Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001)
Paramount Home Video
Extras: Featurette, Promo Spots, Music Videos, Trailers, Games

Jimmy Neutron is another one of the Nickelodeon TV shows that has recently hit the big screen. Viacom is currently having this trend, it seems, that leads the to turn many of their Nickelodeon intellectual properties into movies, as witnessed by the "Hey Arnold!" movie that was just released. It is a good or a bad thing, you ask? I depends on the film itself, I guess, but as with the "Rugrats" movies, "Jimmy Neutron" certainly makes an impressive movie debut.

James Isaac Neutron is a genius in the body of a little boy. He is an inventor, physicist, scientist and researcher all wrapped into one, and he is building one world-altering gadget after the other. One day he is determined to contact life forms in outer space and sends a self-built satellite into space. And contact he makes… with the evil Yokians, who immediately plan to destroy enslave mankind and sacrifice them to their God.

So they visit Earth, beam all adults aboard their ships and leave the children behind. But lead by Jimmy Neutron they built a fleet of spaceships of their own and follow the aliens into the vast depths of space to rescue their parents. Soon, they find the home planet of the Yokians but before they can rescue the adults, they all get caught, too. It now takes a genius to free them all… a boy genius!

While it would be easy to dismiss "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" as a kid’s film, the fact of the matter is that the movie is extremely layered and has the ability to entertain all ages. While children may be entertained by the cute computer-animated characters and antics and the vibrant colors, adults will quickly take notice how well-written the dialogues of the film are, and how the writers have managed to include references that cater directly to adult audiences. Comments like "Let’s make this bug a feature," the Blair Witch reference or the 50s-style eerie science fiction music are clearly the offspring of the writers’ ambition to allow this film to talk to adult audiences.

The film is beautifully animated and acted. The voice talent, which includes an exuberant Patrick Stewart and Martin Short among others manages to bring the world of Jimmy Neutron to life in a big way that makes you smile and chuckle away constantly.

Paramount Home Entertainment is presenting "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" in its theatrical <$PS,widescreen> version on this disc well as a selectable <$PS,fullscreen> version. The <$PS,widescreen> version is <$16x9,enhanced for 16x9> TV sets and absolutely marvelous to behold. Rich in colors that are utterly vivid, the screen is awash with hues and shades that leap off the screen. The transfer has very good definition and is very sharp. No distracting edge-enhancement is evident, however, making sure the transfer always look balanced and naturally sharp. The transfer is also free of compression artifacts, making sure "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" is looking as good as anyhow possible.

The disc also contains a very impressive <$5.1,5.1 channel> <$DD,Dolby Digital> track that is noticeably aggressive and active. Throughout the movie the viewer is bombarded by sound effects and music cues that filter in from the rear channels, expanding the sound field and creating a wide very, engulfing mix. The frequency response of the track is immaculate with rumbling basses and clear high ends. The dynamic range of the track is also impressive, nicely underscoring the cartoon quality of the film with sound effects and scores that are subtle, yet exaggerated at times.

The DVD also contains a number of extras, including a featurette about the making of the film. It covers a number of areas, but mostly focuses on the voice acting and the sound effects in general that have helped bring the film and the world of Jimmy Neutron to life.

A series of promotional spots are also included on the DVD, which where originally running on Nickelodeon to promote the movie’s theatrical start. They are nice, cute and funny tidbits that helped introduce the principal characters of the movie and their relationships, while also showing off some of Jimmy’s ingenious inventions. Two music videos are also included on the DVD, as well as the movie’s teaser trailer, theatrical trailer and a selection of games for DVD-ROM users.

I had a blast watching "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius." Unlike many other cartoons targeted at younger audiences, "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" clearly makes an effort to cover a broad spectrum of demographics, and it pays off. Paramount has made sure the DVD contains a presentation and bonus materials that further enhance the release and ultimately, "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" turns out to be a great release for all parents who want to find a piece of entertainment they can enjoy together with their children.