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Imagimals is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Universal Animation Studios and Gingo Animation for Universal Pictures. The 20th animated feature in the Universal Animated Features canon, it was directed by Geo G. and Charles Zembillas from a screenplay by Darren Lemke and a story by Geo, and stars the voices of Patton Oswalt, John Goodman, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Poehler, Wayne Knight, Laurence Fishburne, Allison Janney, and Elizabeth Banks. It follows a group of imaginary creatures known as "imagimals" who try to keep their world safe from the attack of demons.
Imagimals premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 21, 2016, and was released in the United States on September 9, 2016. It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed over $1 billion worldwide, becoming the second Universal Animation Studios film to cross $1 billion after 2015's Paradoria, the fifth highest-grossing film of 2016, the thirty-third highest-grossing film of all time, and the eighth highest-grossing animated film of all time. A sequel was released on the GingoDirect streaming service on September 6, 2019.
In a Pliocene-like environment populated by abstract creatures known as "imagimals" (a portmanteau of "imaginary animals"), a baby green imagimal named Prack (Patton Oswalt) is born to the family of Sally and Frank (Maya Rudolph and Dan Fogler). As he grows up, food and water become increasingly scarce in his home village. While he and his friends set out to find some food, Prack accidentally steps on a ferocious imagimal's tail, and is carried away by the monster to a more heavenly realm called "Southland".
In Southland, Prack meets a green-spotted imagimal named Busho (John Goodman) – the leader of the Southland imagimals who tries to live in a peaceful, uninterrupted state, his adoptive son Moot (Jesse Eisenberg), and Moot's hefty assistant Sard (Wayne Knight). Prack decides to accept his new place in Southland, because its rich atmosphere and vast food and water supply make him feel more welcome than he ever could back in his poverty-striken old home. After Moot shows Prack the nature of the realm, Busho warns the others that Southland is soon to be invaded by an army of brown demons led by one of his former followers, Cazarlos (Laurence Fishburne); the gang prepare to defend Southland against the impending invasion.
Meanwhile, Prack's villagers worry about him, many of whom are convinced he was eaten by the monster. Frank and Sally encounter someone who can help them find their son: an eagle-like creature named the Great Voko (Geo G.), who reveals himself to have witnessed Prack's capture and takes Prack's friends and family along to get him back.
After Prack, Busho, and Moot are eaten and spat out by a large, fat imagimal, they are chased down by a pack of brown demons and escape successfully due to the demons' clumsiness. Lokami (Allison Janney), a bird-like imagimal, arrives and shares a story of Cazarlos' past, in which Busho banished him to the cave he currently lives in for rampaging through Southland after failing to impress the other creatures who mocked him. The next day, turmoil ensues when the Southlanders discover that the waterhole has unexpectedly dried up. As it turns out to Prack and the group, some of Cazarlos' demon henchmen have dammed up the waterfall. Cazarlos and the demons start wreaking havoc across Southland; in the chaos, the group rescues Moot from one of the demons and flees to Busho's wood-built home, which is unfortunately set on fire by the army. After the chaos, Busho places the blame on Prack for their troubles and banishes him from the tribe. A lonely Prack wanders into the wilderness and reconciles with his villagers, before they journey back to Southland (which is now overrun by the demons) and conduct a team to rid the area of the army.
The brown demons are held off by the villagers and Southlanders, while Cazarlos wounds Busho in a final confrontation. This provokes Sard into throwing Cazarlos off a cliff, leaving him to be eaten by one of the large imagimals. Prack and the others rush over to Busho and assume he is dying, but soon slowly recovers. The others help Prack and Busho remove the boulder, restoring the water; the rest of the brown demons flee. Prack's villagers claim their new home in Southland, as they peacefully engage in different activities there.
- Patton Oswalt as Prack, an adventurous green imagimal who wants to travel the world on his own.
- E.G. Daily as young Prack
- John Goodman as Busho, a wise-cracking, green-spotted imagimal with a huge red nose who is the leader of the Southland imagimals who helps Prack on his journey.
- Jesse Eisenberg as Moot, a small, blue imagimal from Southland who is Busho's adoptive son.
- Amy Poehler as Crushie, a happy-go-lucky pink female imagimal who is a good friend of Prack.
- Wayne Knight as Sard, a hefty brown imagimal who is Busho's assistant.
- Laurence Fishburne as Cazarlos, a scarred imagimal and a former member of the Southland imagimals
- Maya Rudolph as Sally, Prack's mother.
- Dan Fogler as Frank, Prack's father.
- Rob Corddry as Stevie, a tiny one-eyed slender imagimal.
- Allison Janney as Lokami, a bird-like imagimal who guides Prack.
- Elizabeth Banks as Peggy, a seductive imagimal whom Sard has a major crush on her.
- Geo G. as the Great Voko, an eagle-like creature who helps Prack's friends and family to look for him.
- Yuri Lowenthal and Bryce Papenbrook as Nimo and Jimo, teenage twin imagimals who annoy Busho.
- Jamie Marchi as Maddo, a green imagimal.
- Chris Parnell as Benny, a slug-like imagimal.
- Greg Cipes as Pete, one of Prack's friends.
- Mark Hamill as Gerald, a caterpillar-like imagimal.
- John DiMaggio as Wrestling Nate, a cricket-like muscle imagimal.
- Fred Tatasciore as Chunny.
- Maurice LaMarche as Pucky.
- Roger Craig Smith as Talaous.
- Tara Strong as Maddie.
- Stephen Stanton as Ernest.
- Michael Wildshill as Sleepy Imagimal.
- Darren Lemke as Screaming Imagimal.
- Billy West as Wammy, a mouse-like imagimal.
- Ashley Johnson as Baby Imagimal.
- Brent Spiner as Buzby, a bug-like imagimal.
- Frank Welker as creature vocal effects.
- Carlos Alazraqui
- Holly J. Barrett
- Bob Bergen
- Dave Boat
- David Cowgill
- Eddie Deezen
- Debi Derryberry
- Terri Douglas
- Eddie Frierson
- Keith Ferguson
- Jackie Gonneau
- Grey Griffin
- Jennifer Hale
- Gary Hall
- Jess Harnell
- Bridget Hoffman
- William Jennings
- Tom Kenny
- Phil LaMarr
- Audel LaRoque
- Mona Marshall
- Scott Menville
- Samuel Mokugusn
- Laraine Newman
- Paul Pape
- Jill Talley
- James Arnold Taylor
- Kari Wahlgren
- Debra Wilson
- Matthew Wood
- Lynnanne Zager
- Charles Zembillas
Geo G. had always wanted to do an animated film about creatures. Imagimals as a concept dates back to 2003 when Geo sketched the creatures during a period in which he tried to break into film. Personal issues had percolated into the story as they weighed on him in life. Originally, Imagimals was pitched as an animated series for Fox, which rejected it for being "too childish and silly." In 2007, Universal Feature Animation was pitched to develop a movie called Wild Creatures, set in a planet of creatures.
In April 2013, Universal Animation Studios announced that Geo was directing an original animated film titled Imagimals, with Michael Wildshill producing while Darren Lemke is writing the screenplay. Geo then recalled the film came from a 2010 story pitch by Lemke that has nothing to do with humans, only fantasy creatures. During the development of the film, Geo, Wildshill, and Lemke sought broader inspirations from cartoons of the 1970s, like the 1971 animated short Evolution.
In May 2015, it was revealed that American Exitus artist Charles Zembillas, who previously designed early concept art for Gingo Interactive games including the Chrysocolla series, had been added as the co-director of the film.
In August 2014, Deadline reported that Patton Oswalt was cast as Prack in the film. Oswalt at first declined to star in the movie, feeling it was too similar to his role as Remy in the Pixar film Ratatouille but the director eventually convinced him to sign through a 30-minute "visual pitch".
In September 2014, The Hollywood Reporter announced that John Goodman had been cast as the film's deuteragonist Busho. In October 2014, TheWrap reported that Jesse Eisenberg was cast as tritagonist Moot in the film. It was also announced that actress Amy Poehler was cast as Crushie, with Maya Rudolph and Dan Fogler voicing Prack's parents Sally and Frank, while Wayne Knight, Laurence Fishburne, Rob Corddry and Allison Janney were cast.
- Main article: Imagimals/Soundtrack
In August 2015, it had been confirmed that John Debney would be composing the score for the film.
Imagimals was originally scheduled to be released on July 8, 2016, but was later pushed back two months later to September 9, 2016, with The Secret Life of Pets taking its place. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 21, 2016, and was screened at VidCon. The release of the film in the United Kingdom was postponed to November 18, 2016, two days ahead of its original November 16, 2016. It was also released in IMAX theaters in the EMEA region.
The first trailer was released online at Universal Animation Studios' YouTube page on December 10, 2015, and was shown on films such as Luna & Zak. The official theatrical trailer for the film was released online at Universal Animation Studios' YouTube page on March 2, 2016 and was shown on films such as Zootopia, The Jungle Book, Ratchet & Clank, The Angry Birds Movie, and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Jazwares made a press release on July 19, 2015 that they were going to sign a contract with Universal to produce toys and action figures to promote Imagimals.
A mobile game titled Imagimals Blast was released on August 31, 2016 for iOS and Android. It is a free-to-play match-three puzzle video game featured with the characters of the film. Universal partnered with McDonald's to release six Happy Meal toy versions of the film's characters upon its release. AMC Theatres also partnered with Universal to play the movie in Mandarin at seven theatres and in Spanish at 14 locations in the U.S and Canada meaning there will be a mix of subtitled and dubbed formats of Imagimals. A tie-in comic titled Imagimals: Where Creatures Were Born was released on August 14, 2016, collecting two prelude issues.
Imagimals was released on Digital HD on December 13, 2016 and on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD on January 10, 2017. The releases also include a short film called Busho's Guide to Cool Things.
Imagimals grossed $429.9 million in the U.S. and Canada and $588.6 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $1.018 billion, against a budget of $101 million.
On September 23, 2016, the film reached the $500 million mark, becoming the first original film by Gingo Animation to do so. On October 21, it became second animated Universal film of 2016 to gross over $800 million in ticket sales with the first being The Secret Life of Pets, and on November 2, it became the first Universal release of 2016 to cross $900 million. On December 7, the film crossed the $1 billion mark, becoming the fourth film of 2016 to do so (after Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, and Finding Dory), the seventh animated film (after Toy Story 3, Frozen, Paradoria, Minions, Zootopia, and Finding Dory), and the sixth Universal film (third Universal animated film).
North America Edit
in the United States and Canada, Imagimals was released alongside Sully and pre-release tracking suggested the film would open to $60–70 million from 3,827 theaters in its opening weekend. It played in 3,100 3D theaters, 365 IMAX theaters, and 325 premium large format screens. It earned $3.9 million from Thursday previews. Buoyed by good word of mouth, it earned $22 million on its opening day, breaking the record for the biggest opening day for a solely produced Gingo film at the time. In its opening weekend, it scored a better than expected $82.5 million, which was the biggest non-Universal Animation Gingo opening (breaking BJ and Wally's record). It also performed exceptionally well in IMAX, where the film brought in $6.2 million from 366 screens, the second-best animated IMAX opening behind only Toy Story 3 ($8.4 million).
In its second weekend, it fell gradually by 21% to $65.1 million, the smallest second weekend drop for a Gingo film and one of the best holds for an animated film. It continued to top the box office for the third weekend, earning $41.6 million, falling by 36% from its previous weekend while passing the $200 million mark. This made it the second -biggest third weekend for a film that did not open at over $100 million, behind Avatar ($68 million) ahead of Zootopia ($37 million). The film topped box office once again in its fourth and fifth weekends respectively grossing $33.6 million from a 19% decline and $30.9 million from a small decline of 9%. It became the first animated film to top box office for 5 weekends. The film was finally overtaken by newcomer The Accountant in its sixth weekend, despite a small decline of 30% from its previous weekend. It spent a total of 14 consecutive weeks in the top ten.
It ended its theatrical run on February 16, 2017, after playing in theaters for a total of 161 days. It became the second-highest-grossing Gingo Animation film (behind Cool Spot), the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2016, and the eleventh-highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Outside North America Edit
Imagimals received mostly mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 46%, based on 194 reviews, with a rating average of 4.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Imagimals gives away from Gingo's most original effort for its formulaic story we already know, but the voice acting is top-notch, the animation is fluent, and the crisp slapstick adds to younger viewers." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 44 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
On October 22, 2016, Universal announced a sequel slated for March 6, 2020, with Oswalt, Goodman, and Eisenberg reprising their roles. On October 4, 2017, the release date was pushed back to May 29, 2020. Along with the release date change, it was announced that Michael Wildshill will return to produce the sequel, as well as Darren Lemke returning to write the script. Geo G. was originally directing the film, but stepped down as director in order to work more on Addie for Sony Pictures Animation. By December 2017, the release date was changed to February 21, 2020 and Jim Anderson was announced as the new director. However, on July 5, 2018, the film was taken off from Universal Animation Studios' upcoming film schedule, with Luna & Zak: Level Two taking its February 21, 2020 slot.
In February 2019, it was revealed that the film will be released on Gingo's streaming service GingoDirect on September 6, 2019 instead. Additionally, it was also announced that most of the cast from the first film will reprise their roles in the sequel, joined by Andy Serkis, Bobby Cannavale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Dakota Fanning, Noah Schnapp and Brooklynn Prince.
- Main article: Imagimals: The Series
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.
- ↑ For marketing purposes, Imagimals is excised from the list in the UK, and Gabriel Garza 3 is the 20th film instead.
|Films directed by Geo G.|
|Ghost Vision (1995) • The TeenV Movie (2003) • Zina and the Vivid Crew (2004) • BJ and Wally (2006) • FusionMania (2008) • Gabriel Garza (2011) • Gabriel Garza 2 (2014) • Imagimals (2016) • Addie (2019) • Addie 2 (2022) • Untitled Zina and the Vivid Crew sequel (2023)|