Spark (known as Spark: A Space Tail in the United States), is a 2016 3D computer-animated science fiction adventure comedy film written and directed by Aaron Woodley, and featuring the voices of Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart, Jace Norman and Alan C. Peterson. The film premiered on April 22, 2016, at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International. It was released on April 14, 2017 in the United States by Open Road Films.
Thirteen years ago, the evil General Zhong overthrew his noble brother to seize the throne of the planet Bana, using a spacetime anomaly known as a "slick". Slicks were defecated out by a wild creature known as a space kraken. The slick tore whole shards off the planet, and swallowed up many subjects. Among the few survivors were a baby monkey named Spark, a warrior fox named Vix, and a pig mechanic named Chunk.
In the present, Spark, Vix and Chunk secretly live on a shard used as a garbage dump, with Vix and Chunk leading insurgency missions against Zhong. One day, Spark intercepts an e-mail sent to Vix about a new mission, and decides to take the mission himself. The e-mail surprisingly leads to the Queen of Bana, whom Zhong still permits to live in the palace. The Queen hands Spark a kraken-finder, which Zhong wants to use to find and recapture the space kraken. Spark decides to use it to find the kraken himself, and he tames the creature and brings it back to Bana. But he then finds his home raided by Zhong's forces, who then capture both him and the kraken. Zhong forces the kraken to make a new slick into which he hurls Spark, Vix, Chunk and the entire garbage shard.
The trio discover that the slick is actually a wormhole that leads to a desert planet. Spark finds survivors of the first slick, living in the King's old flagship battle cruiser. The Captain of the flagship reveals that Spark is in fact the son of the King and Queen, who entrusted Vix and Chunk to hide him away. The King had actually died in an accident some years ago. But Spark has a vision of the King when he visits a memorial to him, and finds a special weapon made for the royal family. Spark rallies the survivors to mount an attack on Zhong, and Chunk figures out a way to use technology to make a slick of their own.
The flagship and survivors return to Bana through their own slick, and ultimately defeat Zhong's forces after a prolonged battle. Spark personally rescues his mother, the Queen, from Zhong's own flagship which gets critically damaged during the battle. Spark decides to rescue Uncle Zhong as well, but the Queen then punches Zhong into the slick. The film ends with Spark becoming the new Prince of Bana.Jace Norman as Spark
Jessica Biel as Vix
Rob deLeeuw as Chunk
Hilary Swank as The Queen, Spark's mother
Susan Sarandon as Bananny, Spark's forgetful nanny robot
Alan C. Peterson as Zhong
Athena Karkanis as Koko, Zhong's muscular enforcer
Jason Deline as various characters
Patrick Stewart as The Captain
In January 2015, Deadline.com announced that Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank and Susan Sarandon joined the cast with Aaron Woodley directing, and Red Rover International, Gulfstream Pictures and ToonBox Entertainment producing. Woodley would also be writing the screenplay with Doug Hadders and Adam Rotstein. Red Rover International will also fully finance the film.
The film premiered at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International on April 22, 2016. It was released in the United States on April 14, 2017.
Spark was panned by critics. The film holds a 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 19 reviews, with an average review score of 4/10. On Metacritic, it has a score of 22 out of 100, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Spark opened in 365 theaters in North America and grossed just $196,458 in its opening weekend, taking in a paltry $308 per theater.