JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS
Review by Michael Jacobson
Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Debi Derryberry, Candi Milo, Rob Paulsen
Director: John A. Davis
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1, Full Frame 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 82 Minutes
Release Date: July , 2002
Isaac Neutron, how many times have I told you not to launch yourself from the
Boy Genius is
frantic fun from start to finish. If
you’re a kid, it works because it taps into just about every fantasy a kid
ever had. If you’re an adult, it
works because it makes you remember what it was like to be a kid and have those
a superb technical achievement, too, and one that carves its own niche out of
the burgeoning genre of computer animated flicks. While other recent films like Final Fantasy strove for
more and more realistic depictions, Jimmy Neutron is pure imagination
from start to finish. The
characters are vivid and three dimensional, but not even close to being
realistic…their plastic appearance actually makes the entire movie come to
life as the ultimate kid’s playroom, or a giant colorful pop-up book.
those characters are also vivid and memorable…real or unreal, this movie
boasts one of the most delightful group of kids I’ve seen in many years, and
each one is distinctive and charming in his or her own right. And that group is led, of course, by young Jimmy.
is a boy with a ridiculous amount of brainpower. His inventions include a communications satellite made from a
toaster, a shrink ray gun, and best of all, a mechanical dog named Goddard, who
does everything a real dog does and much more.
His latest excursion is to make contact with aliens he believes are
aliens track Jimmy’s signal, visit our planet, and…make off with all the
parents! At first, it’s a festive
field day for Jimmy and his friends. But
soon, they realize that having no one to tuck you in, make your lunch, or kiss
your boo-boos can be a real drag. Jimmy
and friends realize there’s only one thing to do…go to outer space and
rescue their parents. Impossible,
you say? Not for Jimmy!
movie is endlessly inventive, making use of all the liberation computer
animation has to offer. How Jimmy
gets him and his friends into space, for example, is wonderfully imaginative,
and I’ll leave it for you to discover. It’s
only the beginning of what the film has to offer.
aliens, called Yolkians, are also instantly unique and memorable…you’ve
never seen anything quite like them. The
fact that their pompous king is voiced by Patrick Stewart is just another part
of their charm.
despite the visual fluidity and imagination, nothing in the picture detracts
from the kids themselves. They are
all easily recognizable exaggerations of the real things, and their combined
looks and personalities add to the comic goings-on of the film.
And I’ve barely touched on how funny the picture actually is…it’s a
high-octane serving of energetic slapstick that would tire the Three Stooges,
and serves one clever ace after another in terms of gags, situations, and
even worse; I haven’t even done justice to the movie’s amazing visual style,
which is an incredibly rich and detailed three dimensional canvas where anything
and everything is possible. It even
makes the revolutionary Toy Story look like a beginner’s attempt at
elements combined make Jimmy Neutron one of last year’s most manically
hip and entertaining movie offerings. I
only hope sequels are in the works!
who have experienced the lush beauty of computer animation on DVD will be
pleased to know Paramount has carried on that tradition of excellence.
Jimmy Neutron is flawless in both anamorphic widescreen and full
frame presentations. This disc preserves all the rich, digital detail of the
animators’ efforts, and it will turn your viewing monitor into a playground of
images, colors, and movement. Reference
5.1 soundtrack is quite good, too…it might have been a little more bold in the
use of rear stage effects, but generally makes good with the medium’s
capabilities, keeping the music, dialogue and effects lively and dynamic, with
select but effective uses of panning on both axes. The addition of several updated 80s pop favorites is a fun
and welcome touch, too!
disc contains a 16 minute of making-of featurette…not very in-depth as far as
the computer animation goes, but does feature a number of cast and crew
interviews. There is also a teaser
and theatrical trailer, two music videos (one by Aaron Carter, and one for a
brand new version of “Kids in America”), 12 interstitial promotional spots
(five of which actually make a story via a series of cliffhangers), and a pair
of DVD ROM games. The menu screens
are fairly cool, too.