Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Stylish 3-D computer animation, good characters.
  • G
  • 2001
  • 82 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

 

Because Jimmy is a "genius," kids are introduced to a number of scientific terms: meteor shower, asteroid, atmosphere, rocketry, etc.

 

Positive Messages

Jimmy's behavior proves that it's valuable to be smart. Parents make rules because they love and want to protect you. Jimmy and his friends pay dearly for sneaking out of the house to attend an amusement park opening. The statement "What your parents don't know won't hurt 'em" is cleverly contradicted. Some clearly stated messages: Don't talk to strangers; be careful what you wish for; and don't be hard on yourself.

Positive Role Models & Representations

 

Jimmy and two friends are mocked for their differences (Jimmy is short and maybe too smart, one boy is a chubby and has asthma, and the third is obsessed with superheroes). Gradually, they earn the respect and admiration of their classmates. Lots of ethnic diversity. Female characters are smart, brave, and show that being female does not limit their abilities. Parents are loving and reliable, despite sometimes being slightly clueless. The only teacher is ditzy but brave.

 

Violence & Scariness

 

Comic action throughout. Jimmy's inventions constantly get him into trouble: He falls, vehicles explode; he is unwittingly responsible for an alien invasion. The heroes are endangered by: a meteor shower, an alien abduction of all the kids' parents, shock-inducing spears, an all-out air battle that pits the alien spaceships against the kids' jerry-rigged amusement park rides and includes explosions and electric bolts. Alien lifeforms are green and frog or slug-like. They utter threats like "You all must die" and then cackle. Jimmy's robotic pet dog is captured and menaced by the aliens. A worm, a plant, and the main monster all have fangs or pointed teeth and threaten to devour their victims.

 

Sexy Stuff

 

Mention of puberty. Girls flirt with a bad-boy type.

 

Language

 

Mild potty humor ("my pants are almost dry," says a boy after being scared) and the expressions "kick buttock," "holy cow pie," "sugar booger," "I peed in the shower." 

Consumerism

TV Land television channel is visible in one scene. This 2001 movie was followed by the TV series, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, which originally aired on Nickelodeon from 2002 through 2006. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius has lots of cartoon action (explosions, crashes, falls, an alien invasion, air battle, spear-play) and some suspense (adults are abducted from Earth and threatened with being eaten by a dragon-like three-eyed monster), but it's always more humorous than violent. No one is injured or killed -- even the gooey alien life forms simply dissolve into green goo. Only the youngest or most sensitive kids might find it scary. Some comic potty humor (i.e." sugar booger," "holy cow pie," "I peed in the shower"), is heard occasionally, the highlight of which is Jimmy's invention of burping soda. A mechanical dog poops metal nuts, bolts, and other hardware.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written bydgjd March 29, 2010

OK for 5.5yr old

Watched this with my 5 year old. He liked it. I talked with him about what he thinks the earth would be like with no parents. First he said fun and then said... Continue reading
Adult Written byRarityfan2019 October 16, 2019

You're a genius

Good for a family retro night, and parents that long for these good old 1990s NICK days with the now abandoned NICK Universal Studios.
Teen, 16 years old Written byAmazing ryder October 18, 2019

Good start of the series

It started jimmy neutron good voice acting strong humor good animation creative plot good moral about parrents more emotion than the show the villians were awes... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycommon sense men March 30, 2018

pretty good

the pizza is agressive

What's the story?

When other kids bring toys for show and tell, Jimmy Neutron brings a shrinking ray. The kids at school laugh at him and tease him about being short, except for his friends, Carl (overweight and asthmatic) and Shane (a passionate fan of some action heroes called Ultra Lords). When their parents forbid them to go to a theme park on a school night, Jimmy and his friends sneak out. The next morning, their parents are gone, leaving mysteriously identical notes saying that they've gone to Florida. At first, the kids are thrilled. But after a day of doing everything they are not allowed to do, the kids are scared and lonely. Some slimy green aliens encased in egg-shaped flying capsules kidnap all the kids' parents so they can feed them to a monster shaped like a chicken with three eyes. Jimmy builds rockets to take them all into space, rescues the kids when they are captured and put in the dungeon, frees the parents, and arranges their escape.

Is it any good?

Style and substance are well-suited in JIMMY NEUTRON: BOY GENIUS. It's a 3-D computer animated story about a sixth grade whiz kid who can build a satellite communications system out of a toaster and create a robot dog that when told to "play dead" blows itself up and then puts itself back together. Instead of going for the more lifelike textures of the Pixar movies, this has the intentionally stylized feel of a computer game. That fits the story's tone, somewhere between the "Tomorrowland" 1950s ideal of the future and today's world of cell phones and headphones. Jimmy's spaceship and the alien planet owe more to the 1930s film serial Flash Gordon and the 1960s TV show The Jetsons than to contemporary rocket science and astronomy.

The music, too, has songs that will be familiar to parents (the Ramones and the Go-Go's) along with teen dreams (*NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, and Aaron Carter). The movie drags a bit in the middle, but most kids, especially those age 8-12, will find it fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why kids make fun of one another for being different. Have you ever been teased for being smart?

  • How does this movie compare with The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron TV show? 

  • If the parents in your family disappeared for a day, which rules would you break? 

Movie details

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