Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
|Featuring||Debi Derryberry, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Rob Paulsen, Andrea Martin|
|Director||John A Davis, John Davis|
|Producer||John A Davis, Steve Oedekerk, Paul Marshal|
“Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” is Nickelodeon’s attempt at computer animation on the big screen, but it doesn’t quite compare to the quality of “Monsters, Inc.”. But what the film lacks in quality, it does make up ground in spirit.
I liked this Tom Swift (my favorite childhood Sci-Fi hero) meets “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” character. Jimmy (voice by Debi Derryberry) reminds us all of those awkward pre-adolescent years. You know—the time where the cooties on girls begin to disappear. Jimmy is regarded as a nerd at school and a challenge to his parents. His best friend, Carl Wheezer (voice by Rob Paulsen), always has a good word for Jimmy. I liked the friendship and the uplifting loyalty that exist between these two school chums. Jimmy receives some jabs from Cindy Vortex (voice by Candi Milo), but you can tell that she begins to respect his leadership. There are many familiar plot points, but John Davis does a great job of not assaulting our youth with offensive material (something “Shrek” cannot boast about).
Jimmy and Carl sneak out one night to see the grand opening of a local amusement park. They have so much fun that they wish their parents were absent from controlling their lives. As if in answers to their prayers, aliens come and take their parents. The youth begin to pursue a utopia of self-indulgence, but it doesn’t take long before they all realize how important the care of parents is (when is the last time you saw that message in a film?).
Jimmy rallies the kids and they build rockets that defy all logic and go after the moms and dads of the neighborhood. They soon meet King Goobot (voice by Patrick Stewart) and learn of his evil plot to make human sacrifices out of the parents. This plot point starts out as startling to any Christian, but quickly moves into a vehicle for some “Veggie Tales”-style humor (you’ll see). “Jimmy Neutron” is a great holiday popcorn film!
My youngest son (age 10) was so impressed he has chosen to build his upcoming birthday party around this movie. If you’ve got the time, consider sending a note of thanks to Nickelodeon for making a film that does not have “in-jokes” and excessive flatulence.