Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

2.5 out of 52.5 out of 52.5 out of 52.5 out of 5 2.5

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We like Debi Derryberry, voice of Jimmy Neutron—she’s got a funny name and her last screen credit was Rude Coffee Customer in Ghost World. She’s also a girl doing a boy’s voice which is always cool even if Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius is the biggest dorkfest since Max Keeble’s Big Move. Neutron, like his Nickelodeon grandfather Inspector Gadget, is the poster boy for walking contradictions: he’s lazy (his gizmo wake-up routine is Pee-wee reductive) and while he may own a jet-pack, he still chases after the school bus. At least Gadget had an excuse: he was stupid. The Neutron parent brigade is quintessentially old-fashioned, so much so they’re rendered easily expendable. Once intergalactic aliens haul the film’s Mike Brady and Donna Reed clones off to a distant planet (home of a monster reptile/chicken hybrid), it’s up to Neutron & Co. to save TV Land from tummy aches and boo-boos. Cue moral lesson: parents may not let you have fun but if they’re gone who’s going to scramble your eggs? Jimmy Neutron‘s wide-eyed computer animation is considerably ho-hum by Pixar standards, especially when set to a lifeless teeny bopper soundtrack. The voice-work is top-notch (Andrea Martin’s Mrs. Fowl is joyously witchy and Rob Paulsen’s Carl is the funniest nerd this side of Ralph Wiggum) and sometimes awww-inducing (see the kid who eats too much cotton candy). The story itself is relatively conflicted, walking an awkward line between absurd (a boy looks for his parents inside a garbage can, Martin Short’s Ooblar talks to toast) and downright lame (Jimmy thinks sneaking out is “barbaric”). The been-there-done-that feel of Neutron, though, seems tailormade for the current Nickelodeon crowd—parents will yawn and crack a smile here and there while the 6-and-under crowd might actually stay in their seats.

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DVD | Soundtrack
Distributor
Paramount Pictures
Runtime
90 min
Rating
G
Year
2001
Director
John A. Davis
Screenwriter
John A. Davis, Steve Oedekerk, J. David Sterm, David N. Weiss
Cast
Debi Derryberry, Megan Cavanagh, Mark DeCarlo, Jeffrey Garcia, Bob Goen, Mary Hart, Carolyn Lawrence, Andrea Martin, Candi Milo, Candy Milo, Laraine Newman, Crystal Scales, Martin Short, Patrick Stewart