Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dylan Brown (uncredited)|
|Music by||Steven Price|
|Cinematography||Juan García Gonzalez|
|Edited by||Edie Ichioka|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$21.1 million|
Wonder Park is a 2019 computer animated adventure film produced by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies, with Ilion Animation Studios handling animation. The film stars the voice talents of newcomer Brianna Denski, 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 Dylan Brown, who Paramount Pictures did not officially credit due to "multiple complaints of 'inappropriate and unwanted behavior'".
The film was released in 2D and 3D in the United States on March 15, 2019, by Paramount Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed over $21 million worldwide. A television series based on the film will debut that same year on Nickelodeon, making it the third animated film from Nickelodeon Movies (after Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Barnyard) to spawn an animated series on the network, as well as the first to not be produced by Steve Oedekerk.
June Bailey and her mother come up with the story of Wonderland, a magical amusement park run by animal creatures that entertain and dazzle children of all ages. The gang consists of Boomer, a big blue bear that greets patrons; Greta, a boar who manages and keeps things under control; Gus and Cooper, beaver brothers; Steve, a porcupine who is in love with Greta; and the park’s mascot/leader Peanut, a monkey who hears Mrs. Bailey’s voice and is given the inspiration to create with his magic marker. Hoping to make Wonderland a reality, June and her friend Banky create a contraption that functions like a theme park ride, but it goes out of control and causes massive damage to the town. June’s parents scold her for the damage, but her mom tells her she can still use her imagination safely.
Over time, the family continues to have fun, but Mrs. Bailey starts to get sick. She is sent away for recovery, leaving June scared and depressed. She takes down her displays and refuses to play with the other kids because she thinks they only care about her giving them Wonderland. One day, June and her father are visited by her uncle and aunt, who try to cheer June up by sparking her imagination with a model ferris wheel but June snaps and throws out the blueprint of Wonderland into the fire, causing it to burn up and leaving her heartbroken.
Sometime later, Mr. Bailey sends June to math camp with Banky and their other friends. After reading a note from her dad saying that he will miss her, June becomes paranoid that her father will not be able to handle himself without her, so she uses Banky to create a distraction on the bus and get them to pull over. June uses the opportunity to run back home through the woods. She then finds a burnt piece of the Wonderland blueprint flying toward it. June chases after it as it takes her deeper into the woods, and she finds herself in a different realm. She steps inside the rocket car of a roller coaster and is transported to the actual Wonderland.
When June gets down to the park, she finds the animals all fleeing in terror from a storm cloud known as the Darkness, which formed after Clockwork Swings, the parks mechanism for operating, malfunctioned. Emerging from it are Chimpanzombies, formerly the park’s Wonder Chimp plush toys that have become troublemakers. June introduces herself and tells the animals that she and her mom are responsible for creating them. Greta seems to be suspicious of June being there, but she proves what she knows about them by naming a very specific way that Steve drinks his tea. June asks them what happened to Peanut, and they tell her that he went off on his own to reactivate Clockwork Swings, but was captured by the Chimpanzombies.
June leads the animals to Clockwork Springs to help fix it, but is unaware of what she is supposed to do. The Chimpanzombies then attack once again in a giant robot known as the Skyflinger that wreaks more havoc across the park. In the chaos, June gets separated from the animals and finds herself in a floating chamber known as Zero-G Land. There, she finds Peanut hiding in a room he created to escape the darkness, because he felt lost without hearing the voice in his head and chose to stay alone. This leads June to realize that the Darkness was created by herself as a result of her cynicism from her mom’s sickness. The Chimpanzombies then show up and attack once again, taking Peanut as their prisoner, but June manages to escape with Peanut’s marker.
June runs back to the animals to tell them that she found Peanut and his marker, but also confesses that she is responsible for the Darkness. Feeling upset over this revelation, they abandon June and leave her alone and helpless. After noticing the piece of the blueprint and realizing that she has been able to create the ideas for the park herself, June gathers the courage inside her to reactivate her imagination and reboots the Skyflinger to catch up with the animals. They come up with a plan to defeat the Chimpanzombies by placing Boomer on top of a roller coaster. His car gets pushed over by a bird, and the others grab on to him with licorice, thereby reaching Clockwork Swings.
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 convinces him that she will provide the voice for his imagination and that he cannot let the Darkness take him over. June gives Peanut an idea for making a slide to get them out of there, and June then notices Clockwork Springs is her name written in cursive, just like on the piece of her map. With Peanut’s help, they get Clockwork Springs back up and running by using her name to move the hears, getting rid of the Darkness, bringing Wonderland back to life, and making the Chimpanzombies turn back into Wonder Chimps. People then start to visit the park again, allowing the animals to resume their jobs. They look up to the sky and see the cloud is still there, which June interprets as meaning that while the Darkness may never really go away, it is there as a reminder to continue to be imaginative. June says farewell to her animal friends before returning to the real world.
June runs out of the woods and goes back home to her father, and proceeds to rebuild her displays of Wonderland. She and Banky then get together to create real Wonderland that is safer than before. As this occurs, Mrs. Bailey arrives home, free from sickness, and to June's overjoyment. The Baileys unveil the real Wonderland in their backyard, which is big enough to have all the neighborhood kids show up. June starts to tell the kids a story about Wonderland, and she takes a doll of Peanut and whispers a suggestion for a ferris wheel into his ear, allowing him to take his magic marker to make the idea come to life.
- Brianna Denski as Cameron "June" Bailey, an optimistic, imaginative girl
- Sofia Mali as Young June
- Ken Hudson Campbell as Boomer, a narcoleptic blue bear who welcomes the visitors to Wonderland
- Jennifer Garner as Mrs. Bailey, June's mother
- Matthew Broderick as Mr. Bailey, June's father
- Kenan Thompson as Gus, a beaver who is Cooper's brother
- Ken Jeong as Cooper, a beaver who is Gus' brother
- Mila Kunis as Greta, a wild boar who is Steve's love interest
- John Oliver as Steve, a porcupine who is the safety officer of Wonderland
- Oev Michael Urbas as Banky, June's best friend
- Norbert Leo Butz as Peanut, a chimpanzee who acts as Wonderland's mascot and ride creator
- Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Tony
- Kate McGregor-Stewart as Aunt Albertine
- Kath Soucie as Bus Counselor Shannon
- Daran Norris as Principal Peters
Production on Wonder Park 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 originally titled Amusement Park, with former Pixar animator Dylan Brown helming. The voices in the film would be provided by Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Ken Hudson Campbell (originally Jeffrey Tambor), Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, and John Oliver. For the role of June Baily, 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" by multiple women. Since production was nearly complete at the time, the studio did not hire a replacement, and no one received an official director's credit on the film.
Wonder Park was released on March 15, 2019, by Paramount Pictures in 3D. In January 2017, the film was moved up from its original release date of March 22, 2019 to July 13, 2018. A few months later, it was pushed back to August 10, 2018, and by August 2017, it was pushed back for a final time to March 15, 2019. In April 2018, the title of the film was changed from Amusement Park to Wonder Park.
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 although beating projections, Deadline Hollywood said was "[not] enough to consider this...production a success".
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 30% based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 4.77/10. 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 46 out of 100, based on 17 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 TV series based on the film will debut sometime in 2019 on Nickelodeon after the film's theatrical release, making it the third animated film from Nickelodeon Movies to have a TV series spin-off from the film after Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Barnyard, also making it the first animated film from Paramount Animation to have a TV series spin-off from the film. The series will be animated in CGI (similar to the feature) and produced by Casey Leonard, the director of the original Nickelodeon film Lucky.
Prior to the film's release, a licensed mobile game titled Wonder Park Magic Rides by Pixowl, was made available.
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