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Kenya
Directed by Tom McGrath
Produced by Karen Foster
Screenplay by Sarah Jane Cunningham
Suzie V. Freeman
Story by Tom McGrath
Sarah Jane Cunningham
Suzie V. Freeman
Starring Owen Laramore
Isabella Rice
Jack Dylan Grazer
Ryan Reynolds
Thomas Haden Church
Joan Cusack
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Robert Edward Crawford
Edited by Eric Dapkewicz
Production
company
DreamWorks Animation
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date April 30, 2025
Running time 101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100 million
Box office $423 million

Kenya is a 2025 American computer-animated sports comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and released by Universal Pictures. It was directed by Tom McGrath and features the voice talents of Owen Laramore, Isabella Rice, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ryan Reynolds, Thomas Haden Church, and Joan Cusack. The film focuses on the titular character, a ten-year-old boy who embarks on a quest to become a legendary baseball player, accompanied by his brother and an orphaned nine-year-old adventurer.

Kenya was released theatrically in the United States on April 30, 2025 to critical acclaim, with praise for the animation, story, humor, voice acting, and Hans Zimmer's musical score. It was also successful at the box office, grossing $423 million worldwide on a $100 million budget. The film won several awards, including the Flamingo Award, Saturn Award, Satellite Award, Annie Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Plot

Kenya Kes Remington (Owen Laramore) is an orphaned ten-year-old boy who lives with his brother Fronz (Jack Dylan Grazer) and their adoptive aunt Clara (Joan Cusack) in Oregon. He dreams of becoming a champion baseball player like his idol, J.S. (Ryan Reynolds); however, Carla needs him to help her with gardening work in her company, Garden Co., where he is frequently laughed at by other kids. After practicing baseball one night and accidentally setting Garden Co.'s flowers on fire, he is consequently dismissed from the company.

One day, Kenya learns of a baseball game in California and decides to go there. Kenya and a reluctant Fronz (who tags along to ensure his brother's safety) travel south for California and meet a nine-year-old girl named Kristen (Isabella Rice) (who he develops an immediate crush on), and her talking squirrel companion, Cute. Realizing Kristen is J.S.' daughter, Kenya lets her join in, much to Fronz's jealousy. Using Kristen's raft, the Great Voyage, Kenya, Kristen, Fronz, and Cute take a shortcut through a tunnel that leads them to an incinerator, narrowly escaping and abruptly ending up in California, though the Great Voyage is burned.

Kristen sadly admits she lost her mother in fire, where she gave her a promise to find a baseball career before they died. Kenya decides to adopt her. The trio approaches the game, and Kenya embraces J.S., who recruits him and Kristen into a team called the Eagles. Everyone takes a liking to Kenya, except for McCrary (Thomas Haden Church) the leader of the rival team, the Crows. Kenya shows talent in baseball as he and Kristen fall in love and develop a romantic relationship. As they go out for practice, Kenya talks Fronz into joining the Eagles, but, since Kenya and Kristen's romance made him feel left out, he declines. Despite Fronz's attempt to discourage him, Kenya, agitated with his brother's stubbornness, storms off to practice, dismissing him from the Eagles and breaking off their relationship.

Meanwhile, back at Kenya's house, Carla is worried when her nephews are not home and discovers that the plants from her garden were cursed and formed a monster headed to the baseball game, setting out to find them. When the game begins, the Eagles keep score against the Crows. With a minute left, Kenya hits the ball out of the park with great force, and the Eagles win. Carla informs Kenya of the cursed plant monster. With the stadium under attack, Kenya realizes the curse can only be broken if the monster is penetrated by a harpoon. Kenya uses a vine to climb up the stadium. When the monster grabs Kristen and is about to eat her, Fronz, having had a change of heart, distracts the monster long enough for Kenya to save Kristen and throw a harpoon at the plant monster, destroying the curse.

Kenya is praised for his determination by everyone. Kenya reconciles with Fronz and shares a kiss with Kristen with Fronz's blessing. Kenya bids farewell to Carla and Fronz and stays in California with Kristen and J.S. to pursue Kenya's baseball career. Fronz and Carla return to Garden Co., while Kenya goes to school with Kristen.

Cast

  • Owen Laramore as Kenya Kes Remington, an optimistic and intelligent 10-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a baseball player.
  • Isabella Rice as Kristen Kaye, a tough-as-nails, pretty, adventurous 9-year-old girl who is J.S.' daughter and Kenya's love interest.
  • Ryan Reynolds as J.S., a baseball champion, Kristen's father, Kenya's idol, and the leader of the Eagles.
  • Jack Dylan Grazer as Fronz Remington, a 13-year-old boy and Kenya's older brother who constantly tries to mentor Kenya into the Garden Co business.
  • Thomas Haden Church as Mr. McCrary, J.S.' rival and the leader of the Crows.
  • Joan Cusack as Carla Remington, Kenya's aunt and the founder and CEO of the Garden Co company.
  • Frank Welker (uncredited) as Cute, a squirrel and Kristen's companion.
  • Tom McGrath as Kenya and Fronz's unnamed boss at the Garden Co. company.
  • Kari Wahlgren and David P. Smith as Kristen's mother who died in a fire.
  • Conrad Vernon as the umpire

Reception

Box office

Kenya opened in select North American theaters on April 30, 2025, and was projected to gross anywhere around $75-85 million its opening weekend. It grossed $210 million in North America and $213 internationally, totaling $423 million worldwide. Produced on a $100 million budget, the film was a box office success.

Critical response

Kenya received massive universal acclaim from critics, who praised the story, humor, animation, voice acting, emotional depth, and Hans Zimmer's musical score. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 98% approval rating based on 204 reviews. The consensus reads, "Beautifully animated and led by skillful voice performances from Owen Laramore and company, Kenya thrillingly makes up for 101 minutes of a showstopping sports comedy from DreamWorks". On Metacritic, it has a score of 85 out of 100 based on 41 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A+" on an A+ to F scale.