“G”-rated Laughs From Jimmy Neutron

Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius - G

Best for: Kids up to age 12.

What it’s about: Jimmy Neutron (voiced by Debi Derryberry) is a kid genius and mathematical whiz who’s always inventing things (like his robot dog) and creating gadgets to make life more fun and interesting. His inventions get him into trouble in the town of Retroville.

Jimmy’s dream is to contact aliens, so he invents a machine and sends a message into space asking for aliens to come visit him. Sadly, his message is intercepted by the "Yokians," a group of green, gooey creatures with bulging eyes and bodies that look like glass eggshells. They eat humans.

When the aliens come to Jimmy’s hometown and abduct the parents, it’s up to Jimmy, his trusty dog, his friend Carl (Rob Paulsen), his rival pal Cindy (Carolyn Lawrence), the tough kid Nick (Candi Milo) and the rest of the kids in town to save them. Megan Cavanagh, Patrick Stewart, Martin Short, Mary Hart and Laraine Newman lend their voices to the film.

The good: This movie will look pretty silly to the adult crowd, but kids will love this animated sci-fi story, which is full of imagination. Writer/Director John Davis’ clever script has plenty of references to Star Wars, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and The Jetsons.

Jimmy Neutron isn’t as cute as Monsters, Inc. or as funny and well written as Shrek, but the animation style is extremely colorful and creative. I like the fact that the kids discover things aren't so great when moms and dads aren’t around and that they look beyond their pettiness to work together and bring their parents home.

The jokes and excitement work together to make this a fun adventure most kids under 12 will enjoy.

The not-so-good: Parents need to realize this is a modern tale of kids versus aliens that involves a few bizarre scenes: kids carry torches and walk like zombies; Jimmy and the gang are locked in a dark dungeon with alien rodents running along the pipes and alien skeletons chained to the wall; children fight with aliens and are chased by them, aliens crash into each other; things explode; aliens die).

The climactic scene shows a large alien with three tentacled eyes and two large scaled claws, resembling a chicken with dragon-like legs, pecking at humans lined up at its feet.

All of the parents are shown with mind-control devices attached to their heads. I liked the fact that at first the children celebrate their parents being gone because it spells freedom for them, but they soon panic and begin to cry when they realize there is no one around to make them feel better and take care of them.

Offensive language: There are several references to an alien god, and a boy makes a reference to urinating in the shower. Kids say things like, "We're gonna kick some alien buttocks." The film also contains the obligatory scene in kids’ movies these days, showing people burp very loudly several times.

Sexual situations: Since it’s “G”-rated you wouldn’t think there would be anything questionable, but there are a couple of things kids will notice and parents might have to explain. (Two boys talk about puberty, and it makes one boy cry.) Another questionable scene shows parents being transported to the alien ship, with one man sitting on the toilet, with his pants around his ankles as he floats through the air.

Violence: A boy flies around a room with a rocket pack, dragging a woman with him and setting the curtains on fire. A huge stadium is filled with cheering aliens ready to see humans sacrificed. A boy beats up some guards with a spear-like weapon.

Parental advisory: I know this is a kids’ story with aliens and violence that any kid can probably find on a Saturday morning cartoon, but I still think some scenes are too much for little ones who are nightmare-prone. I think I’ve been spoiled by movies like Shrek and Monsters, Inc.. Still, kids seem to enjoy a story where kids get to be the heroes, no matter how the animation looks.