Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius (2001) – movie review

Share now:

Movie Review by Dr Kuma

Starring: Debi Derryberry, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Megan Cavanagh, Mark DeCarlo
Director: John A Davis

I must admit I approached this film with slight trepidation. I’d already covered a similar ‘kids’ movie recently that took it’s inspiration from the style and success of TOY STORY (MONSTERS, INC) and this looked as if it was another to jump on a successful ideas bandwagon. I was right and wrong. The movie is very similar in style to both the previously mentioned films but it really does have a style, imagination and humour all of it’s own and shouldn’t be lumped in with the other two, which is bound to happen. It deserves to be looked and judged on it’s own merit, which I found, to my surprise, it fully justifies.

JIMMY NEUTRON – BOY GENIUS tells the simple story of a boy and his robot dog Goddard battling evil, rescuing his parents, saving the Earth and getting back in time for tea. This is real escapist stuff and although very open-minded in its attempt at realism (entering the stratosphere without a safety helmet shouldn’t be tried at home kids) you have to sit back and remember who the target audience is for this picture and enjoy it. Although the movie has a real retro feel, it seems to remind you of those 1950’s sci-fi movies where one town battles the alien forces and no one but the few who live on the street ever know (but seem to win). The characters who populate this street are Jimmy’s best friend Carl Weezer (a brilliantly observed character), his arch nemesis Cindy Vortex the cool Nick, several other assorted friends and their relevant parents (who are mirrored by their offspring).

Retroville, the town in which they live has just had an exiting addition – The Retroland amusement park. Obviously all the kids want to go but have curfews. They need to go, but sneaking out to do so has disastrous effects on the whole community, which Jimmy and the gang must tackle. No it’s not just the wrath of their parents they need to deal with, but a message that Jimmy has left in his home made satellite that brings evil aliens known as the ‘yokians’ to town and boy, they like the look of the kids parents….

The scenes of abduction are excellent but are surpassed by the visuals in the beautifully realised Theme Park from it’s crazy rides to the trip through space where the same fair ground rides are piloted by the kids in an effort to save their world. Sound crazy. It is but quite brilliant. I openly laughed at several ‘in jokes’ and found the choice of some of the music inspired 9 the Ramones and the Go Go’s in a Kids movie!

All in all this is excellent entertainment. I have a feeling this movie will gain quite a following. The day that the director found a script in his attic when moving house that his friend had written years ago was a blessed day for all concerned. Only now is the technology available to match the creative excellence on show in this, one of the best kids (and adults) movies in an age.

Dr Kuma’s verdict: Go Jimmy Go!

5 out of 6 stars