Where Imagination Can Lead You: Wonder Park

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Paramount Pictures.

I still remember a conversation I had with my 13 year old daughter, Jaci, when she was 7. She always had the most vivid imagination of any child I had ever known.

Jaci October 2010

Wonder Park

In fact, if she liked something that was perhaps not a topic that interested me, she would pretend to have a mom that was interested. For example, she had a “shopping” mom, “fashion” mom, and “dance” mom.

All things that I’m not exactly excited about.

She would also imagine elaborate scenarios for her dolls, come up with wild scripts to act out, and could imagine herself anywhere.

So, when I noticed her disappointment one day after I simply couldn’t understand her imaginative play, i sat her down to explain. I inherently have a very logical, very analytical brain.

Wonder Park movie wonder box

Imagination and the hypothetical are very challenging for me to grasp. Although I love the world of ideas she can create in her mind, I’ve simply never been able to do it.

She cried. She simply could not understand how this could be. It broke her heart. She felt sorry for me.

Of course, I felt terrible.

June in a scene from the animated film, WONDER PARK by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies

Ever since I became a mom, I’ve made sure to encourage my kids to do the things they love. Not the things I think they should love. It’s their life to live.

Jaci came to terms with my lack of imagination and I continue to call on her strengths in that area. We work together to create both creative and practical solutions.

As we watched Wonder Park this past weekend, I looked over at Jaci and saw her tearing up. The trailer alone was enough to tell me this movie was made for Jaci.

WONDER PARK tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

June, right, and her mom in a scene from the animated film, WONDER PARK by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies

June and her mom work together to create Wonderland. As a team, they brainstorm fun ideas for rides and then implement them through their creative arts. June’s mother by her side; always encouraging her to keep going.

“I know the girl who imagined it and she can do anything.”

Until her mom gets sick.

“Keep that little light in you shining. You are the WONDER in WONDERland.”

June sets out on an adventure of her own that lands her back in a deserted Wonderland. She has to find a way to push through the darkness hanging over her to help bring the park back.

“Your light is brighter than any darkness in the world.”

Knowing how hard it was for my kids, as well as myself, when my mom was sick, it was easy to relate to the darkness overshadowing June.

June, left, and Peanut in a scene from the animated film, WONDER PARK by Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies
Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon Movies

The desire to see the light is hard when you’re stuck in the middle of a tough situation. But, as June eventually discovers, it’s possible.

“The darkness is there to remind us of the light that surrounds us.”

Wonder Park opens in theaters everywhere on March 15.

The movie stars Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, John Oliver, Mila Kunis, Kenan Thompson, Ken Jeong, Norbert Leo Butz, Brianna Denski and Ken Hudson Campbell.

365 Days of Gratitude
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