Review of: IMAGINARY FRIENDS 

reviewed by andrewkula on 05/30/2007
Credited Review
andrewkula
my inner child would like to read a sequel Credited Review
John,

I had a great time reading Imaginary Friends. I think your vivid language and beautiful imagery is something we should all aspire to. You did a great job with set-up and pay-off. I had some doubts about whether some elements would come into play later, but when they did (like Luke imitating his diving catch poster at the end) it felt inevitable. I think the Imaginary City is an incredible setting (and it might deserve a more creative name!). The pacing is very good, too. Your pages are packed with description, which can be off-putting, but the quick-moving action made it reader-friendly. There are some cool names in the imaginary world, too (like Elsie Dee and Mount Neverrest). I really like Dr. Gross's pocket watch - that's a clever device. And I appreciated how the imaginary friends' unique traits came in handy when they needed to free their comrades from the cocoons. All that said, I do think there are some ways you can improve it, so here are my major suggestions:

1. I think you should invest more effort in humor. The story is so creative, and it's a shame it isn't as funny as Antz or Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I think there are amusing moments (I mentioned Dr. Gross's pocket watch and his malfunctioning laser beam invention) but I'd be blown away if there were more moments of sophisticated humor like this. Tarantulus humming to himself and playing with the snow globe was hilarious! That leads me to my next point...

2. I want to see more of Taratulus's private life. It's so interesting to see the supreme villain's soft side, that I felt cheated only to get a glimpse of it. I think this could really escalate the humor and create a more captivating antagonist.

3. I felt like the script needed some more feminine influence. Just because the main character is a child doesn't mean there can't be any degree of romance in the script. Monster House does a good job of including romance to a small extent to give the story a little more flavor without turning it into a love story. Maybe it'd be worth considering to turn Fizzit or Blast into a female character so we can see a little more gender-variety within the main group. Or maybe there's a human-type female imaginary friend that Luke develops a crush on and wants to save. It's something to consider...

4. I was surprised that Mr. Muscle, Ultra-Guy and Alienator didn't show up in the imaginary world. Because they essentially are products of Luke's imagination, it seemed like they would be there too. I thought Luke would summon them when he needed to go and free all of the imprisoned imaginary friends. It'd be interesting to see Alienator acting on Luke's side instead of automatically as an antagonist.

5. I think Blast should overcome his own individual fear to save everyone in the tree house. It's nice how Fizzit figures out how to defeat the Peek-a-boos, because he is the one who's afraid of the dark. And Dr. Gross, the one who fears spiders, figures out how to do the spider dance. So why doesn't Blast, who's afraid of heights, figure out how to escape the tree houses? Shouldn't he be the one who grabs Fizzit's boomerings off his head?

Also, I noticed some small issues as I read that you might want to look at:

2 - In Luke's fantasy, shouldn't there be an announcer so that Luke doesn't have to do it himself?

3 - "Fan's stunned faces" should be the plural "fans' stunned faces."

4 - "It's speed" should be "Its speed."

18 - "discretely" should be "discreetly."

24 - This scene is an interesting mix of "Monsters Inc." and "Beetlejuice."

27 - Great description of Imaginary City.

54 - "Can't breath" should be "can't breathe."

62 - "I though he was with you" should be "I thought he was with you."

98 - "Merlin, Luke, and everyone else rushes out" should be "Merlin, Luke and everyone else rush out." Everyone = singluar, but everyone + Merlin + Luke = plural. I majored in English; don't hate me.

All in all, I can see why Imaginary Friends is so well-received. I've been interested in this one for a long time, and I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint. I hope my suggestions are helpful for you, and I'd love to see a new draft when the time comes. Please let me know if you have any questions or want to discuss anything further. Good luck!

-Andy

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