Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dylan Brown[a]|
|Music by||Steven Price|
|Cinematography||Juan García González|
|Edited by||Edie Ichioka|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$119.6 million|
Wonder Park is a 2019 computer animated adventure comedy film produced by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies, with Ilion Animation Studios handling animation. The plot follows a young girl who encounters a real version of her magical amusement park, run by talking animals. The film stars the voice talents of newcomer Brianna Denski, and Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Kath Soucie, Norbert Leo Butz, and Kevin Chamberlin. The film was directed by former Pixar animator Dylan Brown in his directorial debut; while he was involved through most of the production period, Paramount Pictures dismissed him in January 2018, citing "inappropriate and unwanted conduct."
Wonder Park was released in 2D and 3D formats in the United States on March 15, 2019. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the animation and voice acting but criticized the story and tone. The film was also a box office bomb, grossing $119 million against a budget of $80-100 million. A television series based on the film was scheduled to debut on Nickelodeon, making it the third animated film from Nickelodeon Movies, after Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Barnyard, to serve as the basis for an animated series on the network.
June Bailey, a girl with a bright imagination, and her mother come up with the story of Wonderland, a magical amusement park run by a group of animals: Boomer, a big blue bear who greets guests; Greta, a wild boar; Gus and Cooper, beaver brothers; Steve, a porcupine who is the park's safety manager and is in love with Greta; and Peanut, the leader of the park and a chimpanzee who has the ability to create rides by listening to June's mother's voice.
Over time, June's mother starts to get sick and is sent away for recovery. As a result, June starts alienating from Wonderland and burns the blueprints of the park out of frustration. Sometime later, June's father sends her to math camp. After misinterpreting a note from her father as a cry for help, June uses her friend Banky to create a distraction on the bus to escape and return home, but instead, she finds a broken-down Wonderland in the woods.
The park is currently being surrounded by a cloud named the Darkness; June and the animals attempt to fix Clockwork Swings, the park's mechanism, but are attacked by Chimpanzombies, the park's former plush toys that now empower the Darkness. In the chaos, June gets separated from the animals and finds herself in a floating chamber known as Zero-G Land.
There, June finds Peanut hiding from the Darkness where he confesses he felt lost after he stopped hearing the voice in his head. This leads June to realize that the Darkness was created by herself as a result of her cynicism from her mom's illness. The Chimpanzombies break in and take Peanut as their prisoner, but June manages to escape.
June runs back to the animals to tell them she found Peanut but also confesses that she is responsible for the Darkness. Feeling upset over this revelation, they abandon her. After noticing the piece of the blueprint and realizing that she has been able to create the ideas for the park herself, June manages to fix one of the attractions to catch up with the animals and make it to Clockwork Swings. She also explains why she created the Darkness, and seeing that she wants to help, the animals reform the team to save Peanut and Wonderland.
The gang finds the Chimpanzombies taking Peanut to get sucked up into the Darkness. The animals fight back while June rushes to save Peanut by jumping into the void. She promises him that she will provide the voice for his imagination and that he should not let the Darkness take over him, giving him an idea to make a slide out of bendy straws to escape. While the gang and Peanut are riding the slide to avoid the Chimpanzombies, June then notices that Clockwork Swings is attached to her name written in cursive, just like the blueprint piece. With Peanut's help, they get Clockwork Swings back up and running by using her name to move the gears, and clear up Wonderland from the Darkness. A cloud remains over the park, to which June interprets as a reminder to continue to be imaginative.
June returns home, and with it, her now cured mother, and they set up a Wonderland in their backyard. June then shares with other kids the story of Wonderland.
- Brianna Denski as June Bailey, an optimistic, imaginative girl who created Wonderland.
- Sofia Mali as Young June
- Jennifer Garner as June's mother
- Matthew Broderick as June's father
- John Oliver as Steve, a porcupine who is the safety officer of Wonderland
- Mila Kunis as Greta, a wild boar who is Steve's love interest
- Kenan Thompson as Gus, a beaver who is Cooper's brother
- Ken Jeong as Cooper, a beaver who is Gus' brother
- Norbert Leo Butz as Peanut, a chimpanzee who acts as Wonderland's main mascot and ride creator
- Ken Hudson Campbell as Boomer, a narcoleptic blue bear who welcomes the visitors to Wonderland
- Oev Michael Urbas as Banky, June's best friend
- Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Tony
- Kate McGregor-Stewart as Aunt Albertine
- Kath Soucie as Bus Counselor Shannon
Wonder Park started development in early 2012, with the story being written by Galaxy Quest writer Robert Gordon and production commenced in September 2014. In June 2015, it was revealed that Spain's Ilion Animation Studios would produce the fully animated 3D film. In November 2015, Paramount Animation officially announced the project, then titled Amusement Park, with former Pixar animator Dylan Brown helming. The voices in the film were set as Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell (originally Jeffrey Tambor), Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, and John Oliver. For the role of June Bailey, more than 1,500 people auditioned before 11-year-old Brianna Denski of Plymouth, Connecticut, got the role.
In January 2018, it was reported that director Dylan Brown was fired from the production by Paramount Pictures, following an investigation into complaints of "inappropriate and unwanted conduct." Paramount offered the director's credit to multiple other key creative personnel on the film, but they refused, fearing the film would be detrimental to their careers. The position went then uncredited in the film. In April 2018, the title of the film was changed from Amusement Park to Wonder Park.
Wonder Park was released in 2D and 3D on March 15, 2019, by Paramount Pictures. In January 2017, the film was moved up from its original release date, March 22, 2019, to July 13, 2018. A few months later, it was pushed back from July 13, 2018 to August 10, 2018, and by August 2018, it was pushed back for a final time to March 15, 2019.
Wonder Park grossed $45.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $74.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $119.6 million, against a production budget of around $80–100 million.
In the United States and Canada, Wonder Park was released alongside Captive State and Five Feet Apart, and was projected to gross $8–14 million from 3,838 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $5.4 million on its first day, including $700,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $16 million, which beat projections, though Deadline Hollywood said it was "[not] enough to consider this... production a success." The film fell 45% in its second weekend, grossing $8.8 million, and 43% in its third to $5.0 million.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 34% based on 106 reviews, with an average rating of 4.76/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Colorful and energetic but lacking a compelling story, Wonder Park is little more than a competently made diversion for very young viewers." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 45 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Prior to Wonder Park's release, Paramount Animation announced that a television series based on the film would debut on Nickelodeon, after the film's theatrical release. This would have been the third animated film from Nickelodeon Movies to have a series spin-off, after Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Barnyard, and the first animated film from Paramount Animation to inspire a series spin-off from the film.
Prior to the film's release, a licensed mobile game titled Wonder Park Magic Rides was released by Pixowl.
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