Western Animation / Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jimmyneutron-movieposter_4020.jpg
The movie poster, complete with V-Formation Team Shot, Evil Overlooker, and Dreamworks Face.

The predecessor to Nickelodeon CGI series The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, this 2001 movie was originally going to be simply a pilot episode for the series. Instead, the Nickelodeon executives were so impressed they gave it funding for cinematic release.

Ten-year-old boy genius Jimmy Neutron has an IQ of 210. He invents rockets in his spare time, for launching satellites to communicate with alien races. (Of course.) Jimmy also has a robotic dog called Goddard that can do pretty much anything, a disproportionately large head and a strange hairdo - a fact constantly brought to the surface by his rival, Cindy Vortex. He's just living his ordinary life (get up, get his robot to do his hair for him, travel to school via gum that turns into a transportation bubble, show off his shrink ray in Show And Tell, etc.) when the communication satellite he launched at the beginning of the movie is intercepted by some egg-shaped aliens named 'The Yolkians'. (The King is voiced by Patrick Stewart, and his brother/comic sidekick Ooblar is voiced by Martin Short.)

Character Sheet is here if wanted, but be warned - there are multiple spoilers for the series itself in there.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Cindy's goal is to stay at the top of the class and be admired by everyone, so she doesn't conceal her resentment whenever Jimmy steals her spotlight.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Judy accidentally drinks a beverage that causes her to belch endlessly, she at first is angry at Jimmy, but soon after finds herself laughing at the situation.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Jimmy's homeroom teacher doesn't have any way to control the rivalry between Jimmy and Cindy, while his parents don't quite know how to discipline a son who's a precocious Mad Scientist. There also isn't any response from the government or anyone outside Retroville when an alien fleet comes and abducts all the grownups, leaving the kids to mount the rescue of their parents. Downplayed in how the kids initially celebrate that there are no adults to tell them what to do, but then they realize that they can't take proper care of themselves or function emotionally without their moms and dads.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: A lot of girls, especially Cindy, have a crush on Nick for this reason.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: You could say that they're bad eggs.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The Yolkians, who speak Surprisingly Good English.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Notable for being the first film and series animated entirely with over-the-counter programs.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Carl eating toothpaste after launching into space, mistaking it for "space food". Believe it or not, astronauts actually do eat toothpaste, but not because they like the taste. When brushing their teeth, they can't risk contaminating their airtight space capsules by spitting, so they instead use a special brand of non-toxic toothpaste that's designed to be swallowed after use.
  • An Aesop:
  • Anime Hair: Jimmy's. This is lampshaded pretty regularly.
  • Area 51: Appeared in the movie.
  • A Planet Named Zok: Yolkus, home of the Yolkians.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "You steal my parents, you threaten my dog, you attack my friends, and you make fun of my size!"
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Nick Dean when he sees the Big Bad for the first time.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Poultra, the Yolkian god, is a 50-foot, three-eyed, carnivorous chicken.
  • Adorkable: Jimmy is the movie's nerdy and adorable protagonist.
  • Bad Boss: Goobot. In his introductory scene, he has another alien ejected into space for approaching his throne unannounced, though he does refuse to let Ooblar do it.
  • Balloon Belly: After the parents are gone, a group of kids had a cotton candy-eating contest. The winner is shown to have become morbidly obese and crying for his mother.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Played straight in the movie, Lampshaded in the series.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The wish to get rid of all parents comes back to bite the kids after one day.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jimmy and Cindy.
  • Berserk Button: Jimmy doesn't like it when people make fun of his size. Especially Goobot.
    • Don't harm Jimmy in front of Goddard.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Carl (big), Sheen (thin), and Jimmy (short) in that order, though Jimmy compensates for his short stature with a combination of both his big skull and his tall, swirly hairdo.
  • Black Best Friend: Libby to Cindy.
  • Brainy Brunette: Jimmy is a male example, and quite possibly the smartest kid in Retroville.
  • Break the Cutie: It happens when everybody realizes that everything is Jimmy's fault and Goddard is taken from him. Later, Jimmy starts crying and feeling useless.
  • Brick Joke: Burping Soda. In the beginning of the film, it's part of Jimmy's invention displays. It comes back in the last scene.
    • Blink and you'll miss the payoff of this one. At the beginning, Jimmy uses the toaster as a satellite to send a transmission to the Yolkians. When he later compares the note the Yolkians left to past notes his parents wrote, the first note says his mother went shopping for a new toaster.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: An offscreen example implied by Carl when he, Jimmy and Sheen on on their way back from Retroland, with this quote: "Hey, my pants are almost dry."
  • Bumbling Dad: Hugh.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Ooblar.
  • Captain Obvious: When Hugh investigates the green light in the kitchen, expecting Jimmy to be the cause of it, and discovers an alien in there, what does he say? "You're not Jimmy." Really?
  • Catch-Phrase: Jimmy - "Gotta blast!"
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Shrink Ray. First shown by Jimmy during show and tell, then Jimmy uses it to shrink himself so he can sneak out and go to Retroland, then he uses it again at the end to make himself the size of a planet and defeat Goobot.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Carl's gaffe during show and tell comes back as significant in the Yolkus arena when Carl blinds one of the aliens with his inhaler and the alien crashes into a wall.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Jimmy's blast gun, used in one of the early scenes by Jimmy to fire at an invention that makes his bed for him, is later used by one of the kids in the climax to take out one of the aliens.
    • Purple Flurp. Cindy drinks it during a tai chi session, Jimmy hopes there's some in the fridge the following morning, then Cindy drinks some in the climax before taking out one of the aliens, in a similar manner to Jimmy's blast gun above.
    • Many of the rides at Retroland are used as spaceships by the kids.
    • As described above, Carl's inhaler.
    • The toaster.
    • While Goddard hides under Jimmy's blankets he records Jimmy's parents trying to comfort him when they won't let him go to Retroland, as they close the door they said they'll see him tomorrow. The aliens left a message on each house saying the parents are going to Florida for orange juice. When Goddard played the message to Jimmy, he realizes something's off.
    • The designs for the prototype fly cycle for Goddard Jimmy shows to Carl at school. Jimmy first tests the fly cycle during the climatic battle between Jimmy and King Goobot.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Goddard playing dead. (When told to play dead, he detonates in a small explosion before reassembling himself).
  • Child Prodigy: Jimmy, being about ten years old and probably the smartest kid in Retroville. He even calls himself a genius.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Jimmy, when trying to come up with a plan that will enable him, Carl, and Sheen to go to Retroland that evening, cites the influence of positive reinforcement as an idea, using feeding bananas to monkeys as an example. He says the same principle should work on their parents, but Carl remarks that his dad is allergic to bananas.
  • Comic Trio: Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl wish on a shooting star (actually a departing alien spaceship) for no more parents on the very night the parents are abducted. The next morning, they realize their wish came true.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Carl. He's a bit dim and quite the Cowardly Sidekick to Jimmy, but he manages to hold his own in the Yolkus arena when he fends some of the aliens off with his inhaler (thanks to Jimmy giving him the idea).
  • Death Glare: Jimmy to Goobot after Goobot mocks Jimmy's size. Happens twice. The second time it happens, Jimmy's the size of a planet and Goobot's ship nearly crashes into him.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "As the King's royal assistant, I am the official checker of the official things to be checked!"
  • Didn't Think This Through: Jimmy's transmission to the aliens was a bad idea because he had no idea of the nature of the aliens who would pick it up.
    • Crossing over with Be Careful What You Wish For (though they weren't prepared for what happened anyway), as the kids have a lot of fun without their parents, but come the next day, it's pretty clear their wish for freedom has backfired on them.
  • The Ditz: Ooblar, very much so. In his first scene he attempts to talk to a piece of toast, asking where it's leader is. Even when he's told he's talking to a piece of toast, he continues doing it, due to not knowing what toast is.
    • Due to his being a Bumbling Dad, Hugh has traces of this too.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Goddard.
  • Dueling Movies: With Recess: School's Out (Though they didn't compete with each other- School's Out had already been released on video)
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In the animation department: Cindy's hair; pigtails in the movie, ponytail in the series that came after. All the kids had different character designs. Jimmy wore shorts and loafers instead of sneakers and jeans, Carl wore suspenders, and Sheen had collars on the end of his sleeves.
    • Goddard also talks while giving Jimmy options, though his abilities do depend on the writer.
    • Several characters behave significantly different than they do in the TV series:
      • Cindy (and, by extension, Libby) is way nicer and more supportive to Jimmy than she ever is in the show.
      • Hugh has quite a few mature moments in which he acts more like a caring father and husband than the bumbling comic relief known from the TV series.
      • Nick is pretty much just a Jerk Ass whose solution to all problems involves punching the crap out of whoever's in the way, as opposed to him from the show, where he is just a harmless self-obsessed "cool kid" that's difficult to be taken seriously and a Big Brother Mentor to Jimmy.
      • Sheen is smarter and less hyperactive than he is in the TV series and his own (which is saying a lot).
      • Jimmy, Carl, Sheen, Cindy, Libby and Nick are all True Companions in the movie, but in the show, it takes them time to revert back to this.
  • Establishing Character Moment: King Goobot is introduced devouring his pet alien while Ooblar is introduced being overly excited about what Jimmy Neutron sent them and having no idea what toast is.
  • Eureka Moment:
    • Jimmy has two, where the camera zooms through his ear into his brain as he tries to think of an idea, and goes "Brain blast!" when he gets one of these.
    • He gets another one in the cell thanks to Nick, which gives him the idea to free Goddard and use him to get out of the cell.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Jimmy realises mid-sentence that Judy won't let him go to Retroland.
  • Fat and Skinny: Carl is the Fat to both Sheen and Jimmy's Skinny.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Goobot pauses Jimmy's satellite transmission on an image of Judy and Hugh and saying, "They look delicious" sets up how the parents are going to be abducted and then uses as sacrifices for Poultra.
    • As the kids in their rockets see the sun before the meteor shower, Jimmy and Cindy briefly share a smile before each of them turn away.
  • Funny Background Event: While watching Jimmy's message, Ooblar absentmindedly munches on the piece of toast he had enthusiastically greeted earlier in the scene, getting a rather disturbed look from King Goobot in the process.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Jimmy's whole puberty talk with Carl on how one day they'll have to start liking girls against their will.
    • Of course we know what the theme for the ride "Bat Out of Heck" is going to be.
    • "I'm peeing in the shower!"
    • Might be unintentional, but while Jimmy was inspecting the conversion of theme park rides into spaceships, there were kids prepping a dragon ride by preparing to move a rocket into an interesting place.
    • This little exchange between Jimmy and vaguely native-looking Nick:
      Jimmy (pointing at the stars): Hey, there's a red giant! And that's a white dwarf!
      Nick: You can relate, huh, Neutron?
  • Girls Have Cooties: Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl all exhibit this sentiment from time to time. Especially Jimmy, who engineers a man-eating plant to target girls with pigtails (Well, mainly Cindy, anyway).
  • Gone Horribly Right: All Jimmy wanted to do at the start of the film was to make contact with an advanced alien civilisation. He succeeded, all right. Turned out the aliens picked up the satellite and abducted the parents in Retroville to use them as sacrifices for Poultra. Oops.
  • Good Bad Bugs: In-Universe example. Goddard's "Play Dead" mode, which is a Self-Destruct Mechanism. Although fixing that was on Jimmy's to-do list, he decided to "make that bug a feature" after it helped bust the kids out of the dungeon.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Ooblar has a moment of this after his shell breaks.
    Ooblar: "Oh, poo!"
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: After Goddard busts down the dungeon door and Jimmy frees the others, Cindy tells Jimmy it won't be pretty if he tells anyone she was nice to him.
  • Human Shield: Well, Alien Shield. Goobot uses Ooblar to protect himself when Poultra topples towards them.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: During the kids' news report about the aftermath of the shenanigans the kids had without their parents around, Courtney cracks and says she misses her mother too, before dissolving into this.
  • Jerkass: Nick.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lampshaded by Jimmy when Nick points out that there's only one opening night at Retroland and that every kid who cared would be there.
    Jimmy: "Nick has a point. There is only one opening night."
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Cindy.
  • Kick the Dog:
  • The Lancer: Carl is this to Jimmy, being more dopey and cowardly than him.
  • Large Ham: Both King Goobot and Ooblar have their moments. "HELLO, TOAST!"
  • Like Father, Like Son: Hugh remarks to Judy that when he was a kid, he was grounded for a week and wasn't allowed to attend his best friend's bachelor party, so he snuck out so he could attend anyway. At that moment, Jimmy is grounded and in the process of sneaking out so he can go to Retroland despite having been told not to. Judy even asks Hugh if he thinks Jimmy will get the same idea.
    • Sheen and his dad turn out to be this when they reunite on the way back to Earth.
    Sheen: Ultra Dad!
    Sheen's Dad: Ultra Son!
  • Limited Wardrobe: As seen when Jimmy is getting dressed in his room, his wardrobe consists entirely of the same red shirts and blue pants.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Now, you gotta admit, that is pretty neat."
  • Meaningful Name: James 'Jimmy' Isaac Neutron is not surprisingly, interested in science.
    • Jimmy's name comes from two sceintists : Isaac Newton, and perhaps more importantly James Chadwick, who discovered neutron atoms.
    • Sheen Estevez; a Shout-Out to Martin/Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez.
    • Not to mention Retroville. Even the science fiction aspects of the movie have a Raygun Gothic feel.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Ooblar.
  • Missing Mom: Sheen. Word of God says his mother died when he was young - they don't say her cause of death, however. Fits also with Early Installment Weirdness: Sheen's mom is clearly present in the end scene with Sheen's dad. His dad also displays a very different attitude from his few appearances later in the series (he's much... more fatherly than he later was shown to be.) She just suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome that was retroactively remade into her having died when Sheen was little.
  • Nerds Are Innocent:
    • Jimmy is a child prodigy who loves and excels at science... and still believes in cooties.
    • Carl fits this too. He's a timid, sensitive Sickly Neurotic Geek.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: How the yolkians got the idea to abdupt the parents was entirely different in the trailer. Not only did it show the Yolkians hatching the idea from spying on Hugh and Judy, instead of Jimmy's satellite message, another Yolkian shouts "The search is over!", instead of King Goobot.
  • Newscaster Cameo: A variant: Entertainment Tonight hosts Bob Goen and Mary Hart voice "Yolkian Tonight" anchors, commenting on the sacrifices to Poultra.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Jimmy sending the aliens information about Earth against his parents' orders is a very bad idea.
  • Oh, Crap!: A fair bit of it.
    • Jimmy gets one after his rocket sets the curtains on fire.
    • He also gets one later after his satellite is picked up and the aliens reveal he is the reason the parents were located and are going to be sacrificed. Oops.
    • Jimmy, Carl and Sheen get one on the Bat Outta Heck! ride at Retroland before plummeting into darkness.
    • Jimmy and Carl when confronted about the missing parents (with flaming torches, for Pete's sake!). Carl's reaction is very funny.
    • Ooblar has one after Jimmy, through Goddard's speaker, tricks him into thinking Goddard is going to explode.
    • Nick gets quite a funny one in the arena after Poultra's eyes hatch out of the egg.
    • Goobot gets one after Jimmy uses The Shrink Ray on himself to make himself the size of a planet.
  • Parents in Distress
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Rather than being condescending, Jimmy is very nice to the rather dopey Carl and nerdy Sheen, not being a wet blanket when Carl shows him a picture of a frog or talks about wishing on a star.
    • Also, Cindy comforting Jimmy after all the kids blame him because he caused their parents to get kidnapped.
    • Nick at the end gives Jimmy a genuine congratulations for rescuing the parents and he's more than happy to be reunited with his mother.
  • Poke the Poodle: How some of the kids take advantage of there being no parents around. Examples:
    • One boy wears mismatched clothing and gleefully sings about it.
    • A girl opens her kitchen fridge to let out the cold.
    • A boy tries running up the down escalator in the shopping mall.
    • Sheen urinates in the shower.
  • Punny Name: Ms. Fowl has a few bird-like attributes, particularly her beak-like nose and random squawking sounds in her speech.
  • Reality Ensues: At first, all the kids of Retroville are thrilled that there are no parents around to enforce the rules and party like there was no tomorrow, but by the following day, everyone soon starts to realize just how much they need their parents to support their lives and care for them, when injuries, stomachaches and other problems start to arise, with kids starting to run around crying for their parents.
  • Red Is Heroic: Jimmy wears a red shirt and is the film's protagonist, as well as the leader of the kids when they head to Yolkus to rescue their parents.
  • Retro Universe: Retroville.
  • Robot Buddy: Goddard.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Libby.
  • Schmuck Bait
  • Science Hero: Jimmy, who solves the problems his inventions create.
  • Science in Genre Only
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: More than one instance.
    • The toaster Jimmy sends into space to contact alien life forms is just barely given enough oomph not to fall back to Earth. This should put it in a low Earth orbit or, at best, send it out on a long slow trajectory into interplanetary (but not interstellar) space. Maybe in a few months it might get as far away as Mars. Yet it's discovered by an alien deep space fleet that was so far away from Earth they had no way to detect Earth on their own.
    • Jimmy cobbles together a fleet of spacecraft using "fusion engines" and "pulse rockets" with which to fly to the alien homeworld. The alien homeworld is three million light-years away. Yet they're able to make the trip in a couple of days.
    • Jimmy uses his machine to grow "Planet Sized" in the end of the movie, but in fact he becomes only a few times larger than the alien spaceship.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl:
    • Nick after seeing Poultra.
    • Carl when he learns there is an angry mob coming at him and Jimmy.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Goddard has one, though he can reassemble himself. Jimmy also pretends that Goddard is about to self-destruct in a "50 megaton blast" in order to scare away Goddard's captor.
  • Sequel Hook: Odd version used in one of the audio tracks. Leave it Up to Me includes half a verse about it, complete with the rather blatant lyrics:
    Aaron Carter: "Big people listen up, relax now, we're equal; and if the money's right then we might make a sequel."
  • Shout-Out:
    • Nick describes The Blair Witch Project to the rest of the kids at the camp on the asteroid.
    • The first thing Jimmy does in his alien transmission is the Vulcan salute.
    • The second trailer's opening is a huge one to Top Gun, down to using "Danger Zone".
    • During 2007, Nickelodeon aired a special version of the movie, with Jimmy, Sheen, and Carl riffing on the movie as an extended reference to MST3K, complete with "Shadowrama" versions of the cast.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: "Well, I may be small, but I've got a big brain!" He then makes himself the size of a planet with the Shrink Ray and blows Goobot's ship into an asteroid.
  • Smart Animal, Average Human: Jimmy Neutron and his robotic dog, Goddard. Played With because although Jimmy himself built Goddard, Jimmy is only a kid and can make foolish decisions sometimes. Goddard is wise and is usually the voice of reason to Jimmy by giving him suggestions on what he should do and feels ashamed when Jimmy makes bad decisions.
  • The Smart Guy: Jimmy is very much this, having created everything in his own underground lab under his house, probably having built the lab himself in the first place, and comes up with many plans in the film himself. However, despite his intelligence, he is still a ten-year-old kid and sometimes makes bad decisions.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Inverted. Hugh wears glasses, but he's a bit dimwitted.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way
  • Stag Party: Hugh tells Judy how he wasn't allowed to go to one for his best friend when he was younger because he was grounded for a week. He snuck out and attended anyway, much like Jimmy not being allowed to go to Retroland on account of it being a school night.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: Nick does this twice in the cell when talking to Sheen regarding Ultra Lord.
    Nick: "Maybe sit on a shelf, because he's a DOLL!"
    Nick: "That's pretty much the STUPIDEST THING I EVER HEARD!"
  • Take Off Every Zig: When the kids take off in their space ships crafted from amusement park rides.
  • Tap on the Head: Sheen uses the escape ship to whack Poultra on the head before landing the ship in the arena.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Jimmy when, after crashing into the chimeny, most of it falls over on to the car in the driveway.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Goobot has one of his Mooks "spaced" out of the ship for showing up in his throne unannounced, despite the fact that he was just showing the King the toaster satellite he found.
  • Trailer Spoof: In 2016, Mitchell Movie Productions made a fan made trailer for the movie and set it to Hans Zimmer's Ideal of Hope from Man of Steel.
  • Tsundere: Cindy. In the original movie she explains that she only became one to Jimmy, because she was jealous of his better grades and hated his tendency to show off his intelligence on every given occasion.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hugh has one after Jimmy crashes on the roof at the start.
    Hugh: Well, what do you know? The chimney fell off again.
  • We Will Meet Again: After giant Jimmy blows Goobot's ship into an asteroid, Goobot says, "You've not seen the last of us, Jimmy Neutron!" Jimmy then rides Goddard over Goobot, roasting his edges and making him look like an egg, as Ooblar points out.
  • Wham Line: "Good night, Jimmy. Sweet dreams. We'll see you in the morning." This is when Jimmy realizes everyone's parents didn't actually go to Florida.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Averted, Retroville is located in Texas.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius