[box cover]

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Little Jimmy Neutron is smart — but not that smart. You see, James Isaac Neutron is a prepubescent genius inventor, a budding Thomas Edison with a houseful of gadgets. But they don't always work. And when Jimmy creates his own SETI project by launching an extraterrestrial-seeking probe (built from his mom's toaster), it turns out to be a very bad idea. Before long, a race of nasty aliens led by King Goobot (voiced by a mellifluous Patrick Stewart) kidnap all of the parents in Jimmy's town. It's only a matter of time before Jimmy fashions a fleet of spaceships (built on his own rocket technology) to lead his schoolmates — and electronic dog Goddard —to a distant galaxy, where they hope to save their progenitors before they are sacrificed to a ghastly chicken god. A feature film project from the folks at Nickelodeon, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius may bear the hallmarks of popular CGI-based animation, but it's not to be confused for Toy Story or Shrek. It's strictly for kids, aimed smack-dab in the middle of the peanut-butter-and-jam demographic, where it likely scores a bullseye. And on that level, it's a top-notch Saturday morning cartoon with solid production values. But it's one thing to be a children's film and quite another to be for the whole family, and it's likely most adults will find Jimmy a long haul, even at a scant 82 minutes (with nearly five minutes of credits). There isn't any of the universally appealing characters to be found in classic Disney animation, nor the wink-wink jokes in Pixar or DreamWorks fare that get laughs from the adults while the kids drool over the animation. No, Jimmy is just a lot of drool, with tons of "gee whiz" stuff for the kids, a fantasy-adventure on a distant planet, and jokes that will only get a giggle from the youngest viewers. After all, the baddies are balls of snot with eyeballs. Funny stuff if you're under 10 and have fun with phlegm, so expect your young'uns to watch this DVD a lot. Paramount's DVD release of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius features strong anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and full-frame (1.33:1) transfers, with the busy audio track in Dolby Digital 5.1. Features include a behind-the-scenes featurette (16 min.), two music videos, several promo spots, and trailers. Yellow keep-case.

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