Movie Review - Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
by Michael Elliott

Artistic Rating: 3.0 Stars
Comments: Cute and innocuous. Kids should enjoy it and parents should get a giggle or two out of it.
Directed By: John A. Davis
Starring: Debi Derryberry, Carolyn Lawrence, Rob Paulsen, Megan Cavanuagh, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short
Written By: John A. Davis, David N. Weiss, J. David Stern, Steve Oedekerk
Rated: G
Running Time: 1 hr : 20 min
Scripture References: Ephesians 6:1-3, Exodus 20:12, Colossians 3:20


It must be frustrating to be able to build things like shrink rays, rocket ships, and robot dogs only to have your parents punish you for little mishaps like blowing up the garage. So many more scientific breakthroughs could be accomplished by boy geniuses if only their parents weren't around. At least that's what it must feel like to Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

This family feature from Paramount Pictures takes a childish fantasy to new animated levels by having strange phlegm-like aliens abduct all the grownups of Earth, leaving the children to fend for themselves. Taking advantage of their newfound freedom, the "home alone" children initially go hog wild. After a few skinned knees and a town full of self-imposed tummy aches later, the kids are ready to go get their parents... even if they have to stay up past their bedtimes and travel to the far reaches of the solar system to do so.

It is a good thing that Jimmy Neutron is up to the challenge. He even enlists his classmates to help save their mommies and daddies: The rescue party includes the asthmatic Carl Wheezer, the know-it-all Cindy Vortex, and the cool kid Nick Dean. They go blasting into space to do battle with egg-shaped alien beings who are cruising around the universe in their chicken-like ships.

This is pure bubble gum entertainment for the very young and the very old (by very old I mean, of course, parental age). Those in between will be considering themselves way too cool to enjoy such nonsense. Their loss. As nonsense goes, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius can be highly entertaining.

The cartoon-like computer animation is very colorful and the various "inventions" which Jimmy concocts are imaginative and funny. Because the characters are exaggerated stereotypes, children in the audience will recognize them immediately and will have no problem following the story.

The parental figures are shown as loving and supportive characters, although Jimmy's dad is painted as being sort of a goof-ball. While hardly sermonizing, the underlying message of the film remains a healthy one: Parents are important to children.

It may seem like too obvious a message to mention, but in our world where so many media influences are driving our kids to desire independence and zero parent involvement in their life choices, it is somewhat refreshing to have a film, even a cartoon, build its story around a child's recognition that he needs his parents. Even a boy genius like Jimmy.

Certainly God knows this to be true. The first commandment that is accompanied by a promise was addressed to children:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 (KJV)

God's promises do not fail. When we, as children, obey our parents (who are in the Lord), and give them the respect and honor due them, God's showers of blessings are upon us. Our lives will be blessed and extended. It is how God set the family structure. The child obeys the father and mother. The parents obey Christ who always obeyed God. When that hierarchical chain is unbroken, powerful things can indeed happen. Things that make rocket ships and robot dogs look like child's play.

Michael Elliott, Movie Parables.

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