- This article is about the original 2004 film. For the franchise, see Computeropolis (franchise). For its main setting, see Computeropolis (location).
|General||Trivia||Gallery||Soundtrack||Quotes||Transcript||Trailer transcripts||Credits||Home media|
Computeropolis is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Universal Feature Animation for Universal Pictures. It is the seventh animated feature in the Universal Animated Features canon, as well as Universal's first fully computer-animated film. The film was directed by Audel LaRoque from a screenplay by Thomas Lennon and a story by LaRoque and Michael Wildshill, and stars the voices of Jesse McCartney, David Spade, Kelsey Grammer, Dan Fogler, David Hyde Pierce, Jodi Benson, Jon Lovitz, Jennifer Tilly, and William Shatner. It follows a young computer game designer 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. While finding a way to return home, Peri joins Nicky Kickzoo, 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.
LaRoque envisioned the story in 1997, which was based on his dream of himself finding a computer that "sucked him into the computer world". He then began developing the film after production had finished on Gingo Animation's Paint World (1999) and wrote the original story with Wildshill to pitch it to Universal, with Lennon writing the screenplay. Following Lennon's first draft, Gary Hall, John France, and David Silverman were brought in to reconstruct the third act and add additional material, while the latter was selected to co-direct. The Universal animation team drew inspiration for Computeropolis's urban design from major cities including New York City, Seattle, and London. John Debney and Heitor Pereira composed the film's score.
Computeropolis premiered at the Fox Village Theater on June 27, 2004, and was released in the United States on July 2, 2004. It received universal acclaim from critics and was a box office success, grossing $687 million worldwide on its $65 million budget, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2004. Computeropolis won the 2004 Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for David Spade, for his voice performance as Nicky Kickzoo, and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles. The film's success helped spawn an expanded franchise, with three sequels — Computeropolis 2, Computeropolis 3, and Computeropolis: The Deep Web — and a television series.
Percy Anthony "Peri" Dazz is a 14-year-old computer designer living with his parents Heather and Earl Dazz. One weekend, Peri's parents leave town, 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 "exe." 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. 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.
Peri discovers an online city deep inside the realms of his computer. However, he is caught by two internet officers named Paul and Frank, who take him to a lab where he is increased by a PC Chip, which allows Peri to use the desktop menu from his point of view. After he is finished getting tested at the lab by using a mouse cursor, Peri meets Nicky Kickzoo, an enterprising scavenger hunter who is the character Peri created for his Frenzy game. Nicky initially despises Peri, who wants to get back home, but ends up taking him along.
The duo arrives at the Desktop Component League (DCL), an organization department company headed by CEO Manager Marc to fund his research; their duties as upholders of the law range from capturing viruses to protecting the city of Computeropolis. There, Marc orders Peri and Nicky to capture King Trojan, a virus that was inadvertently given access to Peri's computer when he clicked the download link. During their mission, Peri and Nicky meet Travis, a fat, video game-obsessed kid who knows Peri from GameGenius.com and joins the heroes to stop Trojan. However, they are captured by Trojan and his oafish and mean-spirited minion Milo and transports them to Trojan's Lair.
At Trojan's Lair, they see how the viruses are created. Then, Peri, Nicky, and Travis manage to escape while Trojan's minions chase them. The heroes succeed, but Peri forgets to upload Frenzy to GameGenius.com, as he already has an "exe." file of the game on his computer. Nicky convinces him to visit the GameGenius site, confident that Peri's game will get popular once it is published. When they arrive at the site, a GameGenius administrator learns that the Frenzy game will not be published due to negligent issues. Peri accuses Nicky of attempting to lie without telling him about the issue. Then the rest of the DCL arrives, with Marc asking Peri and Nicky if they caught Trojan; Trojan is still there and announces his plan to initiate a full-scale assault on his hard drive.
Outraged, Marc 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 GameGenius.com. Meanwhile, the DCL offers to reinstate Nicky, but he refuses, and instead, he confessed 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 brings him back to his room where he uses Peri's childhood photos and old projects to prompt him to rejoin the group on their mission. Peri opens up the Computeropolis file that Peri downloaded before, reopening the portal for the duo to jump back through.
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. Peri remembers that his parents are to arrive at the end of the weekend. Peri uses the portal to head back home in time for Heather and Earl's return. Peri explains to them what happened. They at first do not believe Peri due to his "imagination during his childhood", but Peri proves that he is not making it up by using his inner PC chip to move the mouse pointer (which he brought with him in preparation) around the room before he returns to Computeropolis to attend a dinner party at the DCL headquarters, during which Marc assures Peri that averting major city destruction was only the beginning for him.
- 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 releases 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.
- 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, a lab worker who increased Peri the PC Chip.
- Corey Burton as Sam, a lab worker who is Bill's assistant.
- Jack Angel
- Bob Bergen
- Rodger Bumpass
- Jennifer Darling
- Debi Derryberry
- Paul Eiding
- Bill Farmer
- Michael Gough
- Gary Hall
- Audel LaRoque
- Thomas Lennon
- Sherry Lynn
- Danny Mann
- Mona Marshall
- Mickie McGowan
- Amy McNeill
- Brandon Minez
- Laraine Newman
- Phil Proctor
- Jan Rabson
- David Silverman
- Tom F. Warner
- Billy West
- Michael Wildshill
Audel LaRoque came up with the concept for Computeropolis in 1997 during the production of Paint World at Gingo Animation, in which LaRoque directed. 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. LaRoque's original inspiration was from a dream he had of himself finding a Windows 95 computer that "sucked him into the computer world". LaRoque also took inspiration from the 1982 Disney film Tron, where the protagonist Kevin Flynn gets transported inside the world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with programs in his attempt to escape.
LaRoque began work on the film with Michael Wildshill in 1999, shortly after Paint World finished production. By early 2000, LaRoque had drafted a treatment with Wildshill that bore some resemblance to the final film. LaRoque and Wildshill pitched the story to Universal Studios through its feature animation division 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. 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, Webtopia and Cyber City, among others.
In May 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that LaRoque was working on a then-untitled project that would eventually become Computeropolis, albeit nothing else about the film was known at the time. In June 2001, Universal revealed the film's title to be Computeropolis, then planned for a late 2003 release. In addition, it would be animated with computer-animation, rather than traditional hand-drawn animation that had been done with UFA's six prior films. In March 2002, production of the film officially began, and David Silverman, who had quit his job at Pixar, joined in the same year to co-direct the film with LaRoque. The film was produced concurrently with Project Zero, another animated film set partially inside a computer, which was released four years before Computeropolis. Wildshill 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."
Thomas Lennon, who had just finished work on Galaxion, was attracted to write the script for Computeropolis, and began developing a treatment in April 1999. In its earliest stages, the story was very different from the final film, in which the character of Peri (known at this stage as Gary) was trapped in a computer, where he must stop Gill Bates (a parody of Microsoft founder Bill Gates) from taking over the world and kidnapping a "computer princess" named Viva (who later became Painting Paula), the love interest of Gary. Peri's partner and game character, Nicky Kickzoo, had not yet been added. Through various drafts, Gary's occupation went back-and-forth from being a teenager and from working for a video game company, until his final incarnation as a teenage computer designer.
More coming soon!
During the time, when Universal was looking for a younger actor for the voice role of Percy Anthony "Peri" Dazz, Shia LaBeouf was considered for the character. 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 LaBeouf, Zach Braff, who subsequently accepted the role of BJ Wilson in another Universal animated film, BJ and Wally, was also considered for the role of Peri. 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, and William Shatner.
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.
Computeropolis was animated in-house at Universal Feature Animation's headquarters in Universal City, California.
More coming soon!
- Main article: Computeropolis/Soundtrack
The film's original score was composed by John Debney and Heitor Pereira (who all had previously worked on the score of 2001's Spy Kids). It also marks the first Universal animated film to be scored by two composers. The soundtrack album was released on June 29, 2004, by Varèse Sarabande.
- Main article: Computeropolis/Release dates
Computeropolis premiered at the Fox Village Theater on June 27, 2004, and opened in theaters on July 2, 2004, in the United States and Canada. The film was rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for "action violence and some rude humor". According to Wildshill, he wanted the film, along with some other Universal animated 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. Ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins also promoted the film for its new Peri & Nicky's Loaded Computeropolis ice cream that consists of 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 Magina, Piglet's Big Movie, X2, Finding Nemo, Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Daddy Day Care, Rugrats Go Wild, and Classmates.
- 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.
- Main article: Computeropolis (video game)
Computeropolis was first released on DVD and VHS on December 14, 2004. Both releases included a 5-minute short film titled Print 3D Errors, which takes place after the events of the film. The film was the best-selling DVD in its initial week of release, selling over 500,000 copies and making over $16.9 million. It was also released on Game Boy Advance Video in October 2005 and on UMD for the Sony PSP. It was later released on Blu-ray in North America on May 3, 2011, and on Blu-ray 3D on February 10, 2015. A second Blu-ray release from Universal for the film was released on June 5, 2012, as a part of Universal's Universal 100th Anniversary releases. A 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version was released on September 4, 2018.
Computeropolis opened on July 2, 2004, in the United States and Canada. It got to earn $85,729,840 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, and the highest opening for an original non-Disney/Pixar film. The film also earned the highest-grossing domestic debut for Universal 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).
Computeropolis received widespread critical acclaim, becoming a cult hit among 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 enough colorful animation, brilliant humor and action-packed scenes to compete with the likes of Pixar, Computeropolis perfectly lives up to be a hit on its own." On Metacritic, it received a score of 91 out of 100, based on 73 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three out of four stars, saying "In its first computer-generated feature, Universal Pictures offers audiences Computeropolis the whole family could enjoy the delightful addition to the company's other classics with non-stop humor." Richard Corliss of Time Magazine praised David Spade's performance as Nicky Kickzoo, stating that "it gets even funnier for his comic relief career that brings the well-known self for his life." Todd McCarthy of Variety liked the concept, also stating "As directed by Audel LaRoque, Computeropolis has a very engaging concept for a movie taking place inside your computer."
Some critics have likened Computeropolis to science-fiction live-action films such as Tron and The Matrix; Jami Bernard of the New York Daily News described the film as "Toy Story meets Tron". Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying that "Computeropolis seems to duplicate the usual animation look of Gabriel Garza, but was made using computer software and has truly amazing action sequences, charm, wit, and humor with a host of quirky characters such as Peri Dazz and Nicky Kickzoo." Charles Herold of The New York Times summed up his review stating that "Computeropolis is not only a great kids movie, but it is an enthusiastic movie with perfect moments that live up to its plot as well as other Universal animated hits like Ama and the Mysterious Crystal and Paint World."
Some critics, however, criticized some unexpected product placements of Microsoft Windows products such as Windows 95/98 and XP. Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail described Computeropolis as a "90-minute feature-length commercial for Microsoft", while Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post wrote that it was little more than an exercise in advertising PC downloads to children. Bill Muller of The Arizona Republic stated, "While not as bad as say, Mac and Me, Universal's Computeropolis sometimes has a overuse of Microsoft products, but tries hard enough to appeal fans who may be puzzled by the movie's visual disconnect." Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune considered Peri's quote "Bye for now and where do you wanna go today?" as a clever reference to the 90's Microsoft slogan.
|Academy Awards||Best Animated Feature||Audel LaRoque and David Silverman||Nominated|
|Best Original Score||John Debney, Heitor Pereira||Nominated|
|Annie Awards||Best Animated Feature||Brandon Minez, Michael Wildshill||Nominated|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Craig Kellman, Shane Prigmore, Carter Goodrich||Nominated|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Audel LaRoque and David Silverman||Nominated|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||John Debney, Heitor Pereira||Nominated|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Yarrow Cheney||Nominated|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Kurt R. Anderson, Ash Brannon, John France, Frans Vischer||Nominated|
|Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production||David Spade||Won|
|Writing in an Animated Feature Production||Thomas Lennon||Nominated|
|BAFTA Children's Awards||Best Feature Film||Won|
|Casting Society of America||Best Animated Voice-Over Feature Casting||Jennifer Tilly||Nominated|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures – Animated||Teresa Eckton, Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, Michael Silvers, Gary Summers, Frank Rinella, Will Files, Tony Eckert||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Awards||Best Animated Feature Film||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Awards||Best Animated Film||Audel LaRoque, David Silverman||Nominated|
|Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie||Jesse McCartney||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Saturn Award for Best Animated Film||Won|
|Visual Effects Society||Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture||Kelsey Grammer||Nominated|
- 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, was released on May 4, 2018.
A fifth film, titled Computeropolis 5, is set for release on May 21, 2021.
- Main article: Computeropolis (manga)
- Main article: Computeropolis: Adventures of Peri and Nicky
- Main article: Computeropolis Xmas
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.