The poster for the theatrical release.

Imagine That is a 2009 comedy film starring Eddie Murphy. Imagine That takes place in Denver, Colorado, (which can be identified by the skyline and landmarks). It centers on the relationship between a workaholic father (Eddie Murphy), and his daughter, Olivia (Yara Shahidi), whose imaginary world becomes the solution to her father's success. Among the cast is veteran actor Ronny Cox who last starred with Eddie Murphy in his blockbuster series, Beverly Hills Cop.[1] This film received mixed reviews from critics and Murphy was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for his work in the film.

The film is a co-production between Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. Because Hotel for Dogs was released by DreamWorks instead of Paramount, Paramount reunited with Nickelodeon Movies to co-produce the film.


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Evan Danielson (Eddie Murphy) is a very successful stockbroker, who had been working at the same securities firm for eight years as their top account manager, that is until Johnny Whitefeather (Thomas Haden Church) was hired as his rival. Whitefeather seems to have the whole company under some spell as he spiels his nonsensical idioms filled with Native American mumbo jumbo. These top executives seem more content with chanting Indian style noises rather than listen to how they can make money through sound investments. When Evan finally discovers that his daughter, Olivia (Yara Shahidi), is somehow able to tell the future within the financial world by using her 'goo-gaa' comfort blanket and her imaginary friends (Queen Qwali and Princesses Kupida, Sopida and Mopida), he discovers he has an invaluable upper hand now at the office.

In order for Evan to ask these imaginary friends any question he must travel through the imaginary world, through a dense forest, past a dragon, through caves, and even walk through France. Before, Evan who is a part-time father really had no time for his daughter, now is forced to play with her and by her rules. After only a couple of days with her, he rediscovers the inner child within himself and genuinely has a lot of fun playing these imaginary games with Olivia.

Whitefeather becomes suspicious and begins to search for Evan's secret. When he finds out that Evan was just playing with a blanket, he purchased a six thousand dollar blanket and forces his son to tell him the "future" and making him extremely hyperactive by making him drink many cans of Red Bull.

Whitefeather and Evan are now competing for the position of heading the Western division of the company D.D.E. In order to be prepared for the most important presentation of his life, Evan must once again invoke the use of the Goo-Gaa blanket and meet up with the princesses. The only problem is that Olivia is spending the night at her friends house, and there is no way for Evan to obtain said Goo-Gaa. Also, the presentation showdown will be held on Saturday, the day of Olivia's class play. So Evan is able to get the Goo-Gaa from his daughter, later Evan's daughter is seen crying because he isn't really caring about her, only her blanket. Evan returns home and tries to get the princesses' attention. Evan then starts working on his presentation, and later couple hours past, and he stretches, then the Goo-Gaa falls on the floor, but he continues working without noticing that it fell. Evan decides to go to the presentation instead of his daughter, Olivia's class play. Johnny starts off with his presentation, but his idea was too crazy for the owner of the company, so Johnny leaves without getting the position. Then it's Evan's turn, he gets up and just when he is about to present, he decides to go to Olivia's class play, and leaves the presentation. Evan starts driving over to the class play, and he starts changing into a costume. Back at the class play, Olivia is about to sing her solo part, then all of a sudden Evan appears in a king costume, and Olivia starts singing, and she is happy that he came. After the class play, Evan starts talking to Olivia about how sorry he is for using her blanket, and not caring about her, and for using the princesses for the wrong reason.. Meanwhile, the owner of the company, D.D.E. appears, and wants to talk to Evan. He and Evan talk, and he decides to give the position to Evan because of how much Evan cares about his family. Evan accepts. Evan goes back to Olivia, and it is time to say good-bye to the princesses, both of them start waving, and a gust of wind blows, and some leaves are in a shape of a person, and the princesses go off to the sky. Evan, Olivia's mother, and Olivia leave happy.



The score to Imagine That was composed by Mark Mancina, who had previously worked with director Karey Kirkpatrick on Over the Hedge. He recorded his score with an 83-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage.[2]

The film soundtrack features several covers of Beatles songs, such as "Got to Get You into My Life", "Nowhere Man", and two different versions of "Here Comes the Sun", while the song "All You Need Is Love" plays a part in the film's plot.

Box office

On its opening weekend, the film opened #6 grossing $5,503,519 in 3,008 theaters with an $1,830 average.[3] As of August 9, 2009, the film has grossed $22,985,194 worldwide, making this a box office flop.


The film received mixed reviews from critics.[4] Rotten Tomatoes reported that 40% of critics gave positive reviews based on 116 reviews with an average score of 5.1/10.[5] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average of 53% based on 22 reviews.[4]

Awards and nominations

Award Category Nominee Result
30th Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Actor Eddie Murphy Nominated
Worst Actor of the Decade Won
2010 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress Yara Shahidi Nominated

Home media

Imagine That was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 13, 2009.[6]


  • It was the first film by Nickelodeon Movies to premiere on BET, another Viacom-owned television network that is aimed for an African-American audience.
  • This is the first Nickelodeon Movies film to bomb at the worldwide box-office, as it did not recoup its $55 million budget.
  • This was the first film from Nickelodeon to earn a Golden Raspberry Award nomination, as Eddie Murphy was nominated for two awards for his role in this film, Worst Actor and Worst Actor of the Decade (also for his other nominated roles), with Murphy winning the latter.
  • Thomas Haden Church, who played Johnny Whitefeather, also played Brooks the Crow in Charlotte's Web.
  • This is Yara Shahidi's film debut.
  • A scene from the Blue's Clues episode "Blue Goes to the Doctor" appeared on the television when Evan switched to it for Olivia to watch.
  • The scene where Evan is trying to get past the dragon, when Olivia tells Evan to make his voice higher, he says "and give me aneurysm?". This line is a reference to Eddie Murphy's 2003 comedy film Daddy Day Care, where Eddie Murphy's character, Charlie is reading green eggs and ham to his son and makes an elephant noise. As his son asks to do it again, He says "no no I can't do it again because daddy might have Aneurysm".



  2. Dan Goldwasser (2008-06-17). "Mark Mancina scores NowhereLand". Retrieved on 2008-06-17. 
  3. Weekend Box Office Results for June 12–14, 2009. Box Office Mojo (2009-06-14). Retrieved on 2009-06-19.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Imagine That (2009): Reviews. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved on 2009-06-19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "mt" defined multiple times with different content
  5. Imagine That Movie Reviews, Pictures. Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment (2009-06-14). Retrieved on 2009-06-19.

External links