Wonder Park

Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Wonder Park Movie Poster Image
Imaginative but intense adventure deals with worry and fear.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 54 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 24 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Intended to entertain rather than educate, but demonstrates importance of curiosity, imagination and supports idea of kids using STEM, solving problems, being creative.

Positive Messages

Imagination and curiosity are essential parts of life. Don't let fear stop you from being yourself. It's important to take responsibility for your decisions and try to set things right if you've made mistakes. Underlines importance of love, friendship, trust, loyalty, perseverance. Shows you can work your way through sad/hard times, big feelings and come out OK -- though strategies and tools June uses to get there aren't the kind real kids will have available. Her (very warranted) fear and worry don't really get discussed; they just eventually get figured out. One food joke at expense of a larger character.

Positive Role Models & Representations

June is extremely creative, imaginative, curious. She sometimes takes big/scary risks, which can have negative consequences (e.g., trashing her neighborhood) -- but she also learns from her mistakes, perseveres. She and her mom are a great team and have a loving, respectful relationship. The animals are a loyal team who care about the park/their home and keeping it safe. Peanut (and, by extension, June) learns that hiding from something scary isn't the best way to deal with it, that you can find inspiration and passion inside yourself. June's group of friends is diverse.

Violence & Scariness

Hordes of cute-but-evil "chimpanzombies" holding axes, swords, and more attack June and her friends many times, with murderous intent; the good guys go up against them in big battles/confrontations -- some explosions, crashes, etc. Massive rides-turned-robots wreak havoc in park; characters in peril. June trashes her neighborhood (and is in several dangerous situations, including traffic) after setting up elaborate homemade rollercoaster. June's mom has serious but unnamed illness that requires long-term treatment by a specialist; she's shown looking sick, weak. Wonderland is threatened by a giant, swirling purple storm cloud of darkness that sucks pieces of the park into it. Wonderland has some big roller coasters and thrill rides; it's exciting but intense when characters ride them. The animals sometimes fight/slap each other, mostly playfully. Steve can fire his quills at will; some impale other creatures. Arguing.

Sexy Stuff

Steve the porcupine has a crush on Greta the warthog; he makes a few comments along the lines of "I burn for you, baby." She tells him, "I think you're cute," and she kisses him once (causing his quills to "sproing"). June's friend Banky also seems to have a crush on her; he's thrilled when she says "I could kiss you!" in thanks.

Language

One use of "jeez." Also swearing substitutes like "what the chuck" and "son of a woodchuck."

Consumerism

June has a tablet that looks like an iPad. Offscreen promotional tie-ins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wonder Park is an animated adventure about an imaginative girl named June (voiced by Brianna Denski), who's spent years dreaming up a magical amusement park named Wonderland with her mom (Jennifer Garner). Their fancies become reality when June stumbles across a rundown version of the park deep in the woods and must help its animal custodians save it from destruction. As a result, she and her friends do battle against hordes of weapons-wielding "chimpanzombies" (which look cute but have murderous intentions) and try to protect the park from getting broken apart and sucked up into scary purple clouds of darkness. So you can expect plenty of action (including explosions, peril, and more), as well as the looming presence of worry and sadness, since June is dealing with the fact that her mom has a serious illness. There are a couple of flirty comments ("I burn for you, baby!") and one quick kiss; language is limited to one "oh, jeez" and a couple of swearing stand-ins like "son of a woodchuck." The film celebrates imagination, curiosity, and perseverance and underlines the importance of not letting fear stop you from being yourself and doing what you love.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byTheMissZ March 16, 2019

Doesn't reflect movie preview

This movie began with a supportive mom encouraging her child to use her imagination and create things and that really warmed my heart. But then it quickly spira... Continue reading
Parent of a 4-year-old Written byBakerh518 March 15, 2019

Nothing like the trailer

The trailer depicts a light hearted adventure to create a theme park from imagination. I expected problem solving to be the main theme. Instead, it is a movie t... Continue reading
Kid, 7 years old May 9, 2020

pretty good

Some parts where scary or sad when the mom got sick,but the rest was cooperation.
Teen, 13 years old Written byStorey07 April 25, 2020

Wonder Park

This movie began with a girl who used her imagination and create things. I thought that was sweet she used her imagination and her mom played along with her. B... Continue reading

What's the story?

In WONDER PARK, June (voiced by Brianna Denski) loves nothing better than spending time with her devoted mom (Jennifer Garner), dreaming up amazing new rides for their imaginary theme park, Wonderland. Run by talking animals and boasting attractions that defy the laws of physics, Wonderland is the most magical place a kid could think of. June, who's daring and creative, also leads a pack of neighborhood kids in trying to build real-life backyard roller coasters, sometimes with disastrous results. But nothing sets her back for long -- until her mom tells her that she has a serious illness and needs to go away to seek treatment. Scared and anxious, June retreats into herself, putting away all things related to Wonderland and obsessing about the health and safety of her dad (Matthew Broderick). Then she stumbles across an old, rundown theme park in the woods that appears to be ... Wonderland. Before she can figure out what's going on, she's caught up in the struggle to save the park from hordes of axe- and sword-wielding "chimpanzombies," which are deconstructing the park and feeding it, piece by piece, to a looming purple storm cloud that hovers in the sky above Wonderland. Can June and the Wonderland animal hosts win out against the darkness?

Is it any good?

This colorful animated adventure celebrates the power of imagination and love, but it's also darker and more intense than the trailers and ads would suggest. Whimsical details and slapstick humor abound, to be sure, but at its heart, Wonder Park is a story about a girl who's dealing with some pretty big, scary stuff. Which could be helpful for the right kids in the right circumstances, but if you go into it expecting a breezy comedy, you're likely to be taken aback.

Still, the movie's premise is original (though it's a mystery why it wasn't just called Wonderland, since that's what the park is named), and the voice cast is good. Denski is earnest and enthusiastic as June, Garner -- no surprise -- nails the role of a caring mom, and Mila Kunis and John Oliver ably lead Wonderland's crew of talking animals. Oliver, in particular, gets the movie's best laughs as uptight porcupine Steve. It's also nice to see a tween girl character with a passion for engineering and problem-solving. Just be ready for the movie's heavier aspects before you step up to the turnstiles.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Wonder Park deals with June's worry and fear about her mom. Why does she put away all of the Wonderland stuff she has at home? Have you ever felt afraid to tell others about what you were thinking/feeling? Why?

  • How does the story show the importance of curiosity and perseverance? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Have you ever tried to create anything that you first dreamed up in your imagination? How did it go? Who helped you?

  • Which parts of the movie were scary to you? Why? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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