Wonder Park is a 2019 American-Spanish 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies, with Ilion Animation Studios handling animation. 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.
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.
NOTE: Quite a lot of problems are due to the fact that the director was uncredited, due to the fact he was fired.
- The entire film is a waste of a great concept: 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.
- 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, it's called Wonder Park. This could be because of a real-world theme park named Canada's Wonderland.
- The characters are very bland, annoying, obnoxious or never shut up, mainly the main protagonist, June, who is unfunny, boring and bad person in general, and the animal sidekicks for the annoying side as they serve no purpose but to provide terrible comedy (through to be fair, they do serve a fantastic functioning role on the park).
- During the 30-minute mark, the plot completely goes off the rails where June gets to broken-down Wonderland in the woods by actually running away to a convenient recreation of her own imagination via starting a plot-relevant chain reaction which she takes advantage of after she uses her friend Banky to create a distraction on the bus for math camp to leaves.
- The cinematography in the opening montage is laughably terrible. Certain shots consist of uncomfortable and poorly-done messed close-ups.
- The ending is a massive cop out and even has a hand in actually reversing the character development. June's main character arc is coming to grips with the possibility of losing her mother, but at the end, the movie just goes "nope, she's alive now." This created with massive plot hole.
- Terrible attempt at comedy.
- A few of the scenes 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.
- Instead of actually doing anything with the concept of cancer the film is trying to convey, the film instead focuses too much on being a generic comedy.
- The main villains, the Chimpanzombies, have no exposition and just come out of nowhere with no real motivation.
- One factor to why the film is of poor quality is how there isn't even a credited director for billing board and end credits. The director, Dylan Brown, was fired for sexual misconduct and the project went downhill from there. Paramount 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. But even at that, this remains the first instance where a movie has no credited director, which is pretty weird.
- All of the rides are either the roller coasters that look like they were made in Planet Coaster, while this game is good, it looks tacky on a big screen, or just things that spin.
- 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.
- The film has a wrong 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.
- While the animation is good and way better than expected, it looks like the colors are really washed out. They don't even look as too bright as they want to be.
- The story is really predictable and generic, with the use of many clichés. The fast padding feels unnecessary, which could be really hard to follow at times.
- 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 Wonderland.
- The message and themes were excecuted 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, no! 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.
- A lot of the dialogue keeps overusing the phrase "splendiferous" to the point where it's said 20 times, which is really repetitive.
- The animation is actually good and way better than expected, especially since it was made 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 washed out.
- The animal sidekicks, despite being 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.
- Great voice acting, despite talents being wasted.
- The soundtrack by Steven Price (who composed Gravity) is not that bad.
- Some funny moments here and there.
- Some of the moments can be touching and emotional.
- The concept of a little girl using imagination to escape from reality is great, although it was wasted and ruined, as mentioned previously.
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 104 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.
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, making it 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.