The Rooneys Movie (also known as The Rooneys; The Movie or The Rooneys) is an 2018 Australian-American 3D animated action adventure buddy comedy film directed by HeavenlySteven and Chris Wedge. It is the first installment (chronologically the second) in The Rooneys film series. It stars the voices of Chris Pratt, Catherine O'Hara, Zachary Gordon, Tara Strong, Cameron Diaz, Ving Rhames, Patrick Stewart, John Cleese, Pat Carroll, Ryan Reynolds, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Frank Welker, Nick Kroll, Elizabeth Daily, Dave Foley, Eddie Deezen, Kristen Wiig, and Angelina Jolie. The film tells a story about a special dysfunctional family called the Rooneys who live in the town of "Carpenter City", who must carefully deal with their child with a chest harness Adrian while avoiding advances from a cruel Child Protective Services agent. The Rooneys Movie will also be one of the first ever motion picture with a nine-figure budget to feature a autistic main character and themes on disorders.
The Rooneys Movie premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre on May 15, 2018 and was released in North America and Australia on June 1, 2018, in 2D, 3D, and IMAX formats. The film received generally universal acclaim from critics, who praised its humor, plot, vocal performance, emotional themes, and themes on disabilities calling this film better than all the Ice Age films combined and has grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
The Rooneys are a group of special, disabled and dysfunctional family members consisting of a young boy with a chest harness "Adrian", the aunt with a charismatic personality "Betty", a clumsy but beautiful mother "Michelle", a clueless and schizophrenic father "Todd", a lazy teenage video game-obsessed cousin "Roger" and the smallest, wildest and the comical of them all, a little girl named "Audrey".
Adrian tries to balance his life and personality at school, at home and at everywhere, with a struggle to win the affection of the girl of his dreams, a transfer student named Suzie Chapman, in which Adrian is Infatuated with and a hostility from a vindictive school bully named Clinton Evers. The Rooneys are thrown into their conflict with the strict Child Protective Services (CPS) agent Joshy Cortez, who wants to have Adrian move to a strict upper-class family and marry Michelle.
In the town of Carpenter City, the Rooney family is special, unlike ordinary. The members of both the Rooney and the Sterns family consists of the odd couple, Todd and Michelle, Aunt Betty, their children: an 8-year-old son Adrian, their 4-year-old daughter Audrey Rose, their teenaged nephew Roger, the grandparents Frank and Jessie and their family dog, Ollie.
Adrian is the son of Todd and Michelle, born with special needs (specifically highly functioned autism). The attempts to stop his behavior was often useless and the parents had tried to fit him in some of his schools. They got one thing to fix... Adrian will have a chest harness for third grade in his school, and it's perfect!
On the first day of school, Adrian was introduced to Mr. Snooty's class and is often controlled by an another special needs teacher. He meets his classmates consisting of Andy Brandy, Jimmy, Melissa, Ronny and Scott. Adrian is frequently attacked daily by the clan of school bullies, led by Clinton "Clint" Evers.
As school days passed by until the end of September, Mr. Snooty makes an announcement to his students that his class will have a new student. A new student in the form of a girl arrives, and her name was Suzie Chapman. Suzie is a nice girl, whom Adrian falls in love with because of her ponytail, outfit and her iconic bracelet. Principal Mortlock suspends Adrian from school after Adrian kissed her in the lips. At the end of the day, Jimmy gets bullied by two bullies, but the bus driver Sammy stops them.
That evening, a strict germophobic CPS agent Joshua Cortez arrives at the Rooney family house and tells Michelle that Adrian will be sent away to a strict upper-class family and her husband must be removed from the household because of this schizophrenic personality, but Michelle, having realized that her son was neutralized by the chest harness, is fine with her son. With that, Cortez has no choice but to postpone Adrian's removal from the household until further notice.
Other scenes revolving around each of the Rooney family such as trick-or-treating on Halloween, having dinner on Thanksgiving and Christmas, Adrian making a Valentine's Day card for Suzie, going Easter egg hunting, going bowling, going to an amusement park, and Adrian playing with his friends.
The Rooneys all had fun together until one day, Adrian's autism causing him to become violently hostile (because his chest harness was worn out) and causes severe rampage at school. Adrian gets pinned down by Mr. Snooty, Mortlock, his therapist and the security. Suzie becomes angry with Adrian for his monstrous behavior and leaves him. The school's notification manipulates Cortez into kidnapping special needs children all across the entire Carpenter City, including Andy, Jimmy, Suzie, Melissa and Scott. Leaving Adrian to be picked up by the other flying ship.
Adrian, aided by his various companions who are standing inside the other flying ship, including a stuffed red squirrel named Red, manages to trick Cortez into being defeated by the group of captured children by using the power of the "Man". The children escaped in escape pods while the group escapes, saved for Cortez, who gets left behind in the destroyed ship which crashes on the hills in front of Carpenter City.
Adrian is returned, and reunited with his family. Cortez, who survives the flying ship's crash and has a broken lower jaw, attempts to marry Michelle, who shuns him by closing the door on him. With Cortez banished, both Adrian and Suzie kiss each other, much to Aunt Betty's dismay.
In the end (in the following sequences), Mr. Snooty gives Adrian a chance to not go to summer school since Adrian is the best student, Clint moves on for middle school, Roger takes exercises, follows all of its nutrition requirements and becomes friends with jock Damien Tyson, Audrey is prepared to go to Kindergarten, Cortez (now working as a crossing guard for his punishment) is beaten by the school bullies while the repo men tows his car away, Adrian and Suzie kissing each other at sunset, and the entire Rooney family taking a selfie. The film's narrator appears and encourages the viewers to make their own story.
In a mid-credits scene, Cortez is in jail having a conversation with another prisoner planning his revenge on the Rooneys and ends up getting slapped in the result. In a post-credits scene, the damaged flying ship that broke the grounds of the destroyed hills disappears, the group of citizens of Carpenter City had an idea, they'll use construction to expand Carpenter City.
See also: List of The Rooneys characters
- Chris Pratt as Adrian Rooney, an 8-year-old special needs student whose autism makes him wreak havoc into anything fragile. He is forced to wear a chest harness to prevent him from running away and destroying things. He becomes a bullying magnet for Clint.
- Jim Wise does the singing voice of Adrian when he sings It's Just You and Me.
- Catherine O'Hara as Aunt Betty Sterns, a strict but kind aunt of Adrian and Audrey and Michelle's older sister.
- Zachary Gordon as Roger Sterns, a 15-year-old lazy teenage video game addict and a cousin of Adrian and Audrey.
- Tara Strong as Audrey Rose Rooney, a 4-year-old girl and the youngest of the Rooney family.
- Cameron Diaz as Michelle Rooney, a clumsy but beautiful mother to Adrian and Audrey, Roger's aunt, Todd's wife and Betty's younger sister.
- Ving Rhames as Todd Rooney, a clueless and schizophrenic father to Roger, Adrian and Audrey and Michelle's husband.
- Patrick Stewart as Franklin "Frank" Rooney, a British and upperclass grandfather to Roger, Adrian, and Audrey as well as being the father to Todd Rooney and the father-in-law to Michelle. He has a British accent unlike his family due to moving to Britain when he was only 2 months old and is always clueless to what his family does, ending up being last to know about anything.
- Stewart also plays the Narrator Guy, a British voiced man who ironically sounds like Frank Rooney. He narrates the whole film and sometimes breaks the fourth wall to interact with the audience always stating that narrating is his lifetime job and also helps the Rooney family in their lives treating the Narrator as a normal person despite being called crazy by random citizens in the city.
- Pat Carroll as Jessica "Jessie" Rooney, the average and middle class grandmother to Roger, Adrian, and Audrey as well as being the mother to Todd Rooney and the mother-in-law to Michelle. She is nice and always gives rewards to her family for everything they do whether it's bad or good.
- Ryan Reynolds as Red the Swashbuckling Squirrel, a plush red squirrel who comes to life to aid Adrian in his adventures.
- Dave Foley as Dave Snooty, a strict, obese, egotistic and generous special needs teacher and a friend of Adrian's father.
- Ludacris as Joshua "Joshy" Cortez, a strict Children's Services investigator who hold a heavy dislike towards most of the special needs children, including Adrian. He serves as the main antagonist and Michelle's villainous love interest of the film.
- Nick Kroll as Clinton "Clint" Evers, a school bully who constantly makes fun of mostly Adrian and then some of his friends.
- Elizabeth Daily as Andrew "Andy Brandy" Brandish, a kind classmate who often wears a red neckerchief and Adrian's best friend at school.
- Kristen Wiig as Melissa Edwards, a tomboyish classmate who is one of Adrian's friends.
- Eddie Deezen as James "Jimmy" Bana, a nerdy and awkward classmate who is one of Adrian's friends.
- Angelina Jolie as Susanna "Suzie" Chapman, a blonde-haired transfer student from Texas who is one of Adrian's friends and Adrian's love interest.
- Roger Craig Smith as Ronny Sterling
- Mike Judge as the voice of Scott Harper
- Brad Garrett as Principal Mortlock
- Jonah Hill as Sammy the Bus Driver
- Dennis Quaid as Uncle Freddy Sterns
- Jerry Seinfeld as Jeremy Sterns
- Mel Brooks as Grandpa Bernie Piaskoski
- Patrick Warburton as Grandma Lori Piaskoski's man voice
- Nicki Minaj as Grandma Lori Piaskoski's woman voice
- Frank Welker in three roles:
- Eric Staunton
- Ollie the Dog
- The vocal effects of Scott Harper
- Jennifer Lopez as Julissa "Julie" Miracle
- Logan Grove as Austin Sodalink
- Matthew McConaughey as Matt Carver
- Penélope Cruz as Kayla Barrios
- Jacob Batalon as Taylor Kulay-Rosas Talulot
- Kevin Hart as Allen Shaffer
- Eminem as Reybel Mathers
- Gabriel Iglesias as Rodrigo Iglesias
- Seth MacFarlane in three roles:
- Sebastian Montsinger
- Leo Gunnar
- Hayden Chapman
- Paul Rudd as Ethan Mathers
- Drew Barrymore as Anastasia "Stacy" Brentwood
- Justin Timberlake as Damien Tyson
- Bill Farmer as Caleb Morton
- Jenifer Lewis as Mrs. Valentine
- Lea DeLaria as Ms. Laura
- Hulk Hogan as Principal Battle
- Tommy Lee Jones as Coach Mackenzie
- Jeff Bennett as Christian Spade
- John Cleese as Steve Redding
- Stephen Curry as August Gust
- Fred Tatasciore
- Hynden Walch
- Dee Bradley Baker
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- Billy West
- Kath Soucie
- Asher Blinkoff
- Quvenzhané Wallis
- Tom Kenny
The Rooneys is based on a concept created by Ash Brannon at Blue Sky Studios. The film was started as a short called "The Rooney Family" in 2008 and was intended to be the pilot for a television series. In 2010, a new short with the main character's name changed to "Adrian Rooney", called "The Bullies", was made and pitched to FOX with the intent of making it into a television series. The pilot was so successful that the producers wanted to make it into a film. In 2013, the voice of Adrian Rooney was originally signed up to be preformed by Jason Drucker, who plays Greg Heffley in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul until Kevin Lima decided that Adrian shouldn't be voiced by a child himself. Later, Chris Pratt auditioned and successfully acquired the role in August 2013. The film was later announced to be in production after the roles were cast. The film was originally set to be more adult like and was set for a PG-13 rating breaking Blue Sky Studios' usual trend of G and PG rated films. According to Tara Strong, she stated the film became more family-friendly although there are a handful of adult jokes still in the film. Varner Animations who is owned by Warner Bros., later got involved in the film after having interest in it. This action would later have Warner Bros. Pictures being a international distributor of the film (under Varner Animations), however Varner Animations and Warner Bros. both dropped out of production a week before the film's release.
The film was also filmed with specially IMAX technology and specially formatted for IMAX with 26% more shown on the screen for the film when seen in IMAX. The film will also feature an enhanced framing technique known as "Frame break" used to enhance 3D effects, making effects travel "outside" the frame.
Music used in the film
In the Valley of Flowers and Love - Suzie's Theme
It's Just You and Me! (performed by Adrian and Andy)
Here Come The Big, Bad Bullies! - Clinton's Theme
Beware The Child Snatcher! - Cortez's Theme
It's Just You and Me! (reprise, performed by Adrian and Red the Squirrel)
The Road to Victory Lane - Victory Theme
You Are My Good Son - Ending Theme
Down (by Fifth Harmony ft. Gucci Mane) - Closing Credits Song
References used in the film
Great Expectations (1998 film) - Adrian and Suzie kissed each other while using the school's drinking fountain.
The Fifth Element (1997) - Cortez's flying ship's escape pods.
The Rooneys Movie was originally announced to be a direct-to-video release in North America with a release date during Fall 2017 unlike most Blue Sky Studios until FOX was convinced that the film looks too "theatrical and expensive" to be on direct-to-video so instead it was planned to have a theatrical release.
The film was released on June 1, 2018 in North America and Australia in standard and 3D as a well as an IMAX release in 2D only while the film was released later on June 29, 2018 in the United Kingdom both moved up four weeks after their original release dates.
On May 7, 2018, it was announced that Amazon Prime and Netflix members in the United States would have early access to tickets for a May 21 screening of the film at select Regal, National Amusements, ArcLight Cinemas, and AMC theaters. The screening sold out at all 1,500 and earned $5.2 million.
As of August 14, 2018, The Rooneys Movie has grossed $421.2 million in North America and $600.1 million for a worldwide total of $1.021 billion.
Initial box office projections for the film in April 2018 had the film grossing $50-$60 million in its opening weekend. Fandango reported that The Rooneys achieved the largest initial 24-hour ticket pre-sales for an animated film in just six hours. Atom Tickets also reported that The Rooneys sold more tickets in its first pre-sales day than both Blue Sky's own Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Disney-Pixar's Finding Dory sold in their first month. Newer expectations shown a week before the film have the film having an domestic opening of $100 million while going against Action Point, Upgrade, and Adrift and a worldwide opening of $220 million. The film opened in 4,732 theaters, setting the record for widest PG-rated release ever (beating the 4,665 count by Despicable Me 3 in July 2017). It made $13.2 million from Thursday night previews and $43.4 million on the first day while going against Action Point, Upgrade, and Adrift. It ended up grossing $115.2 million for its domestic opening weekend being the first Blue Sky Studios film to gross over $100 million in its opening weekend while surpassing the entire lifetime grosses of Blue Sky's Epic ($107.5 million), Ferdinand ($84.4 million), and Ice Age: Collision Course ($64 million) and a $315.4 million worldwide debut making it the biggest worldwide opening weekend for a Fox or Blue Sky Studios release and the second highest for a GoAnimate Animation film behind New GoAnimate The Third. By Thursday, its seventh day of release, the film had grossed $200.4 million, topping the entire lifetime domestic gross of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, not accounting for inflation ($196.5 million). In its second weekend the film dropped 65% to $40.3 million, finishing second behind newcomer Ocean's 8 ($41.6 million). It remained in second place in its third weekend, grossing $35.5 million and later dropped to third place in its third weekend grossing $32.6 million. On August 6, which is the film's 66th day of release, the film reached $1 billion making it the first Blue Sky Studios release to reach that milestone.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 98% based on 205 reviews, and an average rating of 9.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, The Rooneys Movie delivers a beautifully animated adventure based on a austistic kid making fun and excitement for the whole family." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 100 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating "universally positive reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of a rare "A+" on an A+ to F scale.
Mike Ryan of Uproxx gave the film a positive review, saying: "I thought that a film which is based on disabilities would me made and not have backlash due to being similar to Finding Nemo or Finding Dory, but here we are and I'm pretty happy it exists. And, for me, it was a more emotional experience than any other animated film or Blue Sky Studios movie. The Rooneys Movie got me—it made me cry." A. O. Scott of The New York Times said that while the film lacks "dazzling originality", he overall wrote, "it more than makes up for in warmth, charm and good humor". In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman wrote, "It's a film that spills over with laughs (most of them good, a few of them shticky) and tears (all of them earned), supporting characters who are meant to slay us (and mostly do) with their irascible sharp tongues, and dizzyingly extended flights of physical comedy." Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal said that "The Rooneys Movie can be touching, sweet and tender, but it's compulsively, preposterously and steadfastly funny." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four and said that the film "brims with humor, heart and animation miracles", despite lacking "the fresh humor in some cases".
Richard Roeper gave the film 3½ stars, saying: "the real star of the film is writer-director Chris Wedge, who has created a work that addresses the myriad levels of autism, pays homage to some great comedy films, carves out its own creative path, has a distinctive visual style—and is flat-out funny as well." Keith Phipps of Uproxx praised the cast and Wedge's direction, saying, "That he brings the technical skill of a practiced comedy master is more of a surprise. The final thrill of The Rooneys Movie—beyond the slow-building sense of danger, the unsettling atmosphere, and the twisty revelation of what's really going on—is that Wedge's just getting started." Mike Rougeau of IGN gave the film 9/10, and wrote, "The Rooneys Movie's whole journey, through every tense conversation, A-plus punchline and shocking act of violence, feels totally earned. And the conclusion is worth each uncomfortable chuckle and moment of doubt." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave The Rooneys Movie 3.5/4, and called it a "jolt-a-minute comedyshow laced with autistic tension and stinging satirical wit." Scott Mendelson of Forbes said the film captured the zeitgeist and called it a "modern American animated classic." Mike Young gave the film a bad review stating the lack of story and lacking humor.
20th Century Fox and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network teamed up in January 2018 to help the lives of real life autistic kids, adults, and senior who are in need and donation were accepted in promotion for the film. The film also shown to taught most people with autism to "be yourself and not worry about what others what you to be or what they think about you." Director Tim Burton, who suffered from autism himself, approved of this film showing that it can be a lesson showing that it can actually teach anyone with autism as shown that Adrian Rooney is bullied from his autism and can relate to most people with the disorders from their selves.
In early January 2018, New York resident Frederick Joseph created a GoFundMe campaign in hopes to raise money to help children with special needs at the Boys & Girls Club in Harlem see The Rooneys Movie. Joseph called the release of The Rooneys Movie a "rare opportunity for young students (in special needs) to see an autistic major cinematic and animated character come to life. This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally." The campaign exceeded its goal, and given the popularity of its intent, Joseph asked others to create their own campaigns in their own communities to take more children to see the film, which he named the "Rooneys Challenge". GoFundMe created a centralized page for anyone wishing to create a campaign for the challenge, and revealed that 10 campaigns created using the sign-up page would receive a $100 donation from GoFundMe. Over 400 additional campaigns were started around the world, with many celebrities offering their support and contributions to the campaigns, such as actress Octavia Spencer, who intended to buy out a theater in Mississippi for underserved members of the community. Obi Umunna, a Jacksonville, Florida-based attorney born to Nigerian immigrants, participated in the challenge, saying, "I just want for kids in my community to have the same opportunity and to see this movie... I think this is an awesome opportunity for them to see themselves represented in a very positive light... compared to some of the negative images that you see on a daily basis." The campaign became the largest GoFundMe in history for an entertainment event and raised over $400,000.
On May 24, 2018, the Chinese premiere of the film had most of the moviegoers wear shirts that say "Support the Autistic!" and at the end of the whole film, the movie ended with standing ovation while cheerings and rooting were heard due to the positive storyline.
In the United Kingdom, the film was originally expected to have a 12A rating due to some dangerous imitable activities such as a scene where Adrian headbutts Cortez to trick him into failing his plan was cut in order to receive a PG certificate, this edit is also in the Canada cut of the film as well.
See also: The Rooneys Movie: The Next Adventure
A sequel will be released in November 1, 2019. All of the cast members signed up for the sequel with new cast members such as Xzibit, Bruce Willis, Kid Cudi, Jack Black, Sinbad, Andy Dick, Chadwick Boseman and JoJo Siwa all expected to be in the film as well.
- The film was released in IMAX 2D only in North America and Japan while the film was released in IMAX 3D in other territories.
Main article: The Rooneys Movie/Credits