Reviews: The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius

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Genuine quality on the whole, if occasionally shaky.
Despite coasting on Rule Of Cool for 98% of its run, a few sub-par crossovers and involving little-to-no actual science, this was a quality show. I grew up with Silver Age Nickelodeon cartoons, and Jimmy Neutron was one of the best.

It had a few terrible themed episodes, admittedly. ("Raising the Oozy Scab" springs to mind.) There were a few irritating characters and stupid plots, but when it was good, it was AWESOME. Sheen's silliness was the perfect accompaniment to Jimmy's dottings of TV Genius pseudo-scientific babble, and Carl...well, Carl was there. Libby always seemed a little black-caricature-y for my tastes (that's a bit rich in this series, admittedly, but true), but the thing that really kept me coming back was Jimmy and Cindy's Toy Ship. Call it what you will, but I think that was one of the best-developed aspects of this show. I liked how the two characters weren't sugarcoated to the extreme, like many other pairing characters seem to be. I don't know, in my opinion the whole thing was adorable - especially the episode "Stranded". Youtube it and Squee.

When you consider that the whole thing was pretty much made on a dime, with off-the-shelf software, you sort of have to admire what they did. There was a visible upswing in the graphic quality by season 3, although the caricaturey-ness still remained. The solid hairdos (especially the infamous 'fudge swirl'), the lack of necks on certain characters, the extreme height differences and Jimmy's Texas-sized head looked weird at first. (At first?) Ok, they looked a bit weird the whole way through, but that was part of the fun! (And consistently Lampshaded.) You'd be amazed how much emotion they managed to get from those CG faces.

It had heaps of references, and was pretty much consistently funny, if only (at times) because of Sheen's Ultralord obsession and all-round Cloudcuckoolander-ness. It had some genuine character and art development, and original plots. Jimmy was a great hero, and the series ended gracefully on an understated, happy note, instead of fizzling out. This is a great series, and I'd recommend that everyone give it a chance at least. (It still has some good fanart/fics out there, too, if you're into that kind of stuff.) Look past the childishness, the occasional shaky footing. Give it a few chances, and I think it'll surprise you. I hope you'll enjoy it.
  comments: 4
Not just a kids show
I was just around the target demographic when the movie came out, and me and my friends went to see it three times. Our parents had no problem tagging along because they enjoyed it just as much as us, if not more. When the series came out, I remember that my friends and I were a bit disappointed. The first episode, "When Pants Attack," just didn't live up to the quality of the movie.

But after season one, the show became a standout in the Nickelodeon lineup. There were a few good season one episodes, don't get me wrong. "Jimmy on Ice/Battle of the Bands" is a stand-out, as are "Safety First/Crime Sheen Investigation," "Make Room for Daddy-O," and "Beach Party Mummy."

The rest of the series is a must-see for anyone interested in quality animation done with consumer-grade programs and good writing. There is a continuity to the series, mostly in the relationships among the cast, but also in the characters' appearances. For example, Libby's entire look is redesigned near the end of season one and it remains for the rest of the series. There are some kid-friendly relationships that are entertaining even for adults to watch. The amount of UST between Jimmy and Cindy rivals many adult shows while never feeling awkward or age-inappropriate. Sheen and Libby also have a "thing" going on between them that's really adorable. Then there's Carl crushing on Jimmy's mom... The shipping rarely feels forced, and is genuinely a joy to watch. "Love Potion 976/J," "Win, Lose, and Kaboom!," "The 'N' Men," "Stranded," "King of Mars," and "Lady Sings the News" are must-sees for Jindy shippers.

The holiday specials are all worth watching, and there are a lot of them. "Holly Jolly Jimmy" is a stand-out for the original songs and the cute premise.

Go look up a season two or three episode and see if you disagree with it being a great family show.
  comments: 0