Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cartoon Chatter | The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius

I know that the cartoons I showcase skip around in terms of years. Since going back to the 90s last week, I'm ready to jump back into the 2000s with The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. In terms of cartoons, Jimmy Neutron was a bit of a trendsetter in its usage of computer animation. The attention to detail throughout every episode made the series not only visually interesting, but quite successful. It was very popular and even shared the spotlight with The Fairly Oddparents during the Jimmy/Timmy Power Hours. Hit the jump for my rundown of the show.

What appeals to me most about Jimmy Neutron is the writing. Many cartoons have great animation and fun characters, but terrible storylines. Other cartoons have the opposite problem; they have decent stories, but shallow stories and awful animation. Jimmy Neutron is fortunate to have a great story and very beautiful animation. It also benefits from its usage of previous information. Instead of each episode being completely and utterly new, characters from earlier episodes are brought back and revisited—even expanded.

Besides being a genius, Jimmy Neutron has his fair share of nemeses. Each one has a hilarious personality trait that makes the show even more humorous. Yet no one is quite as funny as Jimmy's two best friends, Carl and Sheen. Carl is basically allergic to the world and is an all-around goodie-two-shoes. Sheen on the other hand is obsessed with his favorite superhero, Ultra Lord. Both Carl and Sheen are greatly inferior in terms of intellect, but they have moments when they help Jimmy more than his brain does. In fact, Sheen is apparently popular enough to get his own show as a spin-off of Jimmy Neutron called, Planet Sheen, which premieres this fall.

Like most shows, the series appeals to romance. Jimmy Neutron has a bit of an Alfalfa/Darla relationship with Cindy Vortex. She is also smart and constantly competes with Jimmy Neutron even though they both like each other. However, like all kid romances, girls are icky and boys are stupid, so they often fight and bicker.

The final piece of Jimmy Neutron that really makes the show is the music. They have several musical episodes and the show's music is carefully chosen and appropriate. If you have never seen the show, you will be drawn in by the theme song (for Jimmy Neutron). There is often a moral of the story, but you aren't beat over the head with it. I would also recommend watching the first Jimmy Neutron movie, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, that debuted in theaters back in 2001. From there, watch the show episodes and you will be in for a treat.

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