Wonder Park Review: The only real wonder was how this made it to theaters
Nickelodeon’s new animated film, Wonder Park, has no substance and moves about as fast as rollercoaster and is about as flat as lazy river.
The film follows June (Brianna Denski), a young girl who crafts an imaginary amusement park with her mother (Jennifer Garner) that embodies her bright and imaginative personality. However, June’s bright personality dims once her mom becomes sick and it leads to June the park plans and models down to forget all about it. June eventually finds out, though, that the park is real, and she must rediscover her joy for the park before a mysterious darkness consumes the park.
For a film about imagination and a theme park, Wonder Park has absolutely no depth to it whatsoever and tells a predictable and surface-level story that’s just plain annoying. None of the relationships that June has come off as special, except maybe the one with her mom, and it’s tough to say what audience would be impressed by the film’s story. It’s not deep enough or engaging for any parents to really enjoy and even for younger children the film’s humor and characters are incredibly annoying and unimpressionable.
The film doesn’t understand how to make June and other kids seem mature and instead makes them seem like adults. It’s strange to watch and when thinking about certain jokes they make, it’s tough to think that young children would even crack a smile rather than just being confused. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure things like June understanding her father’s finances, cleaning the house, and her going to math camp aren’t really things that kids will find funny.
Although, what they’ll find even less funny is the groan-worthy puns that film seems to stuff into the crummy dialogue every chance it gets. Honestly, each line made me feel bad for acting talent like Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, and John Oliver and every joke made me cringe and groan in disgust just thinking about them having to say such mediocre jokes. Not to mention, these puns basically just become June’s animal friends’ personalities, so they have no chance at actually having anything to make them special.
The animation is fine and even visually appealing at times, but the film never fully utilizes its concept enough because of it’s short run-time. The 80-minute runtime leaves little to no time for viewers to feel like they understand the park and it’s only shown in small doses. The film doesn’t even have a unique color palette and while the animation looks nice, there’re no moments where the its memorably exciting or used in an interesting way.
If you’re wondering whether Wonder Park is worth the price of a movie ticket, it’s not. There’s such little substance to it that its nowhere near worthy of a theater trip for any age. It feels like more of a TV movie than something that belongs on the big screen.