Source Article: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/apr/12/wonder-park-review
Familiar tropes are reheated in this diverting kids’ film whose occasional charm belies a troubled production
This middling half-term time-killer arrives trailing an unusually troubled production history. It may be destined to crop up in film quizzes as the first major studio release to bear no directorial credit whatsoever, the result of Pixar alumnus Dylan Brown being fired from the project after allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Brown disputed the allegations. (The closing credits don’t even reach for a token Alan Smithee, the pseudonym traditionally deployed when a film-maker has chosen to disavow final cut.) An anonymous committee of animation pros was subsequently assembled to complete a salvage job that we can, with some generosity, describe as semi-successful. You and your children will have sat through many worse films that took far easier routes to the screen – which is not to say that Wonder Park is not immediately forgettable.
One key issue is familiarity. The film takes two elements that have always tested well among the under-tens – talking animals and theme parks – and snapped them like Duplo blocks into a framework that recalls the split-level reality of Inside Out. Our heroine June (voiced first by Sofia Mali, then Brianna Denski) is a spirited suburban preteen who spends her waking hours designing small-scale log flumes and loop-the-loops for her collection of plush toys. Her faith in play is first tested when her mother is hospitalised with an unnamed condition – trigger warnings may be necessary for families who’ve undergone similar experiences – then reaffirmed when she ventures off the beaten track on the way to maths camp and discovers the Disneyland of her daydreams has become a reality.