US Release Date: 12-21-2001
Directed by: John A. Davis
- Debi Derryberry, as
- Jimmy Neutron
- Patrick Stewart, as
- King Goobot
- Martin Short, as
- Mark DeCarlo, as
- Hugh Neutron
- Megan Cavanagh, as
- Judy Neutron
- Rob Paulsen, as
- Laraine Newman as
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
The 1950's is the past centuries closest decade to utopia. Divorce, crime and poverty were all at a low. Life is always depicted as simple and easy going in the movies and TV shows. Although no date is given, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is set in a 1950's type world. The perfect little neighborhood. The perfect nerdy best friend. The usual stereotyped minority. The whole movie is just so cute, but unoriginal.
Jimmy lives with his mom, dad and robot dog Goddart. Jimmy destroys parts of the house on a daily basis. Early on Jimmy flies a rocket into the roof of the house after launching a toaster satellite into orbit. Dad says to mom over the breakfast table. 'I think the chimney fell off again.' After a mild ineffective scolding Jimmy is on his way to school in a bubble gum bubble that bounces over house.
The pacing is this movie's best asset. It moves along very quickly. Which is good considering there are so few things to actually laugh at. My one favorite joke was when Jimmy and his rival, Cindy, argue over the inconclusive results on the validity of the mandible bone of a dinosaur. Jimmy asks the teacher 'What exactly is the criteria for extra credit work?' To which the, way out of her league, teacher simply stammers an inaudible response.
The plot continues as Jimmy's satellite contacts aliens, who then come to earth and kidnap all the parents and take them to their home planet to feed them to a giant alien chicken. Jimmy and the other kids pursue in carnival rides converted into space ships. Isn't that cute?
The whole feeling of this movie is 'cute.' Jimmy arguing with Cindy, a girl he really likes but is to young to admit it. His nerdy friend Carl getting to touch a Llama. His other friend getting to meet his favorite superhero, Overlord. It's all just so cute.
There is a nice theme and lesson about kids actually needing their parents that comes at the end of the movie. However, I would have enjoyed it more had Jimmie's father not been so wimpy. Still, in a country where single parenting is unfortunately becoming the norm, it is nice to see a pro traditional family movie.
My sons liked this movie, but it could have been so much more. For a funnier show about a boy genius watch Dexter's Laboratory.
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
I always find it curious when people point out the 1950s as some sort of utopia. I guess it's all about perspective, since the 1950s were a utopia so long as you weren't black or homosexual or held any other political opinions besides those held by our own government. But I guess if you're some kind of homogenized, conformist, Republican conservative, than those were the good old days (when you could be hauled before a Senate committee to name the names of people accused of being a communist or when you could be arrested for not giving up your seat on a bus if you were black). And if the movie does take place in the 1950s, than why are all the songs from the 1980s?
Obviously I was not the target audience for this cartoon. While some cartoons work on multiple levels and are enjoyable by children of all ages, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is not one of them. It's jokes are quite squarely aimed at the under-10s, to the exclusion of anyone older than that.
Oh, I suppose that's not quite completely true. There are a few chuckles that all can enjoy. Eric's right about the argument in the classroom, and I found Jimmy's pet robotic dog; Goddart, to be both funny and interesting. But overall, too many of the jokes take the easy route. Jimmy invents a soda that makes you burp, for example. His mom and dad end up drinkng it and 'hilarity' ensues.
Another thing that baffles me is when people complain about movies being anti-traditional family. You know the type, people who complain because Disney is constantly showing single family households instead of the more traditional mother, father, and child. These are the kinds of people who see that as an attack on traditional families. To those people I say, 'Get over yourselves.' They're just cartoons! How can you be threatened by things that have nothing to do with you? If you're not a single parent, than how can you feel threatened if other people are?
So,unless you're a child under 10, or someone who can only enjoy cartoons when there is both a mother and a father present, than you will find little to enjoy in this cartoon.
The colors are vividly rendered.
The neighborhood looks 1950’s quaint and most of the songs from the soundtrack are from the ‘80’s, but this movie is clearly set in the time of its release which was 2001. One of the little girls has a cell phone after all. Not that any of that really matters when dealing with an animated children’s movie but since you both went on about the time era I thought I would add my two cents.
The animation is well done. The colors are bright and vivid and they successfully captured the illusion of depth. I was previously unfamiliar with the character of Jimmy Neutron but judging by the number of sequels that have been made it is fair to say he is popular with children.
I agree Eric that this movie is fast-paced and cute with a heartwarming ending. However, call me old fashioned, but I miss the days before crude bathroom humor entered the animated movie realm. Did we need to see Jimmy’s friend Sheen gleefully peeing in the shower? And in the burping scene that Scott mentioned the dad says, “At least it’s coming out of the attic and not the basement.” Noel Coward it ain't.
Scott, this is definitely aimed at the preteen set but there are tidbits for the adults as well, especially in the song choices. The use of “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones, for example, during the scene of the kids running amuck the morning after the parents have disappeared. What young child would recognize or appreciate the lyrics of this song?
My favorite character was also the dog Goddart. He is cleverly done. As for the traditional two parent family argument. I guess we all want to see ourselves reflected in the movies we watch. I hope the day comes when gay parents (or any openly gay charcter) can be shown in an animated movie and no one will bat an eye.
It’s kind of strange to be reviewing a movie that was released nearly a decade ago that both Eric and Scott reviewed as a new release. I guess Three Movie Buffs has been around for quite a while now.
Photos © Copyright Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon Movies (2001)