For a man who works at the train station, Georges Méliès sure has a problem with baggage in The Invention of Hugo Cabret. And no, we’re not talking about literal suitcases or backpacks; we’re talking about Papa Georges’s past as a renowned filmmaker… and how he just can’t face any of it. The whole book deals with Hugo and Isabelle trying to chase down Papa Georges’s past while Papa Georges resolutely continues to run away from it. Of course, everything catches up to him in the end, but boy does he put up a real fight.
Georges Méliès is constantly trying to avoid the past. But in doing so, he gets even more stuck in it.
The adult Hugo who is speaking to us at the end has come so far because of all the things that he learned over time from his two father figures: his actual father and Georges Méliès.