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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Curious George is a preschooler-friendly movie based on the popular book series. There are some product placements, some flirting, moral ambiguity, and an emotionally-intense scene in which George is removed -- at the Man in the Yellow Hat's request -- by animal control. One man schemes to replace a museum with a profitable parking lot. Ted himself tries to fool the museum patrons with a fraud, something he is not punished for. An apartment building manager roughly chases the monkey from room to room, then evicts Ted, who has to sleep on a park bench that night.
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What's the story?
In CURIOUS GEORGE, The Man in the Yellow Hat (named Ted and voiced by Will Ferrell) is in Africa searching for a legendary shrine. If he can bring it back to his American city, his employer Mr. Bloomsberry (Dick Van Dyke) won't have to close his cash-strapped museum. In the jungle, Ted befriends mischievous monkey George but only finds a small idol and returns to America by ship, unaware that George has stowed away on the vessel. Back in America, Ted tries to hide the truth from Bloomsberry. Though he's briefly distracted by adorable schoolteacher Maggie (Drew Barrymore), Ted spends most of his time chasing after George, who gets into all kinds of trouble by splattering paint throughout Miss Plushbottom's (Joan Plowright) apartment, floating away on zoo balloons, and more. Meanwhile, Junior Bloomsberry (David Cross) plots to tear down the museum and put up a parking lot.
Is it any good?
Congenial and colorful, this movie takes its cues from children's animated TV, delivering simple concepts, bright reds and yellows, and a cute-as-can-be monkey. Younger kids will like George, and may recognize the plots of several of the classic books woven into the story.
Adults will probably find Curious George slow going, and kids used to action-packed movies may also get bored. The bottom line: Great monkey -- and some silly monkey business -- but pretty short on plot, and what's there is predictable.
Talk to your kids about ...
If you've read the books or seen the TV show, which version do you like best? Why?
Older kids can talk about how Ted's relationship with George changes -- what does Ted realize George brings to his life?
- In theaters: February 10, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: September 26, 2006
- Cast: Drew Barrymore, Eugene Levy, Will Ferrell
- Director: Matthew O'Callaghan
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Wild Animals
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- Run time: 77 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: all ages
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