In The 80’s, animator Jim A. Davis came up with an idea for a short film titled, “Runaway Rocketboy.” It’s about an intelligent boy with the knowledge of Albert Einstein with super powers who builds a ship to flee from his parents. Originally, Jim was gonna expand the short film into a live action motion picture with state of the art special effects. However, he had financial problems as his company, “K&H Productions” declared bankruptcy & his project was cancelled. Jim later conceived a new animation studio (now defunct) “DNA Productions.”
In The 90’s, Jim met screenwriter Steve Oedekerk. (Kung Pow: Enter The Fist, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Nutty Professor, Bruce Almighty) Together they resurrected Jim’s project by visiting Nickelodeon at a focus group meeting pitching the show as “The Simpsons” meets “Johnny Quest.” Nickelodeon approved Jim’s idea, but on one condition, to change the name Quazar in order to avoid a potential lawsuit, because Captain Quazar (a video game) was already taken. Jim came up with Neutron. Thus, “Jimmy Neutron” was born. A film was in production since 1999. It took two years to construct a narrative, interesting characters, hiring voice actors, recording lines, hiring animators to bring the characters & environmental locations to life. After a lengthy two year gap of production. Jimmy Neutron was finally distributed worldwide.
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was released in 2001. (same year Shrek came out) It received positive reception from critics and movie goers alike. In addition to positive reviews, the film was also a box office success. Jimmy Neutron is one of my favorite Nicktoons since childhood.
Jimmy Neutron went on to earn an Oscar nomination for “Best Animated Feature.” However, Shrek took home the Oscar. In 2002, a television series aired on Nickelodeon until it abruptly ended in 2006. Jimmy also made three crossover appearances in “The Fairly OddParents.” He also appeared in video games. A spin-off called, “Planet Sheen” aired from 2010-2013.
In 2016, Jim A. Davis confirmed he’s possibly working on a revival of the show and he’s waiting for the right call if Nickelodeon is interested in bringing it back. In response to a possible revival, I thought writing a review by sharing my thoughts about the movie. Besides Jim’s plans, I’m also spreading word of mouth to gear up for Nickelodeon’s “All That” airing this June & The Rugrats are also slated to make their come back on the small screen & silver screen.
Today’s review does not contain any crucial SPOILERS. If you never ever ever seen the movie or animated series, feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Smart & Dumb Qualities
Smart: Debi Derryberry, Jeff Garcia, Rob Paulsen (the voice of Yakko Warner from Animaniacs) Carolyn Lawrence, (the voice of Sandy Cheeks from SpongeBob SquarePants) Martin Short & Patrick Stewart all did a fantastic job for their respective voiceover performances.
Computer Animation surprisingly holds up for a film that came out in 2001.
Humor has a lot of funny moments which managed to give me the giggles.
My favorite character is Sheen Estevez. I find him relatable, because he’s a fan of superheroes like me. Sheen is named after Charlie Sheen. His actual birth name is Carlos Estevez.
My favorite line from Sheen is “That’s a big chicken!” Finally a decent line way better than Matthew Broderick’s stupid line “That’s a lotta fish” from Godzilla 1998.
Jim A. Davis did an awesome job directing the film. He also co-produced & wrote the script.
Steve Oedekerk also co-wrote & co-produced the script.
Chemistry between Jimmy, his friends Carl & Sheen felt organic. Jimmy’s rival Cindy was also normal. Thank god no romantic subplot never happened.
Prior to the film’s release, marketing for the film featured shorts. A five part arc called, “Calling All Aliens,” shows us some context about Jimmy’s attempt to deliver a transmission to the aliens all leading up to the plot of the actual film.
Billy West, (the voice of Fry from Futurama) Jim Cummings, (the voice of Winnie The Pooh) former “Entertainment Tonight” anchors Bob Goen & Mary Hart have voiceover cameos.
A character named Nick is in this movie. I’m giving the movie and show an Extra Point for a character sharing my first name. Makes me feel good about myself hearing my name on the silver screen and small screen.
Without giving anything away, Nick’s true personality is revealed. Which is played for laughs.
The Soundtrack has familiar singers/bands such as Aaron Carter, The Ramones, NSYNC, No Secrets, Lil’ Romeo & Nick Cannon.
According to producers of the movie and show, Jimmy Neutron is from Texas. I have no choice but to give both the movie and show an Extra Point, because I’m also from Texas.
Speaking of The Ramones, their song “Blitzkrieg Bop” is used during a montage sequence. Wait a tic? “Spider-Man: Homecoming” also used Blitzkrieg Bop with a similar montage showing Peter Parker going on patrol. Both Peter & Jimmy are boy geniuses wearing red & blue! I see what you did there Jon Watts, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein & Kevin Feige!
King Goobot’s motive is unique yet hilarious at the same time.
An amusement park called “Retroville” factors in the plot. Nickelodeon later made a movie about an amusement park known as “Wonder Park.”
An amusement ride is named after a quote from “Jerry Maguire.” Tom Cruise starred in Cameron Crowe’s “Vanilla Sky” the same year Jimmy Neutron came out.
Cindy knows karate. Cindy’s voice actor also played a karate expert. Does Sandy The Squirrel ring any bells?
Somebody references “The Blair With Project.”
Patrick Stewart’s character, King Goobot is a parody of Jean-Luc Picard from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Goobot is described as an evil version of Picard. I admit it, Goobot is way better than Tom Hardy’s portrayal as Picard’s evil clone, Shinzon from “Star Trek: Nemesis.”
King Goobot species are a parody of the Martians from “Mars Attacks.” Tim Burton’s god awful “Planet Of The Apes” remake also came out in 2001.
King Goobot’s giant monster is a parody of Godzilla.
The Ending is heartwarming yet funny.
A Mid-Credits Scene is optional to view.
Dumb: A Plot Hole involving all adults are missing from Jimmy’s hometown. What about the whole population of adults worldwide? The Aliens would never be able to afford extra aircraft, it would cost billions of space dollars or in Star Wars’ currency, “Republic Credits.”
I know it’s supposed to be a cartoon, but how the actual fudge are Jimmy & the kids able to breath in space? In real life, they would’ve been screwed like that exploding head scene from “Total Recall.” On an episode of Jimmy Neutron, Sheen questions Jimmy how they are able to breath in space. Too bad it’s never been explained.
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRAINS & BRAWN!
In my opinion, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius still holds up as one of my favorite films produced by Nickelodeon along with the animated series. To this day, Jimmy Neutron remains as one of my favorite Nicktoons growing up next to “Spongebob SquarePants,” “Hey Arnold,” “Rugrats,” “The Fairly Oddparents,” (before Poof tarnished it) “Danny Phantom,” “Rocko’s Modern Life” among many others. If you want to introduce your kids to Jimmy Neutron, I highly recommend the movie & cartoon series.