“Wonder Park”: The Failure of STEM Animation

Wonder Park is probably the first STEM inspired animated film. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fills its every frame with whirligigs, loop the loops, mini rockets, calculations, precise measurements, blue prints and gears— lots and lots of gears.

Wonder Park is a film where math summer camps, engineering problems, and oddly enough, great cursive writing are essential plot points. There is room for sadness and disease, the usual Disney-Pixar aura great animated films strive to emulate, but it is there to give the S for Science a fair representation in a plot that is TEM heavy.

The Wonder Park here is pretty geometry centric. Circles, orbs, cylinders, rockets and catapults are built with polished Tinker Toy perfection.

It is all suppose to represent childhood imagination, but there is nothing in Wonder Park the non-STEM inclined would want to ride for more than a revolution or two. It isn’t the lack of imagination that has caused Wonder Park to rust (there is precious few of it on display) but the lack of scientific inquiry.

The Sheldon Coopers watching will find it glorious. All the other children will be bored.

All photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

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