Cindy: There’s a bunch of kids out there who need you right now. And…I do too.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Some people got into the TV show Jimmy Neutron during the early 2000s. Some people didn’t. But even those who didn’t get into the show could see the potential in it. Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was the pilot movie to start the show and it established its unique style and characters in an enjoyable manner.
The story involves young boy genius Jimmy Neutron whose creations of various gadgets get him into various troubles at home and school. However when aliens kidnap the parents of Jimmy’s hometown, Retroville, Jimmy and his fellow friends set out to rescue them.
The story is a relatively simple and basic one with the kids wanting to do something, the parents aren’t allowing it, the kids are upset, the parents get abducted, and in going out to save them they learn their lesson. On paper the plot doesn’t sound like much but what truly serves as the heart of the movie (and by extension the show), is the ensemble of likable characters whose different personalities lead to several comedic moments. Right off the opening the show’s wacky style with Jimmy’s inventions and relationships in how the characters react to them are established making it easy to get behind.
The characters’ personalities such as Jimmy’s wacky genius, Carl’s nervousness, Sheen’s hyperactivity and obsession with Ultra Lord, Cindy’s pride, etc. could have easily turned out bad on their own. But the way they interact off of one another provides the perfect balance and gives the movie its charm and unique humor, both of which would largely carry into the show. And the ways, in which the voice actors deliver the dialogue, takes these characters and relationships and make them feel authentic in addition to adding weight to the humor.
In regards to the other characters, the caring but bizarre nature of Jimmy’s father and his no-nonsense mother is established in the first third but are mostly discarded in favor of the kids onwards after they are abducted. Not necessarily a bad thing, but thankfully the show would spend a lot more time playing with their characters.
With the 3D animation with the characters, the early 2000s CGI certainly has aged. It does well in showcasing the character designs and expressions in addition to the environments but it very much looks like a product of the times. Not necessarily bad animation, but one that you can see the flaws in.
Although it is heavily flawed in its animation and its story is rather basic, these characters of this show are enjoyable to the end and give the movie its enjoyable flavor. This would largely carry into the show and allowed fans to look back on the show fondly.