Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Review by Ross Anthony

Rocketing onto the screen, Jimmy and pal blast passed a baffled formation of Air Force jets. Buzzing nearly out of the atmosphere, Jimmy Neutron: Boy GeniusJimmy places his satellite (an electric toaster) in orbit, "Cool! We didn't blow up!"

Back on Earth, negotiating playtime rights with mom and dad seems a much more daunting task.

Jimmy: "But mom! I'm on the verge of communication with an advanced alien civilization!"
Mom: "I've told you not to talk to strangers!"

After a fantastically fun (for the viewer) day at school, which includes a spectacular "show and tell" scene with a wonderfully out-of-touch teacher (Andrea Martin), Jimmy's gang stumbles across a poster advertising the grand opening of Retroland. Compelled beyond the self-disciplining limits of little boys, they set out to win playtime rights on a school night. The parents, unimpressed by their offsprings' enthusiasm, decline.

In fact, the tongue-in-cheek, yet clearly honest portrayal of these parent-children relationships propels this film out of the stratosphere and into the realm of excellence. Mom and dad crack open a book for some advice, its title: "Unwrapping your Gifted Child." Subtle wisecracks like these abound - pay attention. A full two-thirds of the film sports a fresh, odd, fast-paced humor very enjoyable to adults ... perhaps even more than to kids.

Visually, the computer animation approaches a Nick Park ("Wallace and Grommet," "Chicken Run") almost clay-mation look. In fact, "Neutron" may be sort of an American tribute to Park's brand of British humor. Outlandish and colorful, eventually, aliens abduct all the parents in the neighborhood. Though Jimmy's initiation of the rescue launches mightily -- even awesomely, the wacky originality of the film gives way to a rote sci-fi wrap up.

Still very very enjoyable ... this could have been one of the best pictures of the year.

  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Copyright © 2001. Rated G.
  • Starring the voice talent of Debi Derryberry, Megan Cavanagh, Mark Decarlo, Jeff Garcia, Carolyn Lawrence, Andrea Martin, Candi Milo, Patrick Stewart and Martin Short.
  • Directed by John A. Davis.
  • Written by John A. Davis and David N. Weiss, J. David Stem and Steve Oedekerk.
  • Produced by Steve Oedekerk, John S. Davis and Albie Hecht at Nickelodeon/ Paramount/O entertainment.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:07:07 PDT