September 23, 2007

Movie Review: Curious George

Emily and I just watched Curious George and I really enjoyed it! Finally! A new movie that I enjoy watching with my daughter! OK, I realize she's only two, but we have had too many movie encounters lately from the "family movie" genre that I would not want to watch as a family. I was excited about the interesting ones that we could watch when our sweeties get a little older. The movies kept including unnecessary things or agendas we disagree with. It was really getting depressing. We've had the flu and molars coming in this weekend, so we've ended up watching a little more tv than we would normally.
Anyway, Curious George did not follow the original story book plot as I expected it to do. They had the basics, curious monkey, man in a yellow hat ("yellow's the new khaki") and the transition from jungle to city. That's about it. I did not feel that they were unfaithful to the original story line, just creative. In and effort to save the museum where he works, Ted (the man in the yellow hat) leaves for the jungle to discover a large, ancient idol. Enter a curious monkey and the rest is history. Complete with a mild, greedy, non-violent, but unethical villain (seriously the mildest villain I think I have ever seen in a movie--Disney should have villains this unscary), a muscle bound apartment manager, slightly daft museum curator (voice talents of Dick Van Dyke), a lovely teacher? (voice talents of Drew Barrymore), and curious monkey scenes without dialog filled in with the lovely music of Jack Johnson, Curious George is a sweet and enjoyable movie that does not bore without becoming too intense for younger viewers. The movie encourages embracing life with a hands-on attitude and not traveling the journey alone. It was quite refreshing to enjoy watching a film with my daughter where it was not scary (and at this point, everything is scary to Emily for some reason.) There were no adult themes, not even a reference that was above her head. It is not my personal favorite movie, but I enjoyed it enough to watch it again, and it had many cute animals. Really, what more can you ask for in a family movie? (Besides Pixar :)

BTW, our new favorite screening site is kids in mind. It seems pretty thorough and just lets you know exactly what you are walking into, regardless of how little it may seem. For example, for Curious George, they let you know there is an older lady in the bathtub, who stand up and is covered with painted bubbles. They do not show anything, but there is a lady in the bathtub who, yes, is not wearing any clothing in the bathtub. They let you know. They also seem to have a pretty wide selection.

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