- This article is about the original 2004 film. For the franchise, see Computeropolis (franchise). For the main setting of the film, see Computeropolis (location).
Computeropolis is a 2004 American computer-animated science fiction buddy action-comedy film produced by Gingo Animation for Universal Pictures. It was directed by Audel LaRoque and David Silverman from a screenplay by Michael Wildshill and a story by LaRoque and Wildshill, and was the third feature film from Gingo Animation. It was also the studio's first fully computer-animated film, as well as the first computer-animated feature film released by Universal Pictures, and stars the voices of Jesse McCartney, David Spade, Kelsey Grammer, Dan Fogler, David Hyde Pierce, Jodi Benson, Jon Lovitz (in a dual role), Jennifer Tilly, William Shatner, and Harland Williams. The film follows a young computer wiz named Peri Dazz, who attempts to publish his own game named Frenzy to the internet and suddenly stumbles upon an eponymous online universe deep inside the realms of his computer. He joins Nicky Kickzoo, a scavenger hunter and the protagonist of the Frenzy game, on a risky mission to eliminate King Trojan, a virus capable of corrupting the entirety of the global system.
Computeropolis was animated in-house at Gingo's main headquarters in North Hollywood, California, and was originally envisioned by Wildshill in 1997 while working on Gingo's first film Paint World (1999). He began developing the film in 1999 and wrote the original screenplay with LaRoque to pitch to Universal. The film, which took approximately five years to develop, began animation in March 2002, and production was wrapped up in December 2003. John Debney and Heitor Pereira composed the film's score. Computeropolis is also Gingo's final independently-produced motion picture before its purchase by Universal in September 2004.
Computeropolis held its world premiere on June 27, 2004 at the Fox Village Theater, and was released in the United States on July 2, 2004 by Universal Pictures. It received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its animation, concept, storyline, voice acting, and humor. The film grossed $687 million on its $85 million budget at the worldwide box office, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2004. The film's success helped spawn an expanded franchise, with two sequels – 2007's Computeropolis 2 and 2010's Computeropolis 3 – as well as a television series and a spin-off titled DCL: Desktop Component League (2016). A fourth film titled Computeropolis: The Deep Web is scheduled to be released on July 31, 2018.
Percy Anthony "Peri" Dazz is a 14-year-old computer designer living an ordinary life with his parents Heather and Earl Dazz. After graduating from high school, Peri's parents leave town for the weekend, leaving him alone in the house. For a while, Peri is bored until he comes up with an idea for his own computer game called Frenzy.
Once he finishes, Peri transfers the game file into an executive file and opens up GameGenius.com to upload it. However, when he opens up the internet, he discovers a popup ad of a website called "Computeropolis.com" with a download link on the website. When he clicks on the link, the computer has a blinding white flash that begins to suck up random things in the room. Peri tries to escape, but fails and gets sucked in. There, Peri discovers an online city deep inside the realms of his computer. However, he is caught by two internet officers Paul and Frank, who take him to a lab where Peri gets increased by a PC Chip, which allows Peri to use the desktop menu via his point of view. After he was finished getting tested at the lab by using a mouse cursor, Peri meets Nicky Kickzoo, an enterprising scavenger hunter who was the video game character Peri created for his Frenzy game. Nicky initially despises Peri, who wanted to get back home, but ends up taking him along.
The duo arrive at the Desktop Component League (DCL), a organization department company headed by CEO Manager Marc to fund his research; their duties as upholders of the law range from capturing viruses to save the city of Computeropolis. There, Marc orders Peri and Nicky to capture King Trojan, a virus capable of corrupting the entirety of the global system. During their mission, Peri and Nicky meet Travis, a fat, video game-obsessed kid who knows Peri from GameGenuis.com and joins the heroes to stop Trojan. However, they are captured by Trojan and his oafish minion Milo and transports them to Trojan's Lair.
There, they saw how the viruses were created. Then Peri, Nicky and Travis managed to escape, while Trojan's minions chase them. The heroes succeeded, but Peri then forgot to upload his game Frenzy to GameGenuis.com, as he already has an executive file of the game on his computer. Nicky convinces him to visit the GameGenuis site, confident Peri's game will get popular once it is published to the site. When they arrived at the site, a GameGenuis user learned that the Frenzy game will not be published due to negligent issues on GameGenuis.com. Peri accuses Nicky of attempting to lie without telling him about the issue. Then the rest of the DCL arrived, with Marc asking Peri and Nicky if they caught Trojan and they didn't, as Trojan is still here and tells them that he is going to wipe out the entire city by using viruses.
Outraged, Marc then accuses Peri and Nicky of lying to him about capturing Trojan. Nicky admits he thought that if Peri spent time with him, he would befriend him. Peri leaves to find his home so his parents will be home in no time by the end of the weekend. Then Clippit, an intelligent user interface for Microsoft Office, appears and Peri asks him which way is his house. Then Clippit takes Peri to a portal which leads him back home.
Back home, Peri happens upon the screen saying that his game Frenzy is successfully published to GameGenuis.com. Meanwhile, the DCL offers to reinstate Nicky, but he refuses, instead confessing to Clippit that he cheated, just as he is alerted to Peri's break-in. Realizing what happened, Nicky defies Clippit and enters the same portal. Nicky finds Peri sitting outside of his house and tells him that Trojan is going to destroy Computeropolis by using a capable of viruses. Shocked, the duo rush back to the computer in Peri's room and Peri opens up the Computeropolis file that Peri downloaded before; the heroes then get sucked into the computer and leads them to Computeropolis.
Peri, Nicky, Travis, and the rest of the DCL fight Trojan and his minions (including Milo). Trojan returns for a final confrontation to kill the boy. However, the DCL manages to download an antivirus program for Peri's computer, causing Trojan and his virus minions to disintegrate into digital pixel dust. The citizens of Computeropolis cheered for Peri, Nicky, and the DCL for wiping out Trojan, but Peri realizes that it's the end of the weekend so he had to get back home when his parents get home. Peri uses the portal that leads him back home. Back home again, his parents Heather and Earl return home and Peri explains to them what happened. They at first did not believe Peri due to his "imagination during his childhood", but Peri is not making this up, and then, they finally believe him.
Sometime later, Peri returns to Computeropolis to spend time with Nicky and the rest of the DCL. The film ends with Peri and the gang celebrating their victory.
Voice cast Edit
- Main article: List of Computeropolis characters
- Jesse McCartney as Percy Anthony "Peri" Dazz, a 14-year-old computer game designer. As "Peri" is actually a feminine name, LaRoque originally wanted to change his name to "Perry", but he decided to "get it over with". In the UK dub of the film, Peri was renamed as "Perry" to avoid any references to a colloquial term in the United Kingdom for a peripatetic teacher. Peri is also renamed "Perry" in the Japanese dub as well.
- David Spade as Nicky Kickzoo, a street-wise scavenger hunter and a character Peri created for his Frenzy game
- Kelsey Grammer as King Trojan, an evil virus who plans to destroy the entire internet and Peri's computer
- Dan Fogler as Travis, a clumsy, happy, hyperactive, happy-go-lucky, and overweight user from GameGenius.com who is one of Peri's friends
- David Hyde Pierce as Manager Marc, the leader and founding member of the Desktop Component League (DCL)
- Jodi Benson as Commander Cindy, a DCL member who has a command-line interface laptop that interacts with her.
- Jon Lovitz as Notepad Ned, a DCL member obsessed with writing on a notepad.
- Lovitz also voices Paul, one of the two internet officers who try to arrest Peri.
- Jennifer Tilly as Painting Paula, a DCL member and a talented painter.
- William Shatner as Frank, one of the two internet officers who try to arrest Peri.
- Harland Williams as Milo, King Trojan's oafish henchman.
- Audel LaRoque as Media Player Mike, a blind, purple-haired DCL member who does not speak but only makes music and sound effects. LaRoque provided vocal sounds for the character, though uncredited. The character's appearance sparked confusion among some viewers who thought the character was a female.
- Kari Wahlgren as Carol, a voice inside Peri's computer via Computeropolis. Initially, LaRoque wanted Sigourney Weaver for the voice of Carol. Weaver was approached about voicing the character. However, in 2002, before production on the animation began, Weaver left the film due to being busy on other projects. Instead, she was replaced by Kari Wahlgren.
- Michael Wildshill as Clippit, an intelligent user interface for Microsoft Office who annoys Peri and Nicky.
- Tress MacNeille as Heather Dazz, Peri's mother.
- Jeff Bennett as Earl Dazz, Peri's father.
- Chris Edgerly as Bill.
- Corey Burton as Sam.
Additional voices Edit
- Jack Angel
- Laraine Newman
- Danny Mann
- Elisa Gabrielli
- Bill Farmer
- Brandon Minez
- David Silverman
- Rob Paulsen
- Tom F. Warner
- Billy West
- Sherry Lynn
- Rodger Bumpass
- Mona Marshall
- Jan Rabson
Michael Wildshill came up with the concept for Computeropolis in 1997 during the production of Paint World. He envisioned a story where the main character gets sucked into a computer that leads them to a metropolitan city made of software and technology. Wildshill's original inspiration was from a dream he had of himself finding a Windows 95 computer that "sucked him into the computer world". Wildshill also took inspiration from the 1982 Disney film Tron, where the main character gets transported inside the world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with programs in his attempt to escape.
Wildshill began work on the film with Audel LaRoque in 1999, shortly after the release of Paint World. By early 2000, Wildshill had drafted a treatment with LaRoque that bore some resemblance to the final film. Audel LaRoque pitched the story to Universal Studios with some initial artwork in January that year. He and his story team left with some suggestions in hand and returned to pitch a refined version of the story in March. Although the film was solely directed by LaRoque, Wildshill created the characters and story, which were given to LaRoque. The film was originally developed under the title of Frenzy, but was changed in order to distance it from the 1982 video game with the same name. In addition to Frenzy, other titles that had also been considered included Cybertropolis, Computerville, and Cyber City, among others.
In May 2000, following the success of Paint World, Gingo Animation announced that LaRoque was working on a then-untitled project that would become Computeropolis. In June 2001, Gingo revealed the film's title to be Computeropolis, then planned for a 2003 release. In addition, it would be animated with computer-animation, rather than traditional hand-drawn animation that had been done with Gingo's previous two films Paint World and The Gabriel Garza Movie.
In March 2002, production of the film officially began, and David Silverman was brought in to co-direct the film with LaRoque. Daniel and Kevin Hageman worked as creative consultants on the film. The film was later completed by December 2003. The film was produced concurrently with Project Zero, another animated film set partially inside a computer, which was released four years before Computeropolis. Gingo Animation's CEO Geo G., defended the film, saying that "any similarities are mere coincidence. We've been open with the TjsWorld2011 people so we don't step on each other's toes."
During the time, Gingo was looking for a younger actor for the voice role of Percy Anthony "Peri" Dazz. Justin Long was considered for Peri. He screen tested for the role and was interested, but when Audel LaRoque was unable to make contact with him, he took it as a "no". In addition to Long, Zach Braff, who subsequently accepted the role of BJ Wilson in another Gingo film, BJ and Wally, was also considered for the role of Peri, alongside Elijah Wood, who subsequently accepted the role of Roge Garza in yet another Gingo production Gabriel Garza (Wood also subsequently accepted the role of Hiro in Gingo's Big Hero 6 before that movie was cancelled). LaRoque took the role to Jesse McCartney, who was appearing in the daytime drama All My Children, and he accepted.
For the role of Nicky Kickzoo, Nicolas Cage, Michael Keaton, Bobby Campo and James Franco were considered, but David Spade won the role for his natural comedy. In January 2003, it was announced McCartney and Spade were cast, along with other cast members including Kelsey Grammer, Dan Fogler, David Hyde Pierce, Jodi Benson, Jon Lovitz, Jennifer Tilly, William Shatner, and Harland Williams.
- Main article: Computeropolis/Soundtrack
The film's original score was composed by John Debney and Heitor Pereira. It marks the first Gingo film to be scored by two composers; Debney and Pereira had previously worked on the score of 2001's Spy Kids. The soundtrack album was released on June 23, 2004 by Varèse Sarabande.
- Main article: Computeropolis/Release dates
Computeropolis opened in theaters on July 2, 2004, and was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for "action violence and some rude humor". According to LaRoque, he wanted the film, along with some other Gingo films, to be more targeted towards viewers of ages 8-10+, similar to animated comedy series such as The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-Head but without violence, sexual or drug-related. In the United Kingdom it received a PG rating by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) for "mild language, slapstick and comic violence." (added on the post-2005 re-issues). In Australia, the film was rated PG by the Australian Classification Board (ACB).
Upon its release, Burger King had a promotional tie-in with seven toys including Peri Dazz, Nicky Kickzoo, King Trojan, Milo, Travis, Notepad Ned, and Media Player Mike with a paid Kids' Meal order. Baskin-Robbins promoted the film for its new Peri & Nicky's Loaded Computeropolis ice cream that consists of crushed Hershey's chocolate, hot fudge, crushed chocolate cookies, whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
- The film's first teaser trailer was released in March 2003, and was later shown in theaters with other films such as Piglet's Big Movie, X2, Finding Nemo, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Daddy Day Care, and Rugrats Go Wild.
- Another teaser trailer was released in October 2003, and was later released with Good Boy!, Tony Tom-Tom's Delivery Service, Brother Bear, Elf, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Cat in the Hat, The Haunted Mansion, Cheaper by the Dozen, Peter Pan, and Teacher's Pet.
- The first theatrical trailer was released in March 2004 and was shown with Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Clifford's Really Big Movie, and Home on the Range.
- The second theatrical trailer was released in May 2004 and was later shown before Shrek 2, Garfield: The Movie, Spider-Man 2, Around the World in 80 Days, Steamin' Hot, and My Treehouse.
- There were a few television spots for the film; the first one was released in May 2004, the second one was released in June 2004, and the third one was released in July 2004.
Video game Edit
- Main article: Computeropolis (video game)
A video game based on the film was released on June 26, 2004 on PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, PC, and Macintosh, as well as on mobile phones.
Home media Edit
Universal Studios Home Entertainment first released Computeropolis on DVD and VHS on December 14, 2004. This release also includes a short film called Print 3D Errors. The film was also released on Game Boy Advance Video in October 2005 and on UMD for the Sony PSP. It was released on Blu-ray in North America on May 3, 2011, and on Blu-ray 3D on February 10, 2015.
Box office Edit
Computeropolis opened on July 2, 2004 in the United States and Canada. It got to earn $185,729,840 during its opening weekend, placing first in its box office during that weekend and setting new records such as earning the highest-opening weekend for a non-sequel animated feature (the record was broken four months later by The Incredibles, with $70,467,623), and the highest opening for a non-Disney/Pixar film. The film also earned the highest-grossing domestic debut for Gingo Animation (later overtaken by its sequel in 2007). By the end of its theatrical run, Computeropolis grossed a total of $697,164,299 worldwide, making it 2004's highest-grossing Universal Pictures film and the year’s fourth highest-grossing film. It is also the second highest-grossing 2004 animated film behind Shrek 2 ($919.8 million).
Critical reception Edit
Computeropolis received largely positive reviews from critics upon release. On the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 89% based on 169 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Having colorful animation, brilliant humor and action-packed scenes enough to compete with the likes of Pixar, Computeropolis perfectly lives up to be a hit for Gingo Animation on its own." On Metacritic, it received a score of 91 out of 100, based on 73 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
- Main article: Computeropolis (franchise)
Computeropolis was followed by two sequels: Computeropolis 2 (2007) and Computeropolis 3 (2010). While the first sequel received similar acclaim from critics, the third film, however, got some mixed reviews but was still a box office hit. A fourth installment, titled Computeropolis: The Deep Web (originally titled Computeropolis: Deep of the Web), is scheduled for release on July 31, 2018.
Television series Edit
- Main article: Computeropolis: Adventures of Peri and Nicky
Holiday special Edit
- Main article: Computeropolis Xmas
- Main article: DCL: Desktop Component League
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.