Film: Wonder Park
Cast: (Voiced by) Brianna Denski, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, Ken Jeong, Matthew Broderick, Ken Hudson Campbell, John Oliver, Kenan Thompson
Director: David Feiss
Rating: * * *
Haven’t we read Indian folk tales where the imagined comes to life and a character becomes part of the narrative he is listening to/or watching? This animated adventure reminded me of those enchanting stories of magic and the fantastical. The toon isn’t as memorable as some others but what makes it a worthwhile viewing experience for the young is its message of overcoming adversity and problems like fear and anxiety, which beset young and creative people in particular. Only think of the poor kids who go suicidal over poor marks!
Wonder Park’s palette is lovely; its inhabitants are drawn well, while the story unspools in the titular setting where the imagination of a girl named June (Brianna Denski) comes alive. Her parents (sick mom, clumsy dad) are voiced by big names (Garner, Broderick) but Denski holds her own as a girl who strives to be heroic – saving the park with help from her animal friends – from extinction. We are all little Picassos – only see how a child loves to draw – and then we grow up and give up. Wonder Park’s message of the power of creativity and perseverance is very good for the young wallowing in the slough of despond.