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Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius
Director: John A Davis
Debi Derryberry, Megan Cavanagh, Martin Short Patrick Stewart, Mark DeCarlo and Rob Paulson.
82 minutes
Friday 22nd March 2002
u cert camera
Jimmy Neutron
Jimmy Neutron in his wonderful flying machine
Hot on the heels of "Harry Potter" comes another boy hero with remarkable abilities. He's not a wizard, he's an inventor whose astounding space-age contraptions would turn Heath Robinson green.
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Set in the all-American sitcom-style town of Retroville, in which 50s family values go hand in hand with futuristic hi-tech gadgetry, "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" introduces its eponymous hero as a fearsomely brainy know-it-all who never goes anywhere without his trusty robot dog Goddard.

Jimmy's never happier than when he's launching satellites made from toasters or making his teachers minuscule with his shrinking device, much to the annoyance of his tolerant but long-suffering parents. But when he inadvertently summons a species of egg-shaped aliens to Earth who abduct Retroville's entire adult population, Jimmy and his pals have to swap school for an intergalactic rescue mission.

Cue an action-packed, frenetic voyage into outer space, enlivened further by Martin Short and Patrick Stewart's vocal contributions as the Yokian villains and a bizarre chicken god that would give Godzilla a run for his money.

Conceived by cable channel Nickelodeon as a means of entertaining children too old for the Rugrats, "Jimmy Neutron" will eventually spawn its own progeny of small-screen off-shoots. There's nothing wrong with aiming a cartoon squarely at kids: after all, they used to be this genre's target audience. But as frothily entertaining as this caper is, it's unlikely to prove as popular with grown-ups as "Shrek" and the "Toy Story" movies.

"Jimmy Neutron - Boy Genius" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 22nd March 2002.

Reviewed by Neil Smith , BBC Films

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