Wonder Park Rollercoaster Models without wrecking neighbourhood
June (voiced by Brianna Denski) is a playful and energetic young girl drawn towards inventions and engineering. After hapless attempts at trying to create joyrides that she and her friends could enjoy, leading to chaos all around, her mother (Jennifer Garner) helps her create rollercoaster models for her and her friends that would work “without wrecking the neighbourhood!”
This leads the two to design a blueprint for Wonderland, a magical amusement theme park run by a group of plush-toys-turned-walking-talking animals.
We see the story taking a twist when June’s mother is diagnosed with some serious illness and she goes away for treatment, leaving behind a rather anxious and withdrawn June who disintegrates and puts away the whole amusement park model, even tearing up the blueprint of her passion project in a fit of anger. She also becomes obsessed with taking care of her father (Matthew Broderick), who encourages her to resume what she loves best, like going to math camp, which she ditches and escapes from, having misread a note from him.
It is during her journey back that she gets lost in the woods and comes across a real-life fantasy world, exactly as she had imagined Wonderland, only instead of being full of happy-faced families she finds it in a state of abandonment, with most of the structures torn down and a dark cloud called Darkness casting a gloomy shadow over it.
She then meets life-sized versions of her furry toys whom she had designated as Wonderland keepers: Boomer (Ken Hudson Campbell), a blue bear who welcomes visitors to Wonderland but keeps going into hibernation mid-sentence; Greta (Mila Kunis), a take-charge wild boar who keeps rising above confusion to try and save Wonderland; Steve (John Oliver), a porcupine and the safety officer of Wonderland; beavers Gus (Kenan Thompson) and Cooper (Ken Jeong), and Peanut (Norbert Leo Butz), the joyride creator chimpanzee and former leader of the park who has gone into hiding to escape from Darkness.
Wonderland is in shambles since the Chimpanzombies, the once-adorable-now-evil monkey dolls came to life and started creating mayhem, tearing apart the joy land. June soon realises that ever since she stopped whispering ideas to Peanut for creating more magical rides, Wonderland slipped into a state of anarchy, very much mirroring the cynicism that she was facing.
Finding courage to save her imagination’s creation, she commits her resourceful self to save the park with its inhabitants.
While most reviews about Wonder Park may not go in favour of the movie, I found this Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies creation relatable to most imaginative youngsters I have come across. The story is a lot more than just another projection of girl-power. It also highlights the pseudo-mature roles children assume when they are hurt, while giving the message of how important it is to let go of negativity to let the spirit thrive.
By Sanna Malik