Archive for March, 2006
I admit I loved the Curious George books as a kid. I also admit I was quite dubious about Will Ferrell doing the voice work for the man with the yellow hat in the current movie. What won me over was Jack Johnson. I saw the soundtrack on iTunes a few weeks back, and had enjoyed the one or two songs I’d heard from it already. Since it came with a PDF coloring book on iTunes I went ahead and bought it. It is one of the best kid movie soundtracks I’ve ever heard, mostly because the music is wonderfully listenable and only a couple of the songs are “kiddie” (The 3 Rs song and one other I can’t recall right now). So after getting hooked on the soundtrack (and buying a couple other Jack Johnson CDs), and Sam and Jake both wanting to see the movie because of the adverts on TV… we planned a family outing. Alicia had picked up a DVD from the upcoming CG series on PBS that came with a free child’s ticket so we chose to go see it at Mall of GA’s Regal theater (as it was the closest theater that took the free ticket). After seeing several previews for horrible looking movies coming up the music we’d been listening to on CD all week came on and we settled in (before Gracie pooped all over Alicia).
Now, I should have prefaced this by saying there are a couple of ways for a kids movie/show to be enjoyable for the parent. Method A (and almost always the preferable way) is the Pixar way, make a GREAT movie, with GREAT writing, and GREAT voice talent and a wonderful experience that the kids enjoy on one level and the parent enjoys on another level WITHOUT it being inappropriate for the kid (like Shrek was). Method B is the Little Bear way. If you’re not familiar with the Little Bear TV show on Nick Jr/Nogin it’s based on the books by Maurice Sendak (and another author who’s name eludes me at the moment). The characters are talking animals, it’s very wholesome and imaginative, and the kids enjoy the adventures Little Bear and friends have. As a parent it’s enjoyable because it doesn’t try to fry your brain like Spongebob does. It has a great “Classical”-esque soundtrack to it and you can sit and watch it and while you don’t get engrossed in the story you can RELAX while watching it.
Curious George (the new movie) takes advantage of Jack Johnson’s mellow sound and a simple, not too busy, animation style to achieve Method B enjoyability. There are a few “kid” jokes, but with Will F only doing voice-over you’re not subjected to his over-the-top antics and as a parent I enjoyed the movie for what it was. Not the best story ever told, but a functional movie that didn’t assault my senses, but that my kids were fully engaged by.