When it comes to children's movies, Pixar has reigned since Toy Story hit the shelves in the late '90s. Their characters are lifelike and three-dimensional, their plots are entertaining and their humor reaches beyond that of the average elementary school student with ADD. It's sad for me to say this, really it is, but, Curious George is not Pixar. It can't even compete. Curious George is just too little too late.
There is an effort in George to remain true to Margret and H. A. Rey's original creation. The style that worked for them, though, does not translate well. The film is flat. Visually, it is unappealing, and the humor -- typical Will Ferrell -- does little to reach beyond predictable animated slapstick. Even Drew Barrymore as the love interest and David Cross as the unloved son are little more than stereotypes with poor one-liners.
Despite this, older parents will take their children because they remember the books fondly. Younger parents will take their children because they think Jack Johnson is cool, and won't see the soundtrack as the simple marketing ploy that it is. And though it probably won't overtake Pooh any time soon, be warned that the flood of Curious George merch is coming.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times