Jimmy Neutron is the latest addition to the animated cinema genre. Does it add to the genre? Break new ground? Have a great story that kids and adults will like? Is it worth watching at all? No.What keeps us going back to animation is the pushing of boundaries. Be it conventional or computer animation, in recent years the breakthroughs in animation are a wonder and are great spectacle.
From the original Fantasia in the 1940s to Final Fantasy the technical wizardry is continually raising its standard. The animation is to such a standard that soon we may even get rid of actors. I'm sure the Hollywood execs that have to sign the $20 million cheques will be happy to see the back of them.
Not that ace animation is enough to keep us happy. Good stories and characters maintain their importance of course. A few in-jokes seem to work well. The good ones also remember that families do actually include adults and so a Family Film should have something to appeal to the oldies.
The animation standard wouldn't matter completely if the story and characters were good enough. Aardman and South Park have more than proved that with their old school styles and appearances the movie can be, respectively, a joy and an outrage.
Which brings us to Jimmy Neutron which is neither cutting edge animation, a good story with good characters nor have any qualities that might appeal to adults.
Jimmy's a bit of a nerdo brainster who has a fancy of inventing things. One of the things that he invents is a communicator that talks to aliens. The aliens respond and decide to nab all the adults. So Jimmy, not realising this is a good thing, gathers his friends to get them back.
Neutron is a disappointing, bog-standard, animation by the numbers that will bore adults and is strictly under sixer baby sitter material.
The animation is only off the shelf - in its technical standard, execution and imagination. The idea of Jimmy Neutron is twenty years old and the standard of animation seems to match that age. The audience has now demanded something much superior. Neutron is Saturday morning stuff.
Stewart and Short should have the talent to lift the film into something a little bit funny. And they do just that - they make it a little bit funny as they ham it up as much as the poor script allows. Derryberry's voicing for the title role is excruciating.This film reeks of merchandise overkill. And so it intends to be. A tagline of this film is, 'Don't try this at home,' you would be best advised not to try this at the cinema.