The Nutty Professor



Animated update of Jerry Lewis film is all about bullying.
  • Review Date: March 21, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 76 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bullies are everywhere -- even inside of our nerdy anti-hero, Harold. And though the message in the very end has to do with Harold being true to himself, he depends on his uncle's potion to get him as far as he goes. Lots of macho posturing to get the girl and violence to back up the posturing.

Violence & scariness

Harold's enemies are many. He gets wedgies and is beat up at every turn -- even his friends smack him. Two bullies argue over which part to beat up first, saying, "You take the midsection and I'll take the face." The battle scene at the end might frighten youngest viewers.

Sexy stuff

There is one human female in the cast and she's not treated as a colleague or a friend, but as an object of desire. In one scene, Harold plugs his female robot side-kick into his grandpa's computer against her will. Later, Harold gets a kissing lesson from his inner voice, telling him to tilt his head sideways and open his mouth.


"You suck," "I'm trying to knock some sense into you," "Mama's about to lay a smackdown on your butt," "you're stupid."


Every kid at the Cerebrum Academy has access to a motor bike. Huge computers and everything a nerdy kid could want is available.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Harold makes a chemical formula to bring out his coolest inner self and gets drunk on the mixture, slurring his words and acting inebriated. He depends on the potion to perform better and to get the girl. It tempts him terrifically throughout the movie, and he ultimately succumbs to the temptation, licking it off the floor when it spills-- just like a real addict.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie doesn't have much to do with the Jerry Lewis classic, even though Lewis does provide the voice of Harold's grandfather. There's lots of bullying, and Harold becomes addicted to the chemical formula he develops. The film is less about facing fear than being overwhelmed by terrifying situations -- stick to the original if you're looking for a good movie for kids.

What's the story?

Harold Kelp, amateur inventor, is working on an experimental engine, only to be disturbed by an angry mob out for his hide. Harold's many experiments had gone awry, raising an outcry for his ouster. Luckily, Harold receives an acceptance letter to The Cerebrum Academy, an esteemed science boarding school where his grandfather Professor Julius Kelp (Jerry Lewis) teaches. Harold accepts and finds himself once more surrounded by bullies who want to beat him up merely for the fun of it. To cope with the pressure, Harold concocts a formula that will bring out his inner, most desirable self, a demon named Jack, who appears cooler, but is ultimately out to control Harold by any means possible.

Is it any good?


All of the cool gadgets that could have been displayed in this movie take a backseat to the social pressures that Harold is faced with. Sadly, Jerry Lewis and Drake Bell's voice talents are largely wasted on a script that focuses on getting the girl and getting beaten up. Particularly disturbing is the inner voice that urges Harold to drink the potion so that he can be cool. Sounds a little bit like peer pressure to drink. Jerry Lewis' inner cool guy also appears as an alter-ego character called Buddy Love, who fights with Harold's alter-ego, Jack. So not only are bullies attacking Harold from the outside world, but he's bullied by his inner voice and has a fistfight with his grandfather. Not cool.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Harold is always being bullied. Why isn't anyone looking after Harold in this school for nerds? Why is his grandfather being bullied too? Is this just the way things go in the world? What would you do if you were Harold?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 25, 2008
Cast:Britt Irvin, Drake Bell, Jerry Lewis
Directors:Logan McPherson, Paul Taylor
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:76 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:rude behavior and mild language

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Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeoneYouDon'tKnow June 4, 2013

It... It... It... It... It... It... It hurts.

There are no words.
Parent of a 3 and 4 year old Written byAuntD1973 February 27, 2010
- not for preschoolers!


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