‘Wonder Park’ movie review: Nickelodeon delivers a nearly-great fantasy escapade in new animated feature

The film about a theme park run by animals has shades of Pixar's Inside Out but is slightly darker in tone

Susan Ramsay |

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Wonder Park, the cheerful-looking new animated feature from Nickelodeon, is surprisingly dark, with some seriously breath-catching moments.

The film tells the story of June (Sofia Mali), a science-loving schoolgirl who, along with her mother (Jennifer Garner), creates a fantasy theme park run by animals, purely out of imagination.

But things take a tragic turn when June’s mum falls ill, and June struggles to cope with the idea of losing her. Eventually, she packs up Wonder Park, and instead spends her time running the household (and bossing her father around).

When June runs away from a school trip and into a forest, she discovers a real-life version of Wonder Park, where things have moved towards the dark side.

June must face her fears and convince the park’s staff that she is Wonder Park’s creator, and can put a stop to whatever is threatening to destroy it. The storyline enters Inside Out realms as June realises what she needs to do.

Visually, the film is almost split in two. The park and imagination scenes are brilliant, but those in between lack attention and colour.

Meanwhile, June’s friend Banksy (Dev Michael Urbas), and her dad, (Matthew Broderick) are poorly fleshed out, with not much of a role to play.

Wonder Park tries to be great, but it ends up just being quite good.

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