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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 feature film from Universal 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, Allison Janney, and Elizabeth Banks. It was also Universal Animation'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 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 generally positive reviews from critics, with many praising its animation, script, voice cast, characters, and humor, while others cited its weakness of plot. The film 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 scheduled to be released on February 21, 2020 but it was removed from its schedule with Luna & Zak: Level Two taking its place.
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 Dan Fogler) 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 (Geo G.). 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, and 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. Prack and the others rush over to Busho, thinking if he is dead but they soon find that Busho survived. Then the others help Prack and Busho destroy the dam, restoring the water; the rest of the brown demons flee.
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
- 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.
- Fred Tatasciore as Chunny.
- Maurice LaMarche as Pucky.
- Roger Craig Smith as Talaous.
- Tara Strong as Maddie.
- Harland Williams as Ernest.
- Michael Wildshill as Sleepy Imagimal.
- Darren Lemke as Screaming Imagimal.
- Ashley Johnson as Baby Imagimal.
- Frank Welker as Creature Vocal Effects.
- Dee Bradley Baker as Creature Vocal Effects.
- Carlos Alazraqui
- Bob Bergen
- Dave Boat
- David Cowgill
- Jim Cummings
- EG Daily
- Eddie Deezen
- Debi Derryberry
- John DiMaggio
- 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 was pitched to develop a movie called Wild Creatures, set in a planet of creatures.
In April 2013, Universal Animation Studios announced 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 August 24, 2016, two days ahead of its original August 26, 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 $429,927,374 in North America and $588,604,419 in other territories for a worldwide total of $1,018,531,793; its worldwide opening weekend totaled $309.9 million which makes it the second most profitable film of 2016.
Worldwide it is the eighth highest-grossing animated film of all-time, the thirty-third highest grossing film of all-time, and the second highest-grossing film by Universal Animation Studios.
North America Edit
Outside North America Edit
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 57 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" 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 Universal Animation Studios' upcoming film schedule, with Luna & Zak: Level Two taking is February 21, 2020 slot.
- 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.