Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

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

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 16 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjumpinbini April 9, 2008
I thought that this was a very cute movie. There is silly bodily humor, but kids love that stuff. Jimmy Neutron is a boy genius and he's very fascinated wi... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 year old Written bynicholio November 15, 2010
Fun movie for kids. Just told them that they can't use the word stupid.
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 15 years old Written byComedyKing July 22, 2012

Funny, Entertaining and Gives great messages!!!

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was the first movie I've ever seen in theaters. I thought it was really good. It has lots of humor that you'll find yourself... Continue reading

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

Themes & Topics

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