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Neutron Bomb

01/02/2002. Contributed by Shannon Patrick Sullivan

Buy Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius in the USA - or Buy Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius in the UK

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Did the movie Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius strike our Shannon as a work of an Einstein or the product of the local village idiot?

Directed by John A Davis.
Screenplay by Davis, David N Weiss, J David Stem and Steve Oedekerk, based on a story by Davis and Oedekerk. Starring Debi Derryberry, Rob Paulsen, Carolyn Lawrence.
Running time: 82 minutes.
Rated G by the MFCB.

Reviewed By SHANNON PATRICK SULLIVAN

Synopsis: Boy inventor Jimmy Neutron (Derryberry) accidentally makes contact with an alien race, which abducts his town's adults as food for their awakening deity.

At first, Jimmy and his friends are delighted to be able to do whatever they want, but a day of unbridled indulgence reminds them how important it is to have Mom and Dad around.

Rallying his friends and classmates, Jimmy builds an armada of spaceships so that they can follow the aliens and rescue their parents.

Unlike the recent "Shrek" or even "Monsters, Inc", "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" is firmly aimed at the younger set. Adult-targeted jokes are few and far between, the plot is simple and straightforward, and the lessons learned by the end are gapingly obvious ones.

But there is a real sense of fun to "Jimmy Neutron", made manifest in the enjoyable style of animation which (much like "The Simpsons") indulges in exaggeration without resorting to the grotesque.

The filmmakers are clearly most interested in exploring the many zany inventions Jimmy comes up with.

Not only is there his loyal robot dog Goddard, but also such concoctions as a bubble-gum travelling machine and, inspiring the film's most beautiful scene, a fleet of spaceships built from the rides at an amusement park.

The story itself is actually rather tedious, and the alien monsters (who apparently owe much to Kodos and Kang of "Simpsons" fame) aren't terribly interesting, wasting vocal performances from Patrick Stewart and Martin Short.

A bloodthirsty final frame comes across as unnecessary.

This is a movie narrowly focussed on about the late-single-digit age group.

Parents and older kids will probably be glad that the runtime is less than an hour and a half, while very young ones may find some sequences (including one featuring an horrific alien chicken) too frightening.

Copyright 2002 Shannon Patrick Sullivan.

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