- This article is about the film. For the franchise, see Paradoria (franchise). For the main setting of the film, see Paradoria (location).
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Paradoria is a 2015 American 3D computer-animated adventure film produced by Universal Animation Studios for Universal Pictures. The eighteenth feature in the Universal Animated Features canon, it was directed by Steve Samono and Gary Hall from a screenplay by Samono, John Hamburg, and Laurie Craig, and a story by Samono, Hall, Amy McNeill, Craig, and Michael Wildshill. The film introduces Finn Wolfhard and stars the voices of AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Riggle, Bryan Cranston, Jenny Slate, Maya Rudolph, Patrick Stewart, Wendie Malick, Cheech Marin, and Tommy Chong. Set in a fictional world known as Paradoria, the film centers on a relationship between a young cap-wearing boy and a princess who aspire to see the outside world. However, when their home is attacked by ferocious human-eating monsters who pursue them to a faraway land, they now must find a way back home and stop them from destroying Paradoria, while they eventually fall in love and spend time together during their adventure.
Samono and Wildshill conceived the film's original concept in 2008, citing the video games Ico (2001) and Another World (1991) as inspirations. Wildshill originally directed the film with Samono until May 2013, leaving the later as its sole director. The film, as well as its main setting, was named after a genus of tachinid flies in the family Tachinidae. Some of the Universal Animation staff visited the Mediterranean Sea, Taghit, the Kananaskis Range, Ein Gedi, and southern Montana for inspiration. Paradoria was the first Universal Animation Studios film to use the studio's new animation technology to produce its animated visuals and lighting.
Paradoria premiered at the Brussels Animation Film Festival in Belgium on February 23, 2015, and was released in the United States on March 6, 2015. It received critical acclaim, with many critics praising its animation, concept, characters, score, and vocal performances, particularly of Wolfhard and Robb; it is widely considered by many to be the best Universal animated film since Computeropolis. The film grossed over $1 billion worldwide on a budget of $103 million, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2015, the sixteenth highest-grossing film of all time, and the third highest-grossing animated film of all time; it is also Universal Animation Studios' second highest-grossing film to date, the first being Computeropolis: The Deep Web. It was nominated for the 2016 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Disney/Pixar's Inside Out. The film's success has since helped spawn an expanded franchise, including a television series on Gingo, a Christmas television special on NBC, and a sequel, titled Paradoria 2: Enchanted Realm, scheduled for release in 2019.
At a peaceful village in Paradoria, two humans named Noalus and Verra raise their adoptive son Jamo and at first live happily as a family. One day, however, they are attacked by a pack of large gillman-like monsters, forcing the Paradorian villagers, led by King Clint and Queen Melly with their baby daughter Princess Keena, to flee the village. The villagers struggle to find a safe haven, but luckily find an oasis across the desert, which they use to build a new empire.
Thirteen years later, Jamo, now dreaming of seeing the outside world, falls in love with Keena, who becomes bored in her suffocating royal life. Jamo asks her if she wants to leave the kingdom, but Keena refuses, saying that the outside world is dangerous and they will get in trouble if their guardians find out. Disappointed, Jamo heads back home to his parents, and tells them that he and Keena want to see the whole world. Verra then tells her son that someday he will learn to brave the world's many dangers at an older age. The next day, Jamo returns to express his gratitude to Keena and they seek outside of the kingdom, breaking the sacred rule that the pair is not supposed to see the outside world. Without letting their guardians know, the two develop a close bond, bordering on attraction, and spend time together frequently.
Meanwhile, King Kakas, the leader of the monsters, wants to retaliate against the escaped Paradorians. Kakas leads a raid on the Paradorian kingdom, during which Jamo and Keena manage to escape from the monsters, jump down a waterfall, and arrive at the woods, where they realize that they are lost. Kakas vows to kill them and leads his pack after them. In the meantime, Jamo willingly encourages Keena to find a way to get back home to the kingdom so the two can reunite with the Paradorians. Eventually, Jamo and Keena begin their journey and encounter a group of small creatures called neets. The pair at first believe that they can take them home, but they decide to mingle and spend time with them. After being shown the beauty of a sunset while eating a large fruit, Keena is inspired to spend more time with Jamo.
The next day, Jamo and Keena attempt to continue their journey to head back home, but they are found by Kakas and his pack, who want to serve the princess as their dinner first. Jamo flees with Keena, but the two get separated and the monsters capture Keena. Jamo tries to save Keena, but Kakas knocks him into a river, where he is rescued by some neets and a mysterious Paradorian named Canna who transport the boy to the ruins of the old Paradorian village where Jamo was born. Canna encourages Jamo to be himself, even if he's just a weak boy. Then Jamo is informed and told by Canna that not only the monsters took Keena, but also took some Paradorians including King Clint, Queen Melly, Noalus and Verra. Jamo vows and teams up with the neets to rescue the Paradorians. They arrive at the monsters' lair, free the rest of the Paradorians, and Jamo and Keena order the others to escape while the two go to confront Kakas in his throne room.
As Kakas attempts to eat Jamo, Keena sacrifices herself by stopping Kakas but Kakas knocks her unconscious. Jamo, believing Keena to be dead, overcomes his fear and orders the neets to attack Kakas by biting him which causes him to lose consciousness where he is knocked over into collapsing parts from the lair, crushing him to his death. As of the rest of the monsters retreat over Kakas' death, Jamo soon finds that Keena survived the battle; Jamo, Keena, the neets and the rest of the Paradorians manage to escape from the collapsing lair and travel back home.
Sometime later, Keena—who now becomes Jamo's mate—professes her love for Jamo and the two share a kiss, sparking a true friendship. Their guardians finally allow Jamo and Keena to travel with each other to the outside world with Kakas and his pack gone.
- Main article: List of Paradoria characters
- Finn Wolfhard as Jamo, a kind but anxious 13-year-old boy who is the adoptive son of Noalus and Verra
- Matthew Alexander Samono as a baby Jamo
- AnnaSophia Robb as Princess Keena, the 14-year-old daughter of Queen Melly and King Clint
- Theresa Rose McNeill as a baby Keena
- Rob Riggle as King Kakas, a gillman-like creature who is the leader of a pack of monsters who plot to eat Paradorians
- Bryan Cranston as Noalus, Jamo's adoptive father
- Jenny Slate as Verra, Jamo's overprotecting adoptive mother and a loving caregiver to her adoptive son
- Maya Rudolph as Queen Melly, Keena's mother and the queen of the Paradorians
- Patrick Stewart as King Clint, Keena's father and the king of the Paradorians
- Wendie Malick as Maggie, a caretaker for the Paradorian children
- Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong as Vinnie and Winnie, Kakas' two henchmen
- Chris Parnell as Eugene, a Paradorian
- Steve Samono as Neets, small creatures that resemble a mouse and a rabbit
- Samono also voices a monster chef who serves food for Kakas and his henchmen
- Gary Hall as Boppie, a Paradorian
- David K. Thompson as Bob, a Paradorian
- Dawnn Lewis as Canna, a Paradorian who has various neets who follow and communicate with her
- Frank Welker as the carnivorous plant
- Laurie Craig as one of Kakas' other henchmen
- Craig Kellman as Creature #1
- Daniel Ross as Creature #2
- Willow Samono as Paradorian Kid #1
- Andrew Hall as Paradorian Kid #2
- Ava Acres
- Kirk Baily
- Eva Bella
- Jack Blessing
- Jeff Fischer
- Jackie Gonneau
- Nicholas Guest
- Bridget Hoffman
- Richard Horvitz
- Rif Hutton
- Ashley Lambert
- Marcella Lentz-Pope
- Hope Levy
- Amy McNeill
- Juan Pope
- Cole Sand
- Fred Tatasciore
- Byron Thames
- Marcelo Tubert
- Tom F. Warner
- Michael Wildshill
The idea of Paradoria was originally conceived by Steve Samono in 2008. The inspiration for the idea came from Samono's childhood, when he—as a child—drew several pictures of a boy and a princess in love on an adventure while lost in a fantasy world and trying to get back home. He also revisited the video games Ico (2001) and Another World (1991) having the pivotal inspirations for the project.
Describing Paradoria as an "urban fairytale", Samono wrote a treatment and pitched it to Universal Animation Studios CEO Michael Wildshill (who was just finishing directing Woo La La) as one of three ideas for possible productions for the studio several times. However, the studio refused to develop the project because they were pre-occupied with Woo La La. It wasn't until after Woo La La was completed that Universal, who was searching for a project that would "fill the space between" Woo La La and Gabriel Garza, that Paradoria was finally green-lit. Wildshill shortly became interested in the project so he agreed to work on it with Samono.
In March 2011, Universal announced the film, as appropriately joked as the Untitled Michael Wildshill Project, which is not a sequel to Woo La La and that the film had been commissioned into early stages of development, but little else about the film was known at the time. In December 2012, the studio officially announced that it would be titled Paradoria, with Wildshill and Samono directing from the screenplay by Samono, John Hamburg and Laurie Craig. Universal also announced that it would be releasing the film in early 2015, and hinted that it might be the March 6, 2015 release window previously announced by the studio in October 2012 for a then-untitled Universal animated film. In January 2013, Universal confirmed that it would be releasing the film on March 6, 2015. Executives at Universal and Illumination Entertainment were positive at the proposal of making Paradoria, but acknowledged it would be difficult to market.
Karey Kirkpatrick, who worked for a year on the film's script, wrote the initial screenplay. The first draft focused on Jamo as an orphan who was adopted by Noalus and Verra. However, the orphan-based theme was deleted from the story as the directors thought it was "too cliched and overused," but was later reused in its sequel, Paradoria 2: Enchanted Realm (2019). By late 2011, Kirkpatrick left the project, due to a "lack of confidence". John Hamburg and Laurie Craig were credited as co-writers of the screenplay following their contributions during the rewrite. Despite his departure, Kirkpatrick received an 'Additional Story Material' credit.
The film's title "Paradoria" comes from a genus of tachinid flies in the family Tachinidae. However, co-producer Daniel Ross suggested that the name is actually a portmanteau of word "paradise" and the prominent historical Genoese family Doria. Ironically, the filmmakers found it funny that the word for the paradoria genus of tachinid flies was never in the public domain, so it was "thankfully safe" for the animators to name the film Paradoria without "causing any confusion with flies", as the film has no connection to true flies within insects. For one of the film's main characters, Samono named the deuteragonist Princess Keena after actress and model Monica Keena, as a "delightful montage" to her. Antagonist King Kakas was cited by Samono to have been modeled after the Gill-man, the fictional monster from the 1954 monster horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon and its sequels. He explained that the reason why he wanted the antagonists to look like the Gill-man is that he has been a long-time fan of the Universal Monsters.
In May 2013, it was announced that Wildshill had stepped down as director, leaving Samono as the film's sole director but Wildshill still remained as a co-director. Wildshill explained that, between his position as CEO of Universal Animation, he could not commit to directing the film. Associate producer David K. Thompson (who also voices Bob in the film) explained the departure: "All directors get really deep in their film. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors... are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up."
Like most Universal and Illumination Entertainment animated films, several major story problems were identified in 2014 only after the film had already transitioned from development into production, but computer-generated films tend to have much shorter production schedules and much larger animation teams (in this case, about 90 animators) than traditionally animated films. Since Samono was already working 12-hour days (and Saturdays) directing such a large team of animators, Gary Hall came on board as co-director to help fix the film's story issues by August 2013.
During 2013 CinemaCon for Universal's slate of upcoming animated films, protagonist Jamo's last name was given as "Toulouse" (named after the capital of the French department of Haute-Garonne and of the region of Occitanie), but that name was not retained in the final film.
The film's voice cast consisting of Finn Wolfhard, AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Riggle, Bryan Cranston, Jenny Slate and Maya Rudolph were first announced in December 2013. With the release of the film's trailer in June 2014, Patrick Stewart, Wendie Malick, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were added to the film's cast. This is also the second Universal animated film in which Riggle and Slate have co-starred together, the first being 2012's The Lorax. Stewart had previously worked with Universal Animation on the studio's first film Ama and the Mysterious Crystal in 1997 and Rudolph had previously starred in Universal/Gingo's Paint World in 1999. Wolfhard was cast as the lead character Jamo, a role that he felt he "hyped" his way into by being a fan of Universal Animation and its works.
Dakota Fanning, who had previously starred in Computeropolis 3, was initially hired by Universal to voice Keena, and she had recorded nearly all of the dialogue for the character, but left the project due to "creative difficulties". The studio then re-cast the voice role to AnnaSophia Robb, who was chosen by producer Amy McNeill while she was watching Tim Burton's remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which also starred Fanning) with her children and saw Robb during that film, to leave no traces of Fanning's version of Keena. Commenting on the casting of Robb, Hall said that she brought "very centered sweetness, tremendous heart and a great sense of humor".
Steve Zahn was originally going to provide a voice in the film. According to Zahn, the producers were dissatisfied to learn that the voice of his characters on animated films such as Chicken Little and Escape from Planet Earth were not his natural speaking voice. The producers hired him anyway, and then strongly encouraged him to use his comedic voice for the role. When Zahn refused, he was dismissed.
Over the five years before the film's release, Universal Animation Studios had substantially over-hauled its production workflow and animation software. Paradoria was the first Universal Animation Studios film that used BOOST, a new rendering system that offered the studio's new animation and lighting software through the entire production as part of the overhaul of the rendering system used since the first Computeropolis film. Called by Universal Animation president David Stainton as "the next generation of Universal Animation Studios", Pixar's RenderMan was considered as a "Plan B" for the film's rendering, if BOOST was not able to meet production deadlines. A software program called Zoom was used to create over 400 distinctive characters that populate the setting. Another one named Frizzle was responsible for the creation of the setting's 320,000 trees.
Development on BOOST started in 2012 and was based upon research into multi-bounce complex global illumination originally conducted at Illumination Mac Guff in France. In the planning stage of the film, CG supervisor Alexander Bates asked "What if we made these lights just work?" Before the new system, artists had to build reflections and shadows manually, which became increasingly complex as the models and the setups became more technologically advanced.
To create the look of Paradoria, the film's team traveled to several places such as the Mediterranean Sea, Taghit, Ein Gedi, the Kananaskis Range, and southern Montana for research and inspiration. They spent over a year in 2010 painting and sketching, and encountering various creatures as well as story locations. The main characters Jamo and Keena were designed to have eye pupils that are considerably bigger than the stylized small ones of the previous Universal heroes (excluding some Universal characters like Peri Dazz from the Computeropolis franchise) in order to produce the studio's new visuals for the film. Character designer Craig Kellman later explained that the decision was to make the characters' eye pupils bigger so they would designed to look "cute". Production wrapped on February 22, 2015.
- Main article: Paradoria/Soundtrack
Mark Mothersbaugh and John Powell composed the film's score; this was Mothersbaugh's sixth collaboration with Universal Animation Studios and Powell's first collaboration with the studio since BJ and Wally in 2006. The official soundtrack for the film was released on March 6, 2015 by Back Lot Music.
Paradoria premiered on February 23, 2015 at the Brussels Animation Film Festival in Belgium in an out-of-competition screening. In the United States, it premiered on February 26, 2015 at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California, and received a wide theatrical release starting on March 6, 2015 in 2D, 3D, and select IMAX 3D theatres. Also notable was the fact that it was one of two feature films (the other being Luna & Zak) released by Universal Animation Studios in the same calendar year, a first for the company since 1999.
In some other countries such as Denmark and South Korea, the name of the protagonist, Jamo, was changed to Jack due to a trademark conflict. Media outlets speculated that the name change was to avoid confusion with the Danish manufacturer of loudspeakers of the same name, and Universal Pictures International's president, Duncan Clark, acknowledged they were "thinking about the issue" at a meeting of Danish exhibitors in 2014.
The teaser trailer for Paradoria was released by Universal on June 29, 2014 via YouTube and was shown in front of Gabriel Garza 2, Planes: Fire & Rescue, The Perfect Pies, The Boxtrolls, Dolphin Tale 2, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, The Book of Life, Marcus Troy: Unleashed, Big Hero 6, Archot, and Penguins of Madagascar. The first official trailer was released on November 24, 2014 and was shown in front of Annie, Into the Woods, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and Big Eyes. The official theatrical trailer for the film was released online at Universal's YouTube page on New Year's Eve 2015 and was shown before Strange Magic and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The trailers featured some similar elements as Universal's 2013 animated feature Quest, prompting fans online to speculate the two films were set in the same universe.
Universal Animation Studios partnered with more than 100 licensing and promotional partners in a deal valued at an unprecedented $250 million. One of the partners was Universal's parent company NBCUniversal for advertising. Spots for the film appeared on Bravo, E!, USA, Gingo, Syfy, Telemundo, and mun2. A customized page was created on Fandango. Coinciding with the film's release, Universal also partnered with McDonald's to produce eight toys in their Happy Meals. A video game based on the film, titled Paradoria: Jamo & Keena's Adventure, was released on March 3, 2015 for Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, and published by Activision.
Paradoria was released on Blu-ray (2D and 3D) and DVD on July 7, 2015, while a digital release was released on June 16, 2015. The releases include three short films (following in Illumination Entertainment's footsteps) titled: Camp Jamo, Noodles, and Getting Annoyed. Extras include audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and short promotional clips. The film was also released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on February 19, 2019, to coincide with the release of its sequel Paradoria 2: Enchanted Realm one month later.
Upon release, the film sold over 2.8 million Blu-ray and DVD units in its first week, making it the highest-selling home entertainment animated film for Universal of 2015 as well as the second-highest-selling home entertainment film for Universal behind only Jurassic World. Across all digital and physical formats, Paradoria generated $74.2 million in its first week. At the end of 2015, it was named the third-highest selling video of the year in the UK, selling 88 million copies since its release. It was the fourth-highest-selling DVD and the third-highest-selling Blu-ray in the country.
Paradoria grossed $411.1 million in the United States and Canada and $806.2 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $1.126 billion against a budget of $103 million. Worldwide, it is the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2015, the second-highest-grossing animated film of 2015 (placing second among animated films behind only Minions), the highest-grossing Universal Animation Studios film (surpassing Computeropolis 2 in 2007), the second highest-grossing original film (behind Avatar), the third-highest-grossing animated film, and the fourth-highest-grossing film released by Universal Pictures. It is also the fourth-highest-grossing 2015 film released by Universal behind Furious 7, Jurassic World and Minions, as well as the second-highest-grossing Universal animated film of 2015 worldwide behind Minions and the second overall highest grossing Universal animated film of all time domestically.
By breaking $1 billion worldwide, Paradoria became the first non-Disney animated film, third animated film after Toy Story 3 and Frozen, and the 23rd film in cinematic history to do so. This made Universal Pictures the first studio ever to have four films earn more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office in a single year following Furious 7, Jurassic World and Minions. Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $489.53 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the second-most profitable animated film of 2015, the second-most profitable Universal Pictures film, as well as the most profitable Universal Animation Studios film of all time.
In the United States and Canada, Paradoria opened across 3,541 theaters, of which 3,100 showed the film in 3D and 900 of them showing the film in IMAX. It grossed $17.3 million during its Thursday night showings, which is the biggest of all time for Universal Animation Studios as well as the biggest for an animated Universal release at the time until being beaten by Cool Spot in 2018. The film then earned $52.2 million on its opening day (including Thursday previews), making it the biggest opening day for a Universal Animation film (breaking Gabriel Garza 2's record), the biggest for an original film, and at the time was the biggest for an animated release by Universal until Cool Spot outgrossed it with $63.1 million.
In its opening weekend, it exceeded expectations and grossed $113.9 million, finishing first at the box office. This had marked the biggest for an original non-Disney animated film (breaking Twist City's record), the biggest for a Universal Animation original film (breaking Quest's record), the studio's third-biggest of all time (behind Cool Spot and Computeropolis 2), the biggest March animated opening (breaking The Lorax's record), the fifth biggest opening weekend for Universal Pictures, the third biggest March opening, and the third biggest animated opening of all time, at the time, behind Computeropolis 2 ($133.5 million) and Shrek the Third ($121.6 million). It also set the record for the largest opening for any original film, live-action or otherwise, not based on sourced material, eclipsing the $77 million debut of Avatar.
In its second weekend, the film fell by 42% to $54.7 million while dropping down to No. 2, due to facing stiff competition with newcomer Cinderella. It ended its theatrical run on August 3, 2015 playing for a total of 150 days on theaters with a total gross of $411,133,101. It became the highest-grossing animated film of 2015, the fourth-highest-grossing Universal Animation Studios film, the fourth-highest-grossing Universal Pictures film of 2015, the seventh-highest-grossing film of 2015, the eleventh-highest-grossing Universal Pictures film, and the sixteenth-highest-grossing film of all time.
Outside North America
Internationally, Paradoria received a scattered release as Universal Pictures [International] took advantage of school holidays in various markets. The film went into general release in 53 countries in the months of February and March, ahead, and along with, its North American release. It was released in a total of 68 countries. It earned an estimated $14.2 million in its opening weekend from four countries on 638 screens. It added $33.5 million in its second weekend from 10 countries. In its third weekend, it grossed $62.9 million from 26 countries, coming in first place at the international box office. It finally topped the international box office, earning $126.4 million from 56 countries in its fourth weekend. It added $91.5 million from 56 countries, an increase of 25% from its previous weekend. In Australia and India it landed at No. 2 where Fifty Shades of Grey took the top spot the weekend it was released in. It passed the $500 million mark in its sixth weekend.
At the time of its release, it had the biggest opening day of all time for an animated film in 16 countries, the biggest opening day of all time for a Universal Animation film, and Universal's biggest opening day of all time in 5 countries. It broke opening records for a Universal film in Germany ($36.1 million), Hong Kong ($2.9 million), Poland ($1.3 million) and India, the second-biggest for Universal in France ($10.3 million) and 6 other countries, the biggest opening of all time in Mexico ($23.8 million) and the biggest in Russia and the CIS ($8.6 million). In the UK and Ireland, with significant competition from Kingsman: The Secret Service and the animated family film Shaun the Sheep Movie, the film had a £4.97 million ($6.1 million) opening weekend from 579 theaters, including £1.81 million ($2.9 million) worth of previews, debuting in second place behind Kingsman: The Secret Service and falling just short of Universal Animation Studios' best opening in the UK.
Other notable openings were witnessed in, Japan ($8.5 million), Germany ($7.5 million), South Korea ($5 million), Spain ($5.3 million), Australia ($4.1 million), and Colombia ($3 million). In China, it opened on Sunday, May 31 and earned $16.3 million on its opening day, marking the second-biggest opening day for an animated film ever in China, only behind Kung Fu Panda 2 at time. It went on to earn $53.7 million through its 8-day opening (Sunday to Sunday) and $17.7 million for the weekend alone (Friday to Sunday). It went into general releases for 30 days in China.
Paradoria became the highest-grossing Universal animated or Illumination Entertainment film of all time in Mexico (ahead of Despicable Me 2), the Philippines (ahead of Gabriel Garza 2), India, and Ukraine and in Russia, it is the highest-grossing Universal film and the first Universal Animation film to exceed one billion rubles. Outside North America, it is currently the highest-grossing Universal Animation Studios film, the twelfth-highest-grossing film, the fourth-highest-grossing Universal Pictures film and the sixth-highest-grossing film of 2015.
Paradoria received critical acclaim. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 98% "Certified Fresh" approval rating based on 285 reviews with a weighted average rating of 8.7/10. The site's critical consensus states, "With a wise, sentimental tone and plenty of landscapes to guide you through, Paradoria will perhaps find you off guard." On Metacritic, the film has a normalized score of 87 out of 100, based on 59 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times considered the film "very amazing and beautifully well-done." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, saying "Arguably their best effort ever since Computeropolis, Paradoria takes Universal Animation Studios to a new level of creative storytelling and innovation. It is a true experience for the studio." Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film's concept, describing it "interesting and engaging that directly lives up to the animation history," but felt that the film "should take care of its plot a little more though it's still the best that no animated film has ever done."
IGN gave the film a 9.2 out of 10 'Amazing' score, saying "Very original, entertaining, heartwarming, love-spirited, sometimes scary and depressing, Paradoria is yet another blockbuster animated success for Universal in years." The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips called it the studio's best since Computeropolis, a "new touching, sweet, heartwarming entry to animation." Betsy Bozdech of Common Sense Media gave the movie 5 stars, stating that "Paradoria is filled with hearts, spirit, romance and humor that suits up with other animated movies from the likes of Despicable Me." However, Ty Burr of The Boston Globe criticized the film's story, describing it as "too formulaic."
The relationship between the lead protagonists Jamo and Princess Keena has received mostly positive reception. Rosa Prince of the UK daily newspaper The Daily Telegraph described the love between Jamo and Keena as touching. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of The A.V. Club praised their relationship, stating that "Jamo and Keena make a new welcome to the animation industry with their original looks and love." Claudia Puig of USA Today praised the romantic scenes of Jamo and Keena, describing them as "very adorable and charming," and also praised the emotion and direction for the lead characters. Kristopher Tapley of HitFix called Jamo and Keena's relationship as the "greatest couple for an animated movie in years."
- Main article: List of accolades received by Paradoria
Paradoria was nominated for various awards and won a number of them, including several for Best Animated Feature. At the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, it was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film. It led the 43rd Annie Awards with all 11 nominations, including Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production for Samono and Hall, Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Wolfhard and Best Animated Feature.
- Main article: Paradoria (franchise)
Because of its critical and commercial success, Paradoria has been turned into a franchise.
- Main article: Paradoria 2: Enchanted Realm
A sequel titled Paradoria 2: Enchanted Realm is scheduled for release on March 22, 2019. Steve Samono will return to direct with a script written by Samono, Laurie Craig and Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. All of the main cast will also reprise their roles in the sequel, and will be joined by Zoe Saldana, Paul Giamatti, Tom Cruise, Madelaine Petsch, and Gina Rodriguez.
- Main article: Tales in Paradoria
A traditionally-animated television series based on the film titled Tales in Paradoria debuted on March 12, 2016 on the Gingo Channel. While Finn Wolfhard and Patrick Stewart reprise their roles in the series, AnnaSophia Robb, Bryan Cranston, Jenny Slate and Maya Rudolph were replaced by Tara Strong, Fred Tatasciore, Grey Griffin, and Kari Wahlgren, respectively.
- Main article: Paradoria Holiday
A half-hour Christmas special titled Paradoria Holiday premiered on NBC on November 15, 2016. Directed by Chris Abazzi and written by Gary Hall and Erica Rivinoja, all of the main cast from the film reprised their roles in the special, with an exception of Bryan Cranston, who was replaced by Fred Tatasciore, who also voices Noalus in the Tales in Paradoria TV series.
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.