JIMMY NEUTRON, BOY GENIUS
As it goes, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius is likable. It brims over with a good deal of visual energy it is bubbly, moves snappily and visually there is always something happening. There is one particularly appealing image of the kids taking off into space in a flotilla of amusement park rides converted into spaceships, a sequence that offers the gloriously surreal vision of rollercoasters, octopus rides, ferris wheels and the likes sailing through space. The image is momentarily a beautiful one, even if the scientific realist in one quibbled at the idea of people travelling through space in open ships and no spacesuits. There is also a cute scene where the kids pitch camp on an asteroid and sit around a fire narrating the plotline of The Blair Witch Project (1999) as a campfire tale.
Mostly, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius serves to show how intelligent and sophisticated Pixars entries in the computer-animation stakes are by comparison. Pixar films manage to come with a whole other level of sly asides and cleverness pitched to the adults. They manage to straddle both demographics, whereas Jimmy Neutron is merely a film pitched at age groups in the single digits. In Jimmy Neutron, the natural charms of any Pixar-esque wit and humour have been smoothed over by the commercial packaging of family entertainment formula and desire to present an upbeat moral message the kids are allowed to celebrate their freedom from parental authority only as much as they are also allowed to miss their parents, and there is even a bizarre end message that turns the danger of sending messages into space into a warning against talking to strangers.
Ultimately, Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius feels more like an episode of a Saturday morning animated childrens series that has been packaged out with expensive animation and a soundtrack with teen pop names like *NSync, Britney Spears and No Secrets than a real film. Expect sequels and a franchise to follow. [It did the animated tv series spinoff, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius [2002-6]).
There were two tv movies sequels, Jimmy Neutron: You Bet Your Lifeform (2004) and Jimmy Neutron: Attack of the Twonkies (2005).
Director John A. Davis next went onto make the animated The Ant Bully (2006).