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April 1, 2019

Wonder Park (2019) --- "Go On The Ride."

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
    June (Sofia Mali / Brianna Denski) is an optimistic, creative,  and wildly imaginative girl who invents an imaginary amusement park called Wonderland with her mother (Jennifer Garner). However, when her mother gets sick from a mysterious illness, June feels scared and alone causing her to put away her toys and abandon Wonderland. After running away from summer camp to get back home, June stumbles across an amusement park hidden in the woods and soon discovers that its the Wonderland from her imagination. But now the park is in shambles and under attack from the darkness and its army of chimpan-zombies, so it's up to June and her old pals to save the park and bring back the wonder in Wonderland. Written by Josh Appelbaum (G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant) and AndrĂ© Nemec (G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant), Wonder Park (2019) is a touching film that goes on a magical adventure filled with humor action, and a message about the power of love and imagination.

    The story is creative with a pretty good premise and great potential. Similarly to Up, Wonder Park contains a surprisingly deep message the reminds us about the importance of imagination and wonder. A child’s imagination contains unlimited potential and that potential gets unleashed in a way that is certain to bring you back into the world of pure imagination. The only issue that I have with the story is the multitude of tones and their pacing. The first part of the film goes back and forth between being whimsical and funny to being dramatic and a little forbidding. Once we get to the park the pacing seems to flow more naturally but the story makes up for it by following a number of rushed subplots.
    The visuals were fun and colorful, and while humor was not laugh-out-loud or side-splitting it fit in great with the film’s tone and pacing. I should also mention that the film overall is quite short, coming to a running time of 1hr and 25 minutes. Of course, this shouldn’t be too surprising considering that Nickelodeon (one of the production company) plans to turn this into a TV series as it did with Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius and Big Hero 6.
    The characters are typical but likable. The strongest point in the film is the relationship between June and her mom because the film explores their relationship and the strong memories that they have together. This relationship depth is the main reason why June’s character arc and her dealing with the uncertainties surrounding her mom is one of the film’s best moments. I should also note that this is a pretty short film at only 1hr & 25min. The rest of the characters were good and voiced by fitting actors - Ken Hudson Campbell, Kenan Thompson, Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, and Matthew Broderick.
Overall, Wonder Park (2019) is an entertaining and colorful film that highlights the importance of living life to the fullest, and maintaining your imagination and wonder even when darkness tries to creep in. There are a few issues with this film but this doesn’t mean that Wonder Park is a mess. Simply put there are some issues that could have been better handled or approached than they were. As it stands, Wonder Park is a fun and colorful film with a great message, despite following multiple sub-plots at one time and following a different tone from scene to scene. This is a film that the whole family will enjoy, I know I did.

Final Vote --- 6 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Big Hero 6 (2014)
Escape from Planet Earth (2013)
Home (2015)
Inside Out (2015)
Mars Needs Moms (2011)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Monsters University (2013
Robots (2005)
Toy Story (1995)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 4 (2019)
Ugly Dolls (2019)
Up (2009)
WALL-E (2008)
Wreck-It Ralph (2012)
Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

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