship and the nostalgia of youth.
Stream Camp Nowhere to recapture the joy of a movie about children who are almost completely unsupervised, and you also can watch Camp Nowhere online.
Here’s how to stream Camp Nowhere right now:
How to Stream ‘Camp Nowhere’ – Exclusively on Disney+
Camp Nowhere is one of the many obscure Disney movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Camp Nowhere and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. The service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Camp Nowhere”
- 5. Tap Camp Nowhere
- 6. Tap the Play Button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Camp Nowhere’: Overview
Release Date: August 26, 1994
Creators: Andrew Kurtzman, Eliot Wald
Director: Jonathan Prince
Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Jonathan Jackson, Jessica Alba
Synopsis: A smart young man hatches a plan to avoid the summer camp his parents forced upon him. He teams up with other disgruntled children, whose parents also plan to send them away for the summer to form their own camp. Their version of the camp is without parents or many adults, and they have to figure out a way to hide it from their parents.
How Long Is ‘Camp Nowhere’?
Camp Nowhere has a runtime of 96 minutes.
‘Camp Nowhere’ Plot
Morris “Mud” Himmel, played by Jonathan Jackson, is about to be sent away to summer camp by his parents, but he really doesn’t want to go. His neighborhood friends are facing the same problem, so they conspire together to create a camp of their own. Theirs is a camp without rules or adults, in which they can do whatever they like. Their plan includes duping their parents into thinking they are all away at their respective camps.
Thinking he might not be able to pull the whole thing off without at least one adult, Mud decides to blackmail his former teacher, Dennis Van Welker (Christopher Lloyd). Dennis is on the run from a debt collector, trying to get payment for a car Dennis never finished paying for. Mud threatens to turn him into the collector, T.R. Polk (M. Emmett Walsh) if he doesn’t help him and the kids set up the fake camp to trick the parents.
They rent an old campground, using the money their parents intended for the real camps. They get food and toys and set themselves up with almost everything they need. However, after a little while, they begin to get bored and start to rethink their big scam. Mud is still committed to his fake camp scheme, so he further enlists the help of Dennis to convince the other kids to stay, and they find ways to keep themselves occupied.
Eventually, the parents want to come visit the kids, and despite the protestations from the campers, they make a plan to trick the parents for Parents Day. Mud and his friends set the camp up to look like the actual camps they should be at – a military camp, a fat camp, and acting camp. Their plan works, and the parent doesn’t suspect a thing.
Meanwhile, T.R. Polk, in his pursuit of Dennis, meets a state trooper that is also looking for Dennis. They head to the camp, find him, and call the police. Dennis tries to avoid being captured and runs into the woods, despite Mud’s attempts at helping him. Dennis eventually turns himself in, and the police think the fake camp is Dennis’ fault.
Mud intervenes, confesses everything was all his idea and uses the money they scammed from their parents to pay Dennis’ debt. The other kids, as a sign of their friendship also confess, and there were no charges pressed.
Dennis gets to leave with a perfect record, the camp kids all return home, and they get to remember the best summer they ever had.
‘Camp Nowhere’ Cast
Camp Nowhere features only a handful of actors you might recognize 25 years later, but the movie still holds quite a bit of charm.
Jonathan Jackson as Morris “Mud” Himmel
Jonathan Jackson is mostly known to modern audiences as Avery from the hit musical show, Nashville which he starred alongside Hayden Panettiere. Before he made his film debut in Camp Nowhere, he starred as Lucky Spencer, son of famed soap opera couple, Luke and Laura Spencer. He won five Emmy Awards for his portrayal. He also starred in the tear-jerking young adult movie, Tuck Everlasting as Jesse Tuck.
Christopher Lloyd as Dennis Van Welker
Christopher Lloyd had a pretty good run as hapless Disney villains in the mid-nineties. Coming off the success of his 1991 role as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family Lloyd went on to star in Heavyweights, My Favorite Martian, and the sequel to Addams in Addams Family Values. Most famously, however, he’s known for the eighties class Back to the Future in which he played Doc Brown, opposite Michael J. Fox.
Jessica Alba as Gail
Although Jessica Alba’s role as Gail in Camp Nowhere was small, it’s notable because this was her first role as an actress. In 1994, she went by the name of Jessica Marie Alba and was originally only hired for a role as an extra without lines. With a principal actor fell through, she was hired to replace them. She went on to a very notable career as an adult, starring in Fantastic Four as the invisible woman.
‘Camp Nowhere’ Songs and Soundtrack
There isn’t much to speak of, in terms of music or score for Camp Nowhere. However, the movie does feature a song by a popular band of the time, The Cranberries. Their hit ‘Linger’ finds its way into the movie.
‘Camp Nowhere’ at the Box Office
The film didn’t do very well in the box office, bringing in only about $2 million in its opening weekend. Altogether, it earned close to $11 million which, even by 1994 standards, isn’t a whole lot.
‘Camp Nowhere’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Critics liked it even less than fans did. It scored very low on popular rating sites, and it generally didn’t make much of an impression with either audiences or critics. It does, however, have a cult fanbase.
Where ‘Camp Nowhere’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
‘Camp Nowhere’, unfortunately, didn’t leave much of an impression on the Disney Universe or popular culture. It did, however, give Jonathan Jackson a natural segue from daytime soap operas to a more mainstream fan base, as well as giving the world Jessica Alba in her acting debut.
‘Camp Nowhere’ Trailer
‘Camp Nowhere’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
For a movie without much of an effect, it sure has a lot of behind-the-scenes fun facts.
1. The ‘General Hospital’ Connection
Jonathan Jackson’s on-screen soap mom makes a small cameo in the film as Arnold’s mother. Her real-life husband, Jonathan Frakes, also makes an appearance as Arnold’s father. Jackson’s character, Mud, wears a red shirt with “Lucky” printed on it, which is a nod to his ‘General Hospital’ character, Lucky Spencer.
2. A Strange, Cult Coincidence
Two actors from ‘Camp Nowhere’ went on to join separate, religious cults. Alison Mack, famously, joined NXVIM and Andrew Keegan went on to establish and lead the group Full Circle.
3. There is a ‘Camp Nowhere’ Bar
Although the film was actually filmed in California, there is bar in North Providence, Rhode Island. It’s both named and themed after the film.
4. ‘Camp Nowhere’ Makes a Cameo in Another Film
The specific location for ‘Camp Nowhere’ is Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch. This spot also appears in the opening scenes of the 2011 rom-com ‘No Strongs Attached.’ The movie begins with a flashback to a summer camp in the nineties, and the same location for ‘Camp Nowhere’ is used in this scene.
5. Jessica Alba Would Work with Christopher Lloyd Again, In a Much Different Project
One of Alba’s most famous films, ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ also features her ‘Camp Nowhere’ costar, Christopher Lloyd. Lloyd starred as Kroenig.