June Bailey and her mother created Wonderland when she was little. But then her mom got sick, and June hadn’t really thought about it since. Until one day, when she stumbles upon it because she decides to run away from math camp. It’s her job to rescue the park from the darkness her neglect caused.
It was refreshing to see a female character interested in subjects like math, and her imagination was impressive as well. Beyond that, however, this movie didn’t really have a “wow” factor. The main draw was Rachel Platten’s song “Wonder”, which comes in about halfway through the movie.
The cast was quite a mix. Jennifer Garner and Matthew Broderick played June’s mom and Dad, respectively. Jennifer Garner was back in her groove with a – slightly – happier role. Peppermint was good, but it seemed to be an outlier for Garner.
Voices for June’s friends in Wonderland include Mila Kunis, John Oliver, Keenan Thompson, and last but not least, Norbert Leo Butz, known to broadway fans as Fiyero in Wicked. Oliver and Thompson provided most, if not all, of the somewhat dry humor.
The message in the movie was complex. On the surface, yes, it’s all fine and dandy when someone can believe in themselves and not give up, but at the same time, self-esteem isn’t always so simple; sometimes darkness isn’t easily kept at bay. Who knows what would’ve happened if June hadn’t found Wonderland again.