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Western Animation / Curious George (2006)

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Get ready for some serious monkey business!

Curious George is a 2006 animated adventure film based on the children's book series of the same name, directed by Matthew O'Callaghan in his feature debut. The film features the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, Dick Van Dyke, and Frank Welker voicing the titular character. Jack Johnson provides the songs.

Ted (Ferrell) is a tour guide at Bloomsberry Museum, where he gives weekly presentations to the class of Maggie Dunlop (Barrymore). Unfortunately, she and her class are practically the museum's only recurring visitors, and its lack of attendance and revenue leads to Mr. Bloomsberry (Van Dyke), the museum owner as well as Ted's boss and close friend, telling him that the museum is due to be closed. This news comes to the delight of Mr. Bloomsberry's son Junior (Cross), who wants to tear down the museum to replace it with a parking garage.

As a last-ditch effort to save the museum, Ted impulsively volunteers to travel to Africa to bring back an ancient 40-foot-tall idol, the Lost Shrine of Zagawa, hoping that it will attract visitors. Unbeknownst to Ted, Junior has sabotaged his voyage so that he'll only find a 3-inch version of the idol. However, Ted finds and befriends a mischievous monkey while in Africa, and the monkey ends up following him back home, where they go on adventures around the city while trying to undo the mess surrounding the idol.

The film was a moderate success, earning nearly $20 million above its budget, and it received an animated television series and five sequels. The first three sequels went Direct to Video and featured a new cast; the next two were released as Peacock Originals.

  • Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey! (2010)
  • Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle (2015)
  • Curious George: Royal Monkey (2019)
  • Curious George: Go West, Go Wild (2020)
  • Curious George: Cape Ahoy (2021)


Curious George and its sequels provide examples of:

  • Accidental Astronaut: At the end of the first film, George and Ted are accidentally launched into space.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The movie expands upon the books, especially on the character of Ted.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Justified with George, since he's a monkey and it's understandable he's unaware his antics put everyone, mainly Ted, in trouble spite his curiosity, he does have good intentions in the end and tries to make up for his past actions, before forgetting them by the next movie.
  • Balloon Belly: George has a noticeable gut after eating bunches of Dole bananas while on the boat.
  • Belly-Scraping Flight: Used in the third film, when Ted's seaplane goes over a waterfall. George's frantic tug on the control stick pulls it out of its dive in time, although its pontoon skims the water beneath the falls.
  • Blinded by the Sun: When Ted attempts to figure out a riddle, he takes note of it mentioning looking at the sun. He takes it literally and starts staring at the sun until his eyes can't take it anymore.
  • Brutal Honesty: Maggie to Ted after Ted admits that it's his fault he let George go back to Africa.
    Ted: I can't believe George is gone. And It's All My Fault.
    Maggie: Yes. It is.
    Ted: What?
    Maggie: Ted, do you want me to tell you what you want to hear, or do want to hear what you should hear, which I'll tell you, and not just what you think you want to hear?
  • Butt-Monkey: Ted takes a lot of slapstick.
    • Danno Wolfe in the second movie is also this.
  • Cartoon Penguin: The penguins at the zoo are the typical black and white penguin with orange beaks seen in most cartoons.
  • Celebrity Paradox: In Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle, a character sitting on a bench is seen reading a newspaper with the headline "Angela Bassett." Bassett is the voice of Dr. Kulinda in the film.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Danno Wolfe plays this straight. He even placed in an option for the theater's phone tree to have Klingon.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Again, Danno Wolfe. He apparently thinks George can speak Chinese and his first guess of what happened to Kayla is someone dehydrated her into shrinking.
  • Community-Threatening Construction: Junior plots to demolish the museum upon gaining ownership, and replace it with a gigantic parking lot.
  • Cool Teacher: Maggie Dunlop.
  • Cucumber Facial: George ends up in the bathroom of a woman who is doing this while also having a bath and paints her walls, followed by pouring paint in her bathtub.
    Ted: Do yourself a favor. You're gonna wanna put the cucumbers back on.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Ted when things don't go well for him.
    • Junior. Actually Junior is made of this. Helps from being voiced by David Cross.
  • Ending by Ascending: The film ends with George and the Man in the Yellow Hat accidentally blasting off in a rocket, symbolizing all the new adventures they're bound for.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: George has one in the first film while griping over the loss of Ted's job, which is when he discovers the 3-inch trinket is really a pictogram map to the actual 40-foot lost shrine of Zagawa, which appears when held up to the light. This causes him to regain hope and get Ted to come with him back to Africa where the shrine is found.
  • Fake Australian: An In-Universe example is shown with the employees of the "Outback Beyond" store (voiced by Billy West and Jeff Bennett), who mask their natural Italian-American accents with Australian ones when selling Ted his signature yellow ensemble.
  • Go Back to the Source: George and Ted go to Africa (where George originated from) to find the lost shrine of Zagawa and save the museum.
  • Grande Dame: Ms. Plushbottom is an old opera singer who lives a pampered lifestyle in her apartment. By the end of the movie, she is amusingly seen hand painting alongside some children in the activity section of the museum.
  • Hated Item Makeover: George sneaks into Ms. Pushbottom's apartment room. He dips his hands and feet into buckets of paint to make the bare walls resemble a jungle. Ms. Pushbottom is most indignant about this, and Ivan the employee ends up evicting Ted for being responsible for George.
  • Hollywood Chameleons: George comes across a chameleon and that turns brown as he passes it. Then he brings his animal friends (hippo, crocodile, zebra, etc.) to make the chameleon match their color. Then they run around the chameleon in circles and the chameleon, dizzy, falls to the ground in a kaleidoscopic state and George places the dazed chameleon back in its tree branch.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Ted, in order to rescue George, ends up stealing many balloons from a balloon vendor and several kids at the zoo, and even a kite from the park to fly with. We don't see him pay for or return any of them.
  • Hot Teacher: Again, Maggie. She is a pretty young woman who is the love interest for Ted.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: The original film focuses more on Ted and has the common "Human gets a wacky anthropomorphic pet" plot, though George still is prominently featured.
  • It Was with You All Along: Ted and George discover upon holding the Zagawa trinket up to the light, it creates a pictogram map to the actual lost shrine of Zagawa, which is in Africa where he came from.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Most of the main characters resemble their voice actors (e.g. Maggie to Drew Barrymore, Mr. Bloomsberry to Dick Van Dyke, Bloomsberry Jr. to David Cross, Clovis to Eugene Levy) Ted the Man With The Yellow Hat doesn't look exactly like Will Ferrell, but the resemblance is still striking.
  • Interspecies Adoption: Ted treats George somewhere between a pet and a child.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ivan.
  • Karma Houdini: George. It doesn't matter how much ruckus he can cause or how much of a trouble he brings to Ted, by the end of the day, it's Ted being the one to learn a lesson and George mostly goes on his merry way, barely learning a thing.
  • Love Interest: Maggie Dunlop to Ted Shackleford.
  • Map All Along: Throughout the majority of the film, it seemed like the legends of the Lost Shrine of Zagawa exaggerated its size and it was actually dinky. It turns out, however, that the little idol projects a map when exposed to sunlight, which leads to the actual Lost Shrine of Zagawa, which turns out to be a gigantic as the legends say.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Ted after he lets George get taken back to Africa.
  • Mythology Gag: The ship George rides on back to the city is the "H. A. Rey".
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Man In The Yellow Hat is named "Ted Shackleford" (his surname was confirmed in a deleted scene).
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: During Ted's exchange with an unseen and unheard angry motorist, Ted yells back, "Well, that's physically impossible for me to do!"
  • Nice Girl: Maggie Dunlop. Also, Annie and Dr. Kulinda in the sequels.
  • The Nose Knows: Ivan. He can somehow smell an animal in the building and can tell which floor George is on.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Junior says "Ow my body" after falling out a window while overhearing Tedís conversation.
  • Parental Abandonment: George is presumably an orphan as we never his parents or see him with a family group.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Jack Johnson provides the film's songs and even recorded an entire tie-in album, Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George.
  • Prone to Sunburn: When Ted gets his hat taken by George, he begs for it saying that he needs it because "the sun is hot, and I freckle. And not in a good way, either; I blotch."
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: George, very much. Start to finish, but especially when he plays peek-a-boo.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Again, Maggie Dunlop, who beyond being Ted's love interest is mainly just a voice of reason.
  • Single-Issue Landlord: This occurs in the movie.
  • Slippery Swimsuit: After leaping into a lake during the second movie, Ted blushes as he realizes his pants are gone.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Starting with the fourth film.
  • Straight Man: Edu is this to Ted in the first movie, who is not very prepared or competent in the jungle expedition.
  • Super Cell Reception: Ted's phone go off in the depths of Africa and he comments about the "strong signal" before answering it. Then again, the movie seems to enjoy lampshading and breaking the fourth wall every so often.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Danno Wolfe is this, he's only trying to return Kayla to Piccadelly and keep her safe, but uses extreme methods to do so.
  • The Unfavorite: Junior.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Ted is constantly troubled by George's shenanigans, but he also have to deal with his own problems and bad luck. Obviously not helped by George's curiosity.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Junior. He takes it personally when his father, Mr. Bloomsberry, considers Ted the son heís never had.
  • Wham Shot: The moonlight shining on the Zagawa trinket, which projects a pictogram map to where the real shrine is located.

 
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Curious George (2006)

Ivan the doorman can smell whenever there is a (unwanted) pet.

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