It’s unfortunate for ‘Wonder Park’, but every other franchise or movie that it borrows ideas from, just does them a hell of a lot better.
If only ‘Wonder Park’ were as imaginative and as unique as we were all led to believe – it doesn’t light up the screen half as much as it should have done.
‘Wonder Park’ follows the story of June, who creates a magical amusement park called Wonderland, along with her mother (voiced by Jennifer Garner). Unfortunately, June’s mother develops a very serious illness, and her imagination ends up being all but evaporated. On her way to maths camp, she stumbles upon the real-world park that she had created, but soon discovers that not everything is as it should be. There is a strange and ominous storm hanging overhead – called The Darkness (not the band unfortunately) – and it’s up to June to try and get the park up and running again. She won’t be doing all the work on her own, as her furry friends who run the park are on-board to help out too.
This is where the magic lies in ‘Wonder Park’ – animals running an amusement park. Who doesn’t want to see that? Having John Oliver voice Steve the porcupine, the park’s safety officer, just shows that the movie can be imaginative in parts. If only everyone else on the voice cast got the memo, who are all not nearly as memorable (including Mila Kunis, Keenan Thompson, and Matthew Broderick).
It’s unfortunate for ‘Wonder Park’, but every other franchise or movie that it borrows ideas from, just does them a hell of a lot better. And the list of influences could be rather extensive – from ‘Madagascar’, to ‘Ice Age’, and even ‘The Jungle Book’ – any other animal-related animation movie that your child has already seen were much more enjoyable than ‘Wonder Park’ thinks that it is.
Having said that, the movie does attempt to deal with family issues, in particular a child having to deal with the news of an ill parent. While not hitting the nail on the head as good as some other family animations have done in the past, it does a decent attempt at portraying bad news to children, and showing them ways in which it might affect them.
While ‘Wonder Park’ might pass an hour and a half’s journey to the cinema, we can’t help but think that your time would be best spent going to see something else.