The Imaginary | Review by: Benjamin Garrett

 We’re only half way through 2024 and we’ve now gotten three movies about Imaginary friends. Unfortunately, the best one is likely to fly under most people’s radar, but I’m here to tell you not to sleep on Netflix’s The Imaginary.

The story follows a young girl named Amanda and her Imaginary friend, Rudger. When an incident leads to the two of them getting separated, Rudger must find his way back to Amanda before he’s forgotten forever. During his adventures he encounters other lost imaginaries, and is shown the important purpose they serve in young children’s lives.

This movie is brimming with imagination, and brought me back to the fantastical adventures I would dream up when I was a kid. How my young mind could transform an everyday item in the real world into something else, and the endless possibilities my brain could create on a whim. It explores the way children use their imaginations as a coping mechanism - a way to escape when life becomes too much for them to handle.

The animation pairs hand drawn characters and settings with some 3D renderings, and for the most part it’s successful. When the 3D is used subtly in moderation it blends beautifully with the 2D drawings, adding a level of depth and movement to everything. Sometimes the 3D is relied on too heavily, and looks a little rough compared to the drawn elements. The art design, however, is really strong, especially with some of the film’s beautiful imagined locations.

The Imaginary delivers on its title, with an animated adventure full of imagination. It’s a movie that will surely bring out your inner child, while gently touching on heavier themes you’ll appreciate as an adult.


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

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