Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4
JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS is a fun family film for the young and the young at
heart, although some callous teens and older preteens may find it uncool. Those
with a little innocent imagination left will be charmed by Jimmy Neutron (voiced
by Debi Derryberry), a sweet nerd with a hairdo in the shape of a giant question
Jimmy's a genius who is a non-stop invention factory. Although his parents, as
parents always do, admonish him not to talk to strangers, he communicates with
an alien civilization via a communicator that he has built using a toaster.
This gets him into no small amount of trouble.
What is every kid's dream? A world without parents to bother them, of course.
The kids learn the classic lesson of being careful what you wish for after the
aliens use Jimmy's transmission to guide them to earth, where they abduct the
parents to use them as food for their god. "Humans are mostly water with a
crunchy, bony center," one of the aliens explains. Without adult supervision,
the kids pig out big time, leaving them with food hangovers the next morning as
their bloated bellies feel like they will bust.
Jimmy is ably assisted by his trusty and lovable mechanical dog named Goddard.
He is a smart pooch who has only one nasty habit, he sometimes poops out nuts
and bolts -- that plus a burping scene is about as raunchy as JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY
GENIUS ever gets. This is a movie that wants you to be able to take the
youngest members of your household without worrying about anything inappropriate
occurring. Jimmy's program for Goddard has a bug whereby commanding him to
"play dead" causes him to explode. An indestructible toy, Goddard rebuilds
himself quickly after being blown to bits. As you can probably already guess,
having a canine bomb can come in handy when fighting aliens.
Once the parents are kidnapped and taken to the alien planet for a godly feast,
Jimmy and the rest of the neighborhood kids go after them. The kids make their
journey through space using the rides from the Retroland amusement park, after
the rides have been suitably modified by our boy genius. This makes for a
great, colorful visual. The animated movie has the 3-D look of TOY STORY-like
models set against flat backgrounds, giving the movie a richness and a
The gags come so fast that it's easy to miss them. Some of the best are the
names of the various rides at Retroland. My favorite is a fast, twisty ride
with the G-rated title of "Bat out of Heck." With its short running time, the
film flies delightfully by like a bat out of heck.
JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS runs 1:17. It is rated G and is acceptable for all
My son Jeffrey, age 12, thought the movie was okay and gave it ** 1/2. His
favorite parts were the graphics, which he thought were great.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes