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Wonder Park

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Wonder Park
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Wonder Park.jpg
There's a lot of ways to describe this movie, but "splendiferous" isn't one of them.
Genre: Animation
Fantasy
Comedy
Drama
Adventure
Directed By: Dylan Brown (uncredited)[1]
Produced By: Josh Appelbaum
André Nemec
Kendra Halland
Written By: Josh Appelbaum
André Nemec
Starring: Brianna Denski
Ken Hudson Campbell
Kenan Thompson
Ken Jeong
Mila Kunis
John Oliver
Jennifer Garner
Matthew Broderick
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Juan García González
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 15, 2019 (United States)
April 12, 2019 (Spain)
Runtime: 85 minutes
Country: United States
Spain
Language: English
Budget: $80–100 million
Box Office: $119.6 million
Franchise: Wonder Park


Wonder Park is a 2019 American-Spanish 3D computer-animated adventure fantasy comedy film produced by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies, with Ilion Animation Studios handling animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. 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 and in the Spain on April 12, 2019. 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.

Plot

Buckle up for an epic adventure where anything is possible. A young girl named June with a big imagination makes an incredible discovery -- the amusement park of her dreams has come to life. Filled with the world's wildest rides and operated by fun-loving animals, the excitement never ends. But when trouble hits, June and her misfit team of furry friends begin an unforgettable journey to save the park.

Not-So-Wonderful Qualities

NOTE: Quite a lot of problems are due to the fact that Dylan Brown, the director, was uncredited, due to the fact he was fired.

  1. The entire film is a wasted and ruined of a great premise: The film could've been a touching film about a little girl using her imagination to escape from the harshness of reality. But instead, the film decides to become a generic wacky comedy that feels obviously rip-off elements from Inside Out, Epic Mickey, and Moana.
  2. The film is ashamed of its marketing name/title, where the park in the movie is called Wonderland for amusement park, but in the marketing name/title, its called Wonder Park for some reason. This could be because of a real-world theme park named Canada's Wonderland and the title change it for a few months ago after Dylan Brown was fired. Also, the phrase Wonder Park is never said onscreen in the movie not even once.
  3. The characters are very bland, annoying, obnoxious, or never shut up, who have underdeveloped, mainly the main protagonist, June, who is unfunny, boring, and a bad person in general, and the animal sidekicks (except Steve) for the annoying side as they serve no purpose but to provide terrible comedy (though to be fair, however, they do serve a fantastic functioning role on the park).
  4. During the 30-minute mark for nearly-second act of the movie, the plot completely goes off the rails where June ends up for getting into broken-down Wonderland in the lost woods by actually running away and seeing the burned blueprint of the park out of frustration to a convenient recreation of her own imagination via starting a plot-relevant chain reaction for some reason which she takes advantage of after she uses her friend Banky to create a distraction on the bus for math camp to leaves, despite that she starts alienating from Wonderland.
  5. While it's usually wonderful and amazing, the cinematography in the opening montage where we see June's mother go away is laughably terrible. Certain shots consist of uncomfortable and messy close-ups.
  6. The ending is a massive cop-out and even has a hand in reversing character development. June's main character arc is coming to grips with the possibility of losing her mother from being ill, but for some reason at the end, the movie just goes to "nope, she's alive now." This creates a massive plot hole and actually undoes June's character arc.
  7. Terrible attempts at comedy, such as the scenes with Banky create a distraction on the bus.
  8. A few of the scenes have feel like they were put in the wrong order and have been swapped. For example, the last scene before the third act begins feels like it should have been put halfway through the second act of the movie.
  9. Instead of actually doing anything with the concept of cancer the film that is trying to convey, the film instead heavily focuses too much on being a generic lazy comedy, resulting the concept being wasted and ruined, even more than the entire premise, compared to other films from Paramount Animation.
  10. The main villains, the Chimpanzombies, are weak as the antagonist, with no exposition, and just comes out of nowhere with no real motivation, resulting the lack of characters development and felt like a plot device, rather than actual character.
  11. One factor reason to why the film has the poor quality is that how there isn't even a credited director for billing block as home media release and the end credits for the final cut. The director, Dylan Brown (the former Pixar animator), was fired for sexual misconduct and the project went downhill from there after multiple complaints of "inappropriate and unwanted behavior", which leading to troubled and rushed production. Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies did offer the director's credit to other key creative personnel responsible for the film, but they refused, fearing the film would be detrimental to their careers, due to various legalities and contractual obligations. But even at that, this remains the first wide-release animated instance since The Pebble and the Penguin where a movie has no credited director, which is pretty weird and, as of now, still unclear what happened.[2]
  12. All of the rides are either the roller coasters that look like they were made in Planet Coaster, while that game is good, it looks tacky on a $80 million film, or just things that spin anyways.
  13. A big continuity error where before being captured by the Chimpanzombies again, Peanut's eyes are brown in one shot. After the camera shows June escaping, his eyes revert to green.
  14. The film has a inconsistent and too playful tone. You would think the movie is all about the imagination, but only at the beginning and the end the film is creative. The rest of the movie is the park getting destroyed until it fixes up.
  15. While the animation is good and way better than expected, it rather looks like the colors are really washed out. They don't even look as too bright as they want to be.
  16. The story is really predictable and generic, with the use of many clichés.
  17. Like other movies, such as Illumination's Grinch, the fast padding feels unnecessary, which could be really hard to follow at times, being 85 minutes, making the scenes feel rushed. In fact of this, it is overloaded with fillers here and there, considering that the plot is very minimal.
  18. At one point, June destroys half of the neighborhood, and they say they will punish her with chores, which is a really weak punishment, only to immediately not punish her by helping build a model for Wonderland.
  19. The message and themes were executed terribly. For one point, a good animated movie would take the Inside Out approach and teach kids that it's okay to be sad, or The Land Before Time approach, and have the mom die but teach a lesson about how even when people are gone, they live on in our hearts and memories. Does this movie do that as well? Well, actually not true. Because June's sadness not only causes the destruction of Wonderland, implying that you're a horrible person if you get sad, but this movie tells you that you shouldn't be sad when one of your parents in on the brink of death.
  20. A lot of the dialogue keeps overusing the phrase "splendiferous" to the point where it's said 20 times, which is really repetitive, nothing special, and just useless.
  21. Executive Meddling: Although in this case it is somewhat justified due to Dylan Brown’s behavior, the way executives handled the problem of finding a new director for the film was handled in a sloppy fashion.

Wonderful Qualities

  1. The CGI animation is actually really good and way better than expected, especially since it was animated by the Madrid studio Ilion Animation Studios (later renamed to Skydance Animation Madrid), the same company who made the animation in 2009's Planet 51, even though the colors are really washed out and don't look too bright.
  2. The animal sidekicks, despite being bland and annoying, do serve a fantastic functioning role on the park, with Gus and Cooper being builders, Greta being the motivator, Steve being the safety officer, Boomer being the welcomer, and Peanut being the leading mascot.
    • the side note, Steve is easier likable character, who isn't bland, obnoxious, annoying and never shut up.
  3. Great voice acting, despite talents being wasted, most notably John Oliver as Steve being highlighted.
  4. The musical score by Steven Price (who composed Gravity) is great.
    • In fact, the two songs, "Hideaway" and "Wonder", are also pretty good.
  5. Some moments are actually funny.
  6. Some of the moments can be touching and emotional.
  7. The premise of a little girl using imagination to escape from reality, despite its wasted and ruined, as mentioned previously, is great idea and could've been used even better about touching film.
    • Likewise, the film could've been a lot even better if Dylan Brown weren't fired in January 2018 in order to had some more time working on it and keep the film title Amusement Park as well as less focusing on a very generic lazy comedy movie.

Reception

Wonder Park received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, with general criticism directed towards the plot and tone, although some praised the animation and the performances of the cast. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 34% based on 108 reviews, with an average rating of 4.79/10. 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.

Box office

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, becoming the box-office disappointment.

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.

Videos

Trivia

  • This was the last film from Paramount Animation to use the normal Paramount Pictures logo, as The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run became the first film to use a proper animated logo for said company, featuring a new character nicknamed "Star Skipper".
  • This was also the last film to be released under the Ilion Animation Studios name before the studio was acquired by Skydance Media in April 2020, and rebranded as Skydance Animation Madrid, starting with Luck steaming on Apple TV+.
  • Before Ken Hudson Campbell, Jeffrey Tambor was originally planning to voice cast.
  • 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.
  • Prior to the film's release, a licensed mobile game titled Wonder Park Magic Rides was released by Pixowl.


Nickelodeon Movies
Feature films:

Harriet the Spy - Good Burger - The Rugrats Movie - Snow Day - Rugrats in Paris: The Movie - Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius - Clockstoppers - Hey Arnold!: The Movie - The Wild Thornberrys Movie - Rugrats Go Wild - The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - Mad Hot Ballroom - Yours, Mine & Ours - Nacho Libre - Barnyard - Charlotte's Web - The Spiderwick Chronicles - Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging - Hotel for Dogs - Imagine That - The Last Airbender - Rango - The Adventures of Tintin - Fun Size - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows - Monster Trucks - Wonder Park - Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Playing with Fire - The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run - Paw Patrol: The Movie* - Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Next Chapter - Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie*

Steaming films: The Loud House Movie - The J Team - Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

*: Unlike previous films from Nickelodeon Movies, PAW Patrol: The Movie and its sequel was produced in Canada, and the film's copyright is owned by Spin Master rather than Paramount. Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies only presented the film internationally, and did not produce it outright.

External Links

References

  1. Brown was fired near the end of production; Paramount and Nickelodeon subsequently did not include a director's credit in the completed film.
  2. https://www.avclub.com/paramounts-new-animated-movie-wonder-park-doesnt-have-a-1833328690

Comments

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