February 10, 2006
Comedy, Kids/Family, Animation
(the voices of) Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Dick Van Dyke
Universal Pictures Distribution
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Curious George Swings Into Theaters
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Daily Life Producer
Curious George has been entertaining both children and adults for 65 years through the book series written and illustrated by H.A. and Margret Rey. His fans will most likely find the new film based on the book series to be a good fit for George’s mischievous antics.
George is no less loveable on the big screen than in his literary adventures. The filmmakers have done an amazing job bringing this spunky little monkey to life. In crafting a new adventure for George, they have stayed true to the fun, colorful illustrations and gentle nature of the original books. They also do well at capturing the playful, innocent personality of cute and cuddly George.
It should be noted that George is actually a chimpanzee (because he doesn’t have a tail), but in keeping with the original books and out of respect for his creators, filmmakers decided to continue with the tradition of calling him a monkey.
George’s latest adventure begins when he meets Ted, an enthusiastic guide at the Bloomsberry Museum. Ted has traveled to Africa in search of a lost shrine of the African tribe of Zagawa – something that he hopes will make a stunning exhibition at the museum and bring in enough money to save it from being closed due to low attendance.
George is frolicking in his jungle home when he spies Ted and mistakes his yellow hat for a banana. Ted is amused by the monkey and engages him in a game of peek-a-boo, until he decides it is time to get back to work searching for the lost shrine.
Unfortunately, what Ted finds is not exactly the treasure he was looking for, and he returns home disheartened. What he does not know is that his new monkey friend has followed him out of the jungles of Africa and will soon be causing havoc in his not-so-pet-friendly apartment building.
Things do not go much better for Ted back at the museum. While he attempts to explain his inability to find the lost shrine, George’s curiosity gets the best of him and chaos ensues leading Ted’s boss to fire him.
Ted is ready to be rid of George and attempt to get his life back on track. He calls an animal control officer to come take him away, but soon realizes he misses his friend. He launches a rescue mission to save George before he is shipped back to Africa, and he soon learns that maybe George had the answers he needed all along.
Children will love this fun adventure -- even those who have never been introduced to Curious George by way of the book series. George is sweet and amusing, and his humorous escapades are sure to keep children entertained. They will also enjoy the uplifting, toe-tapping songs composed by Jack Johnson especially for the film.
While animated films may not always be the most enjoyable movie fare for adults, there is plenty here for parents to smile about. The plot may not keep them on the edge of their seats, but they can sit back and relax with the knowledge that their children will not be exposed to any off-color jokes, violence, or bad language in this film.
Curious George is one of the most family-friendly films to hit theaters in years -- and that's good news for parents and children alike.
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