Main cast: Debi Derryberry (Jimmy Neutron), Megan Cavanagh (Mrs Neutron/VOX), Martin Short (Ooblar), Patrick Stewart (King Goobot), Rob Paulsen (Carl Wheezer), Andrea Martin (Mrs Fowl), Carolyn Lawrence (Cindy Vortex), Candi Milo (Nick Dean), Mark DeCarlo (Hugh Neutron), Crystal Scales (Libby), Frank Welker (Goddard)
Director: John A Davis
A bewildering mix of childish potty jokes, PG-rated jokes, and genuine science fiction fun makes popular Nickelodeon cartoon character Jimmy Neutron’s big screen debut an uneven movie. “First time” jokes and “Your parents know best!” dogma make really strange bedfellows.
Jimmy Neutron is, like the movie title says, a boy genius. He has a haircut sharp enough to gore a rhino to death, he has a robot all-purpose dog named VOX, and he cultivates girl-eating plants to set on his arch nemesis, know-it-all Cindy. He has a best friend too, in the chubby, asthmatic Carl Wheezer. But don’t worry, boys, and learn fast the dictums of science fiction: all the guys here are nerds and losers, but the girls, from Mom to the grade school girls, are all Barbie-esque. I guess they really are teaching the young boys in the audience the appeal of Barbarella and going out to dates with your left hand – I commend their dedication indeed.
The plot is – after throwing up jokes aplenty – is aliens kidnapping all the kids’ parents, and the kids launching an assault on a distant planet to reclaim their parents. Because, as this movie will bombard kiddies, parents know best. Parents are your friends. Love your parents. I’m all for subversive (hah!) propaganda, but I don’t like to watch it. Dial it down a little, please.
The scene where the kids use props and rides from a theme park to fly to outer space is amazing, but I wonder why these kids can travel in space without oxygen supply. You’d think a boy genius will know this. Hmm. And the scenes of kids versus aliens are so cool too.
But Jimmy is a bit too smug for my liking, and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, with its hypocritical depiction of adults as losers and weirdos even as it preaches to the audience to love these adults (huh?) plus the jokes that run gamut from G-rated to PG-rated, doesn’t seem to know where it is heading to. Maybe, like the aliens, it loses its way somewhere around the fifth planet in Galaxy Alpha Aurorion and gets sucked right into some black hole into a mediocre alternate dimension.