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Luna & Zak is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated science fiction adventure comedy film produced by Universal Animation Studios. The nineteenth animated feature in the Universal Animated Features canon, it was directed by Mark Dindal, produced by Randy Fullmer, and written by David Reynolds, Mike Moon, Brad Copeland, and J. Stewart Burns, and stars the voices of Anne Hathaway, Josh Gad, Dan Fogler, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Patrick Warburton, Sofía Vergara, John Cleese, John Krasinski, and Bill Hader. The film follows a young gamer named Luna McPherson and her partner and best friend Zak Douglas, who use a virtual reality machine to go through many different dimensions that act like a video game to stop some dangers occurring in each world.
Luna & Zak premiered in Los Angeles on December 5, 2015, and was released in the United States on December 11, 2015 by Universal Pictures. It received positive reviews from critics, grossing over $624 million worldwide over its $103 million budget and receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature. Along with Paradoria, it marked the first time since 1999 that Universal Animation Studios released two feature films in the same year. It launched a expanded franchise, with a television series premiering in 2017 and a sequel scheduled for release in 2020.
- Anne Hathaway as Luna McPherson, one of the two gamers who travel through different dimensions via virtual reality. She is 18 years old and the one who hopes to reach her goal by fixing every world.
- Ava Acres voices a younger Luna.
- Josh Gad as Zak Douglas, one of the two gamers who travel through different dimensions via virtual reality. He is Luna's partner and the fun-loving one who likes to play around in some worlds.
- Cullen McCarthy voices a younger Zak.
- Dan Fogler as A.C.E., a robot who befriends Luna and Zak.
- Channing Tatum as Lurk, a mysterious player who Luna and Zak encounter during their adventure in virtual reality. He is the one who wants to go after the duo so he can win the "games".
- Jonah Hill as Billy Bob Hunter, a player who decides to play along with Luna and Zak.
- Patrick Warburton as Slim, an awkward robotic alien in the space world.
- Sofía Vergara as Agt. Abby McPherson, Luna's mother and Ed's wife who is an agent working for the VRC.
- John Cleese as Ed McPherson, Luna's father and Abby's husband.
- Nolan North as Clunker, Slim's advisor.
- Mark Dindal as Tommy, one of the robotic aliens in the space world. He is the clumsy and dim-witted one who wants to help Luna and Zak rather than just killing them.
- John Krasinski as Marvin, a friend of Zak.
- Bill Hader as Marcus, one of Zak's friends and Marvin's younger brother.
- Thomas F. Wilson as Lenny, a member of the VRC.
- Eric Bauza as Coob, an annoying chipmunk.
- Craig Kellman as Flappin' Joe
- John DiMaggio as Duncan, a salesman who sells things at a store he owns.
- DiMaggio also voices Gus, an insane alien in the space world who believes Luna and Zak are monsters.
- Audel LaRoque as Ray
- Dan Molina as Ollie
- Gary Hall as Computer Voice
- Jim Anderson as Giant
- Annaleigh Ashford
- Dave Boat
- Corey Burton
- Cam Clarke
- David Cowgill
- Jessica DiCicco
- Mark Dindal
- Terri Douglas
- Jeannie Elias
- Eddie Frierson
- Brian George
- Grant George
- Jean Gilpin
- Jackie Gonneau
- Nicholas Guest
- Bridget Hoffman
- John Kassir
- Daniel Kaz
- Lex Lang
- Philip Lawrence
- Hope Levy
- Mona Marshall
- Scott Menville
- Cara Pifko
- Andre Robinson
- Michelle Ruff
- Joshua Rush
- Steve Samono
- Anthony Sorano
- Kelly Stables
- Fred Tatasciore
- David K. Thompson
- Terry Ward
- Audrey Wasilewski
- Michael Wildshill
The film was announced in May 2006 under the working title Game Boys, originally a live-action film being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for Walt Disney Pictures. Tom Ropelewski and Evan Katz were writing the script for the film, which involved a completely different concept. However, Disney decided not to continue with the project due to "creative differences" with the screenwriters. From there, the film was moved to Universal Feature Animation, who received the opportunity to adapt the Game Boys script into an animated film.
When Ropelewski and Katz pitched the film to Universal Animation CEO Michael Wildshill, he suggested that the script should be rewritten. In May 2007, Mike Moon joined Universal Animation to direct the film, with intentions to significantly rewrite the script. In January 2008, it was reported that Moon would direct Computeropolis 3, thus putting Game Boys on hold. In early September 2011, Universal Pictures scheduled the film, retitled as Game On, for release on November 21, 2014, along with David Reynolds and Brad Copeland joining as co-writers and Jon Shapiro as producer. The film's original title was given to the title for a Gabriel Garza-based short film that was included on the 2011 film's home media release.
In April 2012, Mark Dindal was announced as the film's new director, replacing Moon, who remained as the screenwriter of the film. It was also announced that Randy Fullmer would produce the film, reuniting the relationship of Dindal, Fullmer and Reynolds. On August 23, 2012, it was announced that J. Stewart Burns had been hired to write the draft for the film. Anne Hathaway and Josh Gad were announced as the lead roles in February 2013, along with the film's final title Luna & Zak. Dan Fogler, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Patrick Warburton were also announced in the cast who provided their voices for the film; on June 10, 2015, John Cleese was announced in the cast.
The film's score was composed by John Debney.
All music composed by John Debney, except as noted.
Luna & Zak was initially scheduled to be released on November 21, 2014. However, in September 2013, Universal Pictures moved the release date to December 11, 2015, with chairman Donna Langley saying that the decision was made in order to avoid competition with other films released during the Thanksgiving season in 2014.
The film was released in RealD 3D and Digital 3D formats and digitally remastered to IMAX format in select theaters across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The film was released two months later in China on February 13, 2016.
On July 19, 2014 at San Diego Comic Con International, Universal released a clip from the film with the first released footage of the film's protagonists Luna McPherson and Zak Douglas to encourage attendance at the panel. They premiered a four-minute trailer, which was not publicly released but eventually leaked on the internet.
- A teaser trailer was released on March 6, 2015, and was shown before Paradoria, Cinderella, Home, Tomorrowland, and Inside Out.
- The first trailer was released on July 1, 2015, and was shown before Minions, and GameSchool.
- The second theatrical trailer was released on September 4, 2015, and was shown before Metro Cone Forever, Hotel Transylvania 2, Goosebumps, The Peanuts Movie, and The Good Dinosaur.
Luna & Zak was released on digital HD on March 4, 2016 and on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22, 2016. The releases also include a short film titled How to Act Like a Player.
Luna & Zak grossed $300.1 million in North America and $324.8 in other territories for a worldwide gross of $624.9 million against a $103 million budget. On February 21 and April 14, 2016, respectively, the film reached the $500 million and $600 million marks, becoming the seventh consecutive Universal Animation film to reach both milestones after Computeropolis (2004), Computeropolis 2 (2007), Computeropolis 3 (2010), Gabriel Garza (2011), Gabriel Garza 2 (2014), and Paradoria (2015). Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $135.2 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the fifth-most profitable release of 2015.
In North America, the film was released alongside In the Heart of the Sea and The Big Short and was projected to gross $40–45 million from 3,928 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $2.2 million from Thursday night previews at 3,100 theaters and $15.1 million on its first day, the highest ever for a Universal Animation Studios film. It went on to open to $39.2 million and topping the box office. In its second week, the film dropped to second while grossing $12.1 million being behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film made $8.7 million and $5.3 million in its third and fourth weeks, finishing 8th and 10th respectively.
The film's opening was considered to be another animated success for the studio, after Paradoria and Illumination Entertainment's Minions posted huge openings the same year in March and July, respectively.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 74% based on 191 reviews with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's consensus reads, "In order to overcome its familiar premise, Luna & Zak offers enough of its own achievements: a likable title duo, an oddball tone, and plenty of over-the-top visual gimmicks." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 69 out of 100 based on 52 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie||Nominated|
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Anne Hathaway|
|Favorite Buttkicker||Josh Gad|
- Main article: Luna & Zak (franchise)
- Main article: Luna & Zak: The Series
A television series based on the film premiered on December 16, 2017 on Universal Kids. Developed and produced by Universal Television Animation, the series is executive produced by Mark Dindal, Randy Fullmer, Joe Shapiro, and Mike Moon. While Sofía Vergara, Patrick Warburton, Nolan North, Mark Dindal, Thomas F. Wilson, Eric Bauza, and John DiMaggio reprise their roles from the film, most of the original voice actors, including Anne Hathaway and Josh Gad, did not return.
- Main article: Luna & Zak: Level Two
In December 2015, Universal Animation president David Stainton said there were ideas for a sequel to the film, and that writer Reynolds had made a few script drafts for it. In October 2017, Universal announced that development on the sequel had begun, with director Dindal, producers Fullmer and Shapiro, and Reynolds returning. Hathaway and Gad are set to reprise their respective roles, while Fogler, Hill, Vergara, and Cleese were expected to return as well.
On July 5, 2018, Universal set the sequel, now titled Luna & Zak: Level Two, for release on February 21, 2020, and also confirmed that Fogler, Hill, Vergara, and Cleese would return, joined by newcomers Melissa McCarthy, Nick Kroll, James Corden, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Elijah Wood, Chloë Grace Moretz, James Marsden, Elle Fanning, and Luke Wilson. In January 2019, David Soren was announced as the film's new director, replacing Dindal as director as he was scheduled to direct an animated Garfield feature film instead.
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.