Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

on December 21, 2001 by Tim Cogshell
   Except for the brand of highly-resolved 3-D animation used to create "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius"--the latest creation of the theatrical arm of Nickelodeon Studios--one can find cartoons just as funny, captivating and creative on Nickelodeon's TV fare or the Cartoon Network. Which is not to say this isn't an entertaining bit of animated cinema: It is. But it does beg the question--is there any reason to pay for it? There isn't. Nevertheless, it's a fun cartoon.

   Jimmy is a boy genius whose talent for inventing is expansive, ranging from pocket miniaturizers and robot dogs to jet-packs and personal body groomers. However, his best work is in the space sciences: rocketships and toaster satellites. With one of his inventions, he contacts an alien race that happens to find adult humans a taste-treat. They kidnap all the parents in Jimmy's town--including his--so Jimmy and his robot dog, Goddard (named after the father of modern rocketry, Robert Goddard--a bit of trivia most kids and their parents won't get), have to save the parents--and the world.

   The voice work is well executed and the ‘50s-style settings and designs mixed with contemporary references and gadgets make for interesting visuals. The dialogue is witty, intended to keep parents in the theatre with the very young children for whom the film is intended. Voiced by Debi Derryberry, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short and Andrea Martin. 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 A. Davis and Albie Hecht. A Paramount release. Animated/Adventure. Rated G. Running time: 84 min

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