Jimmy Neutron

Animation Film with voice-overs by Debi Derryberry and Patrick Stewart. Directed by John Davis.
Running Time: 81 mins
Rated: PG

Jimmy Neutron is the brightest but least popular boy in his class at Retroville Elementary School. Jimmy spends most of his time in his vast underground laboratory where he has invented a robotic dog, a plant that eats 'yicky' girls and a communications satellite to speak with aliens. The aliens read Jimmy's signals, come to earth and abduct Jimmy's and all his
classmate's parents. Initially, Year Three is overjoyed, but after the hamburger and fairy floss binges subside the children start to miss their mothers and fathers. Jimmy leads the class to outer space on a rescue mission.

This animation film has an old style story told in a old-time way. Even the look of the animation John Davis has created appears dated when compared to Shrek. Appearances, however, can be deceptive and they are here. Jimmy Neutron is technically first rate and Davis pushes the story on with energy and interest.

What is very old fashioned about this film is its political agenda. Even before 11th September, no screenwriter could be unaware of the demonisation of Islamic Nations. The right wing in the USA regularly portrays Islam as an extreme religion at the service of a vengeful God. Things have hardly improved since 11th September in this regard. In Jimmy Neutron the aliens are portrayed as "those creatures who want to sacrifice humans to the God of wrath." Even though this film has the King of the Aliens speaking with a British accent and thereby continues Hollywood's racist portrait of the evil POMs, there is a disturbing bigotry in this film which causes far greater concern. The invading aliens serve their God in wanting to sacrifice that which the US middle class holds to be true. I doubt the links here with some current xenophobic political ideas are imagined or unintentional.

Jimmy's town is not called Retroville for nothing! Our children deserve more sophisticated indoctrination than this. Give it a miss.

Richard Leonard SJ

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