Film Review: Imagination is the Key to Charming ‘Wonder Park’

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CHICAGO – Most animated films depicting the “family” often includes a parallel lesson about togetherness or some such domestic symbolism. In “Wonder Park,” the lesson is how the spark of imagination can keep a childhood alive. When that spark is temporarily dosed, the destination of the title also suffers. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The hero is a little girl, who has an interest in building things, which lights up her life through a made-up amusement park. Because the park is depicted in actuality as a parallel form, the conduit to its creation comes from the girl (and her Mom) and becomes spectacular as it is built. This is a nice bit of multi-universe, existing in the child’s mind, and an understandable way for kids to experience how thoughts become action. Although this type of “come to life” world has been done in films like the Toy Story series and “Inside Out,” the different spin given to “Wonder Park” is another take, delivered with adventure and heart.

June (voice of Brianna Denski) has a precocious and inventive mind. She builds an amusement park – with the help of her mother (Jennifer Garner) – called Wonderland. The ideas for the attractions are whispered into a stuffed monkey named Peanut (Norbert Leo Butz), and it all comes to life as the park exists, through the monkey’s magic light pen.

Wonderland features greeting bear Boomer (Ken Hudson Campbell), busy beavers Gus (Kenan Thompson) and Cooper (Ken Jeong), a boar named Greta (Mila Kunis) and her porcupine crush Steve (John Oliver). The park is threatened when June’s Mom becomes sick, and her heartbroken daughter’s imagination goes dark. June will have to visit the park to set things right.

“Wonder Park” opened everywhere on March 15th, in 3D/IMAX/RPX and regular screenings. See local listings for theaters, format and show times. Featuring the voices of Brianna Denski, Jennifer Garner, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Mila Kunis, John Oliver and Matthew Broderick. Written by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec. Directed by Dylan Brown. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Wonder Park”

The Cast of ‘Wonder Park’
Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Wonder Park”

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