The “Curious George” movie celebrates the sweet silly spirit of the “Curious George” books, originally created by the husband and wife team of Margret and H.A. Wrey in 1941. Looking at the posters for the “Curious George” movie, I feared that one of the most beloved children's character would become a foul modernized adaptation with computer graphics gone horribly wrong. But I was happily surprised as the opening shots rolled by of George in the jungle I could see that this movie oozed with the innocent magic that makes “Curious George” so great.
While computer graphics are used to depict some scenes, George maintains its sweeter side, with everything embracing a rich hand drawn softness to it that brings the movie a lot closer to the illustrated books than the 'hard edge' lines seen in other computer rendered tales. Everything appears to emit its own light source, and the characters have a warm glow that invites your eyes to dive right in.
Reading the “Curious George” books, you never get a sense of identity of who The Man in the Yellow Hat is, so having Will Ferrell become the role works, and his cleaned up narrative comedy keeps the movie moving while holding its G rating.
The grand old voice of Dick Van Dyke provides life for the aging Museum director while a doe-eyed school teacher voiced by Drew Barrymore, squeezes some gooshy romantic scenes which are quickly interrupted by monkey antics. And the story isn't overly sugary either, there's room to include some old fashion Merry Melody material like the madcap mania brought on when the strict doorman searches floor to floor for the scent of the curious monkey.
The Jack Johnson soundtrack completes “Curious George’s” spell, and will keep monkey fans humming along to the rich rhythms long after the credits roll.
Looking forward to taking the “Curious George” ride again, for Movie Magazine, this is Purple.
© 2006 - Purple - Air Date: 2/8/06
USA - 2006