For a long time in the animation game there has been a small number of groups making great movies (as discussed here.) A new player though has entered the picture and is trying to make some noise. Paramount Animation has been starting to make some movies and has some exciting projects such as Sonic, and Clifford the Big Red Dog coming!
Wonder Park is the fourth film that is credited to Paramount Animation and it is probably the best one so far. The previous have felt clunky and despite its flaws Wonder Park is a very well made movie.
Wonder Park is a story about a young girl named June who is very adept at building her creation of Wonder Land. June and her Mom have a special relationship and when her Mom gets sick, June needs to find her own way to cope with it. She learns and grows meeting new friends along the way through using her imagination and determination.
There is not a ton to say other than that, so I am going to give it the ole Apple Juice Animation Grades and we will see how this shook out.
Animation – B+ This was very good work as far as the animation goes, the colors and the different areas of the park were all very appealing to look at. It just does not feel quite on the level of the big studios yet, but this was a great step.
Voice Cast – C+ There was some great voice performances in this, particularly John Oliver and the always wonderful Mila Kunis.
I just thought surrounding them were some lackluster performances, and not necessarily because of the actors. I just thought the script did not give Ken Hudson Campbell as the Bear or Ken Jeong and Keenan Thompson as the Beavers nearly enough good stuff to do.
Music – B I enjoyed the score of this movie and felt it was good and vibrant most of the time. The couple songs tossed in were fun as well, especially Wonder by Rachel Platten which really livened up the movie. I thought they could have used even more songs to make this a little more fun.
Story – D+ Really not a lot of substance here, and feels like it was hastily written. I know what message they are going for, but the lack of a villain and the quick wrap up makes this feel a lot less prestige than a lot of animated movies that come out these days. Kids will enjoy the effects but the story is nothing to get excited about.
*A couple other tidbits
- Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Garner were fun in their limited time as June’s parents.
- Some of the Wonder Land effects and buildings around her house gave me nostalgia to the Lego and K’nex days of my youth.
Overall this is an entertaining movie for the 84 minutes that it lasts, however there is not a ton of substance other than that. Kids will enjoy it, but this is less for adults than a lot of contemporary animation.
Juice Rating: 61/100
*All of my movie ratings can be found here.