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Imagimals is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy film produced by Gingo Animation for Universal Pictures. The seventeenth feature film from Gingo Animation, 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, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Rob Corddry, Allison Janney, Dan Fogler, and Elizabeth Banks. It was also Gingo's first feature film to center on an entirely non-human cast. The film follows a group of imaginary creatures who try to keep their world safe from wicked demons.
Imagimals premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on February 16, 2017, and was released in the United States on March 3, 2017. It received generally positive reviews from critics; many of whom praised its concept, animation, script, voice cast, characters and humor, while others cited its weakness of plot. The film grossed $837 million worldwide, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film from Gingo and the tenth highest-grossing film of 2017. A sequel is scheduled to be released on February 21, 2020.
Imagimals (a portmanteau of "imaginary animals") are imaginary, fictional creatures anyone can imagine who live in a Pliocene-like world where humans do not exist. One day, two imagimal couples named Sally and Frank (Maya Rudolph and Danny McBride) raise a baby green imagimal named Prack (Patton Oswalt).
Years pass, and Prack's village almost has no food left for everybody. So Prack sets out to find some food with his friends. However, Prack accidentally lets a large imagimal roar by stepping on its tail, which causes a ferocious monstrous imagimal to chase Prack and his friends, who headed to their village. The monster carries Prack, which leads him to a beautiful, peaceful place called "Southland", where he meets a green-spotted imagimal named Busho (John Goodman) – who is the leader of the Southland imagimals that try to live in a peaceful life without any interruptions. Later, Prack is introduced by Busho to his Southland fellows, including his adoptive son Moot (Jesse Eisenberg) and his hefty assistant Sard (Wayne Knight). Prack tells the others that he is from a village with no water and food and should stay at Southland since there is food and water.
Meanwhile, Prack's villagers worry about him, and many think that he was eaten by the monster. One of Prack's friends Crushie (Amy Poehler) tells the others that they should go find him if he is okay, but they say they cannot go find him because they are tired and pretty weak. Disappointed, Crushie then thinks about Prack. Prack's mother Sally tells her that she should befriend someone who looks like Prack, even if Prack is not here, but Crushie misses him so much that she has been his friends when they were children.
Meanwhile, back at Southland, Moot takes Prack to explode the nature of Southland. However, after their experience, Busho warns the others that Southland may get invaded by a group of brown demons led by Cazarlos (Laurence Fishburne), a scarred imagimal who was formerly one of Busho's followers until he was abandoned by Busho for rampaging through Southland. Shocked, Prack tells the others that they need to make Southland safe and protected. Meanwhile, at a cave from a far away place, Cazarlos tells his gang how greatly the Southland imagimals outnumber them and worries that they will eventually rebel against them.
Later, Prack, Busho, and Moot are swallowed by a large, fat imagimal; they meet three imagimals who are also eaten by the fat imagimal. Then the fat imagimal spits out the other imagimals since the fat creature was getting sick and was having a stomach ache. Meanwhile, back at Prack's village, Frank found someone who can help the villagers to find Prack, which is an eagle-like creature named the Great Voko (Dan Fogler). Voko already knew where Prack is and he knows that the monster which waken by Prack and his friends took him to Southland. Prack's friends and family thank Voko for telling them and set out to Southland to find Prack.
Meanwhile, a small pack of brown demons chase Prack, Busho, and Moot and want to eat them, but the trio successfully made it safely due to the brown demons' clumsiness. Lokami (Allison Janney), a bird-like imagimal, sees Prack, who remembered her being his guide in his village. When Busho tells her about Cazarlos, Lokami eventually recognizes Cazarlos and tells a story of Cazarlos, who rampaged through Southland for being betrayed by other Southland imagimals who were making fun of Cazarlos; after Busho abandoned him, Cazarlos became the leader of the brown demons living in a cave from far away and returned revenge on the rest of the Southland imagimals.
The next day, the Southland imagimals panic when the watering hole dries up. Determined to redeem themselves, Prack, Busho and Moot leave the reserve to investigate upriver. The trio discover that the stranded brown demons have dammed up the river, so that the Southland imagimals will die in starvation. Meanwhile, Prack's villagers search for Prack through Southland, hoping they can find him.
Later, Cazarlos and his gang begin wreaking havoc in Southland; in the chaos, Moot is carried off by one of the brown demons but was rescued by Busho and Sard. Prack, Busho, and Moot flee Southland and hide to Busho's safe place made with woods and sticks. However, they are attacked by Cazarlos, who started a fire on the safe place. After the chaos, Busho claims it was none of his concern, never asked for any of the trials and tribulations he was put through, blames Prack for their troubles after Prack tries to cheer him up (Busho even claiming that if it wasn't for him, none of this would have ever happened) sends a heartbroken Prack away.
Prack's villagers eventually found Prack alone almost far away from Southland. His parents Sally and Frank tell Prack that they were so worried about him and he was okay. Prack tells them that he tried to save Southland by keeping out the brown demons but Busho blames him for failing their attempt at saving the land and wanted to make Busho happier if he let the brown demons away. Later, Prack goes back to Southland (which is now taken over by Cazarlos and his minions) to apologize to Busho and the others and manages to convince them to team up with Prack's villagers to make a plan of fighting Cazarlos and his minions.
The brown demons are held off by Prack, Busho, Moot, Sard, Sally, Frank, Crushie, the rest of Busho's tribe and Prack's villagers, distracting Cazarlos. The plan works in holding off Cazarlos's minions, but Cazarlos then returns for a final confrontation and wounds Busho in the process, which enrages Sard and leads him to carry Cazarlos and throw him off a cliff, where he was eaten by one of the large imagimals. Then the others help Prack and Busho destroy the dam, restoring the water; the rest of the brown demons flee. Prack and the others rush over to Busho's body, thinking if he is dead but they soon find that Busho survived.
With Cazarlos and his minions gone and Prack's villagers now having a new home in Southland, Prack celebrates with his friends and family including Busho, Moot, Sard, Sally, Frank, Crushie, the rest of Busho's tribe and Prack's villagers as they peacefully engage in different activities around Southland.
In a post-credits scene, the fat imagimal is seen sleeping, until he spits out a bird-like imagimal with wings. The fat imagimal then eats it and goes back to sleep.
- 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 who rampaged through Southland for being betrayed by other Southland imagimals who were making fun of Cazarlos. After Busho abandoned him, Cazarlos became the leader of the brown demons living in a cave from far away and returned revenge on Busho, Moot and the rest of the Southland imagimals.
- Maya Rudolph as Sally, Prack's mother.
- Danny McBride 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.
- Dan Fogler as the Great Voko, an eagle-like creature who helps Prack's friends and family to look for him.
- Elizabeth Banks as Peggy, a seductive imagimal whom Sard has a major crush on her.
- 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.
- Fred Tatasciore as Chunny.
- Maurice LaMarche as Pucky.
- Roger Craig Smith as Talaous.
- Tara Strong as Maddie.
- Geo G. as Insane Imagimal.
- Michael Wildshill as Sleepy Imagimal
- Samuel Mokugusn as Bully Imagimal #1
- William Jennings as Bully Imagimal #2
- Rob Carpenter as Bully Imagimal #3
- Frank Welker as Creature Vocal Effects.
- Dee Bradley Baker as Creature Vocal Effects.
- Carlos Alazraqui
- Lori Alan
- Michael Wildshill
- Bob Bergen
- Gary Hall
- Gregg Berger
- Vanessa Peskamn
- Jim Cummings
- John Cygan
- Charles Zembillas
- Brian T. Delaney
- Samuel Mokugusn
- Brandon Minez
- Bill Farmer
- Keith Ferguson
- Andy Fischer-Price
- Henri Dosclz
- Teresa Ganzel
- Jess Harnell
- John Kassir
- Dawnn Lewis
- Sherry Lynn
- Audel LaRoque
- Danny Mann
- Mona Marshall
- Geo G.
- Laraine Newman
- William Jennings
- Daniel Ross
- Jan Rabson
- Tara Strong
- Steve Samono
- Fred Tatasciore
- Craig Kellman
- Lauren Tom
- Kari Wahlgren
- James Kevin Ward
- Rob Carpenter
Gingo CEO and chairman 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. In 2007, Gingo was pitched to develop a movie called Wild Creatures, set in a planet of creatures.
In January 2014, Universal Pictures and Gingo announced Geo was directing an original animated film humorously titled Project C.O.F. (which stands for "completely original film"), 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. Production began in October 2014 after production commenced on Gabriel Garza 3. In May 2015, it was revealed that Charles Zembillas, who previously designed early concept art for games such as Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, and Spyro the Dragon, had been added as the co-director of the film.
The film was originally developed under the title of Imaginary Animals. By October 2015, it was later retitled Imagimals. According to Geo, he explained, "The title wasn't working right. They were never referred as 'animals' in the movie. So we fixed the title by mixing 'imaginary' and 'animals' to make it look better. The characters are also all creatures, known as imagimals."
In August 2015, 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 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that John Goodman had been cast as the film's deuteragonist Busho. In October 2015, 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 Danny McBride voicing Prack's parents Sally and Frank, while Wayne Knight, Laurence Fishburne, Rob Corddry and Allison Janney were cast. Dan Fogler later joined the film's cast in November 2015; his character's name was revealed to be the Great Voko.
- Main article: Imagimals/Soundtrack
In August 2016, it had been confirmed that John Debney would be composing the score for the film.
During the development of the film, Geo, Wildshill, and Lemke sought broader inspirations from cartoons of the 1970s, like the 1971 animated short Evolution.
Imagimals premiered at the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival on February 16, 2017, and was screened at VidCon. The release of the film in the United Kingdom was postponed to February 15, 2017, two days ahead of its original February 17 date. The film received a wide release in the United States on March 3, 2017 and in Australia on April 21, 2017. It was released in Japan on May 15, 2017 under the title Monster Planet (モンスタープラネット, Monsutāpuranetto). It was also released in IMAX theaters in the EMEA region.
The first trailer was released online at Gingo Animation's YouTube page on June 9, 2016, and was shown on films such as Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets, and on Blu-ray and DVD prints of DCL: Desktop Component League. The official theatrical trailer for the film was released online at Gingo's YouTube page on November 2, 2016 and was shown on films such as Trolls, Moana, Sing, and The Wiggles. Jazwares made a press release on July 19, 2016 that they were going to sign a contract with Universal and Gingo to produce toys and action figures to promote Imagimals, alongside Gingo's other 2017 film Gabriel Garza 3.
A mobile game titled Imagimals Blast was released on February 28, 2017 for iOS and Android. It is a free-to-play match-three puzzle video game featured with the characters of the film. Universal and Gingo 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 and Gingo 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 February 19, 2017, collecting two prelude issues.
Merchandise was also produced for the film, including General Mills, Funko, as well as Universal and Gingo's parent company NBCUniversal/Comcast. On February 24, 2017, Imagimals: Virtual Reality Experience was released on the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive for free, produced by Universal Pictures VR and developed by Gingo VR, Gingo's first VR development. The virtual reality experience allows users to experience the world of the imagimals. Imagimals: Virtual Reality Experience was available at select Cinemark Theatres in the United States and at the CineEurope trade show in Barcelona.
Imagimals was released on Digital HD on May 23, 2017 and on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra HD Blu-ray, and DVD on June 6, 2017. In addition to Zip, the releases also include a short film called Busho's Guide to Cool Things.
Imagimals received mostly positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 78%, based on 194 reviews, with a rating average of 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The story is familiar, but Imagimals makes a welcome introductory to the Gingo formula with its arresting animation — with loads of light-hearted slapstick and interesting characters." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
|45th Annie Awards||Best Animated Feature||Michael Wildshill||Pending|
|Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Alexander Bates, William Jennings, Bob Cokinn and Chris Abazzi|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Craig Kellman and Peter de Sève|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||John Debney|
|ACE Eddie Awards||Best Edited Animated Feature Film||Samuel Mokugusn|
|Art Directors Guild||Production Design in an Animated Feature||Yarrow Cheney|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated||Vince Caro, Randy Thom, Greg Hayes, Al Nelson, Shannon Mills, David E. Fluhr, Shawn Murphy and Scott Curtis|
|Central Ohio Film Critics Association||Best Animated Film||Imagimals||Nominated|
|23rd Critics' Choice Awards||Best Animated Film||Geo G. and Charles Zembillas|
|Golden Trailer Awards 2017||Best Animation/Family||Imagimals|
|Best Animation/Family Poster|
|Houston Film Critics Society Awards 2017||Best Animated Film|
|Producers Guild of America Award||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture||Michael Wildshill||Pending|
|Nickelodeon Mexico Kids' Choice Awards 2017||Favorite Movie||Imagimals||Won|
|Nickelodeon Argentina Kids' Choice Awards 2017||Favorite Movie|
|Nickelodeon Colombia Kids' Choice Awards 2017||Favorite Movie||Nominated|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards||Best Animated Film|
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||Best Animated Feature||Geo G. and Charles Zembillas|
|16th Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature||Pending|
|Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature||Craig Kellman, John France, Mary Savage, Pete Moss, Thomas Paul Thesen for "Busho"|
|Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project||John Tochsi, Michael Defeo, Colin Webb, Anna Lee, James Bancroft for "Southland Tree"|
|Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature||Orren Sulzberger, Matt Beckson, Rick Greene, Marvin M. Roberts|
|Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Animated Feature||Geo G. and Charles Zembillas||Nominated|
On April 5, 2017, Universal and Gingo 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 new release date, it was announced that Geo G. would be returning to direct and Michael Wildshill will return to produce the sequel, as well as Darren Lemke returning to write the script. By February 13, 2018, on Gingo's 30th anniversary, the release date was changed to February 21, 2020.
An Imagimals television series premiered on February 17, 2018 on Universal Kids.
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.