Curious George

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Curious George

Postby John-Locke on Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:14 pm

Curious George official website with Trailer

Okay this mischievous little Chimp isn't very well known over here in the UK but from what little I have seen of the little guy, I like.

Is Curious George really some kind of modern day parable for Mankind's need to explore & understand it's environment even if in doing so it destroys things along the way? Or did the authors have Nostradamus style visions of the future and are trying to warn us of George Bush and George Bush Junior?

Discuss.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:16 pm

Oh god, if I'd known what our conversation in the comicshop would have led to, I'd have burned the book in yer hand!!!
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:20 pm

I'm gonna go with the Nostradamus one.
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Postby DerLanghaarige on Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:23 pm

Who cares. I'm still happy that they made a not-cgi-film. (Although it doesn't look like a must-see.)
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Postby CthulhuKid on Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:35 pm

Um... I grew up with the books... I think they were about a little monkey that got into things he shouldn't...

But I like that other thing too. :-)
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Postby John-Locke on Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:42 pm

CthulhuKid wrote:they were about a little monkey that got into things he shouldn't...


Sounds like GW Bush to me

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:42 pm

George, he was a not always a the good little monkey, eh?

Curious George and the High Tension Power Line
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Postby Peven on Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:50 pm

CthulhuKid wrote:
they were about a little monkey that got into things he shouldn't...

John-Locke responds:
Sounds like GW Bush to me

you have officially gained a fan, Mr Locke, lol.
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Postby CthulhuKid on Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:52 pm

DinoDeLaurentiis Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:42 pm Post subject:

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

George, he was a not always a the good little monkey, eh?

Curious George and the High Tension Power Line


My childhood, she's a disillusioned, eh? :wink:

John-Locke Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:42 pm Post subject:

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

CthulhuKid wrote:
they were about a little monkey that got into things he shouldn't...


Sounds like GW Bush to me


IMPAPILSH!
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:01 pm

IMPAPILSH? Speak proper Dino, you conditioned-to-the-outside-world punk!
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Postby CthulhuKid on Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:28 pm

Ribbons Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:01 pm Post subject:

-------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------

IMPAPILSH? Speak proper Dino, you conditioned-to-the-outside-world punk!


Ooops.

Only my second go and I fail...

I hang my head in shame.

:oops:
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Postby jgraphix on Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:30 pm

This movie looks like a horrible waste of time and money. Even Will Farrel couldn't redeem it.
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:46 pm

I feel so bad for liking these trailers, but I do. I can't help it, dammit! I think it's got something to do with Jack Johnson. Or Herc.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:42 am

I am actually sorta looking forward to this probably because of the weird nostalgia of having Curious George books when I was a young lad.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:36 pm

I caught a preview screening of Curious George last night and it was a light, fun, colorful delight. I missed the first ten minutes or so, but it didn't so much matter. The plot is simple enough to pick up: The Man in the Yellow Hat goes to Africa on a research project for the museum he works for and he stumbles upon George. George comes back to the city with the Man and much hilarity ensues.

Many, many gags are taken directly from the books (as I remember them), and it's a fun little film. George is about as adorable as Boo from Monsters, Inc. Will Ferrel is very good as the Man in the Yellow Hat. His voice is right for the part, and his added Ferrel "commentary" works rather well. There's smart stuff in there, but nothing that'll lose the younger audience. David Cross and Eugene Levy also do nice work, and Drew Barrymore voices quite the dandy little thing. (Her eyes are made to be almost too pretty.)

The animation is a nice combination of 2D hand-drawn foregrounds (nice 3-point lighting and "halo' effects) and some really impressive watercolor backgrounds. There are also plenty of 3D, CG elements interwoven very nicely.

It's a simple film, not nearly as "bursting at the seams" as a Pixar film or the best from Disney, but it was a fun time. The movie has a genuinely delightful spirit, and is a great adaptation of the books. If you have kids, they'll definitely enjoy it.

Here also is Roger Ebert's 3-star review:

Roger Ebert wrote:Definition of a good family movie: One that appeals to all members of the family. "Curious George" is not a family movie. It is a children's movie. There is nothing wrong with that, and a great deal that is admirable. For once the younger children can watch a movie where they have a good chance of understanding everything that happens and everything that's said. The new generation of mainstream animation has so many in-jokes that even the editors of People mag miss some of them. How many of the pre-schoolers watching "Shark Tale" realized that Sykes was named after a Charles Dickens character and looked like Martin Scorsese?

On the "Ebert & Roeper" TV show, Richard Roeper and I technically disagreed about "Curious George," even though our opinions of the movie were approximately the same. He voted thumbs down because it was aimed at children. I voted thumbs up because it was aimed at children. We both agreed it was not going to be an ecstatic viewing experience for parents.

In theory, I should have voted against it. The critic must recommend what he or she enjoys, not what some hypothetical audience will enjoy. Critics who say, "This is sure to be enjoyed by teenagers" if they are not teenagers are dummies, and the audience is the ventriloquist. Some of my colleagues say their editors require them to recommend movies on the basis of the tastes of the readers. An editor who does that is instructing the critic in falsehood and incompetence.

Having said that, and since I am not a child, how can I ethically recommend "Curious George" as a movie for children? I will quote Walt Whitman: Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. I have no idea what teenagers think, but I know what 4-year-olds think, because I was one, an expert one, and I believe that up to a certain age all children enjoy more or less the same things: Bright colors, vivid drawings, encouraging music, a plot that is exciting but not too scary, and a character they can identify with. This character should have an older friend who guides him through neat adventures and keeps things from getting too scary. If that doesn't describe what you liked when you were 3 or 4, then I blame your parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chainsaw.

George the monkey is easy for any kid to identify with. They have so much in common. George cannot make himself understood, he is driven here and there in mechanical vehicles without his consent, adults talk about things he does not understand, and sometimes it's just not fair how he's treated. Then he meets the Man in the Yellow Hat (the movie reveals that the Man's name is Ted). Ted (voice by Will Ferrell) makes friends with him, and because he is alone in the world George stows away on Ted's ship and ends up in New York, where Ted is trying to save a museum. This undertaking requires Ted and George to fly above the city while holding onto a big bunch of balloons. Meanwhile, Ted has a girlfriend named Maggie (Drew Barrymore), but that's fine with George, because it means he gets another friend.

I am not sure Ted saves the museum in any meaningful way (it becomes a gallery of Virtual Reality experiences), but George has a lot of fun and gets to paint lots of surfaces with bright primary colors, which passes the time pleasantly. There are songs sung by Jack Johnson, which are pleasant if kind of innocuous. The movie is faithful to the spirit and innocence of the books, and director Matthew O'Callaghan and his team create a visual look that is uncluttered, charming, and not so realistic that it undermines the fantasies on the screen.

Is this movie for the whole family to attend? No, it is a movie for small children and their parents or adult guardians, who will take them because they love them very much. Even if they love them very much, they will have to be very, very patient, so maybe waiting for the DVD is a good idea, except then, of course, you will have to experience it over and over and over and over and over again.

Curious George is currently clocking in with a 70% over at Rotten Tomatoes.
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Postby Agent Alonzo on Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:46 pm

If that doesn't describe what you liked when you were 3 or 4, then I blame your parents, Mr. and Mrs. Chainsaw.


Sounds like a dig at Harry's nephew... Or even Harry as a child himself...
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:49 pm

Sounds a good, eh paisan? Papa Dino, he gonna to set uppa a the private screening for a the great-grand-bambinos at a the villa, eh?

Ebert, he hits upon a the good a point, no? Anna that's a that it's a the movie aimed at a the children for a once... anna not a the whole family. There's a nothing wrong with a that, eh? Poor little bastards, they always a get a the short shrift, no?
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Postby Peven on Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:55 pm

saw the full trailer for this when i took the kids to Nanny McPhee a few weeks back, and i thought it looked a lot better than the early reports were saying. Whedon's review only confirms my impression and it will be on the list for my two youngest to go see with their old man. btw, thanks for the review Whedon.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:00 pm

PLANT....








j/k... had to say it... good review...

nice to hear ferrell's not too bad either...not too over the top... i used to love the lil monkey as a child...

nice to see some traditional animation in theatres again too...
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:01 pm

Peven wrote:btw, thanks for the review Whedon.

No prob at all.

This last paragraph in Ebert's review really sums it up:
Roger Ebert wrote:Is this movie for the whole family to attend? No, it is a movie for small children and their parents or adult guardians, who will take them because they love them very much. Even if they love them very much, they will have to be very, very patient, so maybe waiting for the DVD is a good idea, except then, of course, you will have to experience it over and over and over and over and over again.

Ultimately, it's just a really sweet movie you can show your youngest kids without having to worry about content.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:02 pm

I like how they left out the fact that The Man in the Yellow Hat *kidnapped* George from the jungle, and George cries and cries in his cage. I hated the Man in the Yellow Hat as a kid. What kind of guy kidnaps a baby monkey and let's it run amuck, and blames it for all the mischief it gets into??
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:06 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:I like how they left out the fact that The Man in the Yellow Hat *kidnapped* George from the jungle, and George cries and cries in his cage. I hated the Man in the Yellow Hat as a kid. What kind of guy kidnaps a baby monkey and let's it run amuck, and blames it for all the mischief it gets into??

That might explain why you're always carrying guns around, no?
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Postby Peven on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:08 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:I like how they left out the fact that The Man in the Yellow Hat *kidnapped* George from the jungle, and George cries and cries in his cage. I hated the Man in the Yellow Hat as a kid. What kind of guy kidnaps a baby monkey and let's it run amuck, and blames it for all the mischief it gets into??


overanalyze much? :wink: :D i bet you are one of those people who held a grudge against their parents for lying about Santa being real when you realized it was really your dad eating those cookies you left out each yr. :lol: :wink:
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:09 pm

Peven wrote:
Lady Sheridan wrote:I like how they left out the fact that The Man in the Yellow Hat *kidnapped* George from the jungle, and George cries and cries in his cage. I hated the Man in the Yellow Hat as a kid. What kind of guy kidnaps a baby monkey and let's it run amuck, and blames it for all the mischief it gets into??


overanalyze much? :wink: :D i bet you are one of those people who held a grudge against their parents for lying about Santa being real when you realized it was really your dad eating those cookies you left out each yr. :lol: :wink:



what?!? - santa's not real...?!?!?!? how bout a SPOILER WARNING people....




ARRGGGHHHHHH......where the hell did my milk and cookies go... and who's lap was i sitting on last xmas....
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:26 pm

:lol:

Well no, if I was going to overanalyze I would point out that the Man in the Yellow Hat was a symbol of white colonialism. Poor George represents the African American slaves, thrust into a foreign and hostile world and trying to make the best of it. Or he could be the goods exported to the European continents at the expense of the natives. :wink:

And I believed in Santa until I was 11, my parents were that good...and when I found out, I was more disappointed in myself for having ruined it. :D
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Postby Seppuku on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:33 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote::lol:

Well no, if I was going to overanalyze I would point out that the Man in the Yellow Hat was a symbol of white colonialism. Poor George represents the African American slaves, thrust into a foreign and hostile world and trying to make the best of it. Or he could be the goods exported to the European continents at the expense of the natives. :wink:

And I believed in Santa until I was 11, my parents were that good...and when I found out, I was more disappointed in myself for having ruined it. :D


I'd hate to see what you made of Snow White...did those dwarves represent man's eternal phallic obsession?
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:35 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:Well no, if I was going to overanalyze I would point out that the Man in the Yellow Hat was a symbol of white colonialism. Poor George represents the African American slaves, thrust into a foreign and hostile world and trying to make the best of it. Or he could be the goods exported to the European continents at the expense of the natives. :wink:

The moral of the story is "Bring a yellow hat to Africa, come back with a slave!"

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Aww, the slave is so cute!
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:57 pm

seppukudkurosawa wrote:
I'd hate to see what you made of Snow White...did those dwarves represent man's eternal phallic obsession?


Hmmm...Snow White. No, I would say that she represents man's ideal woman (or, perhaps, our ancestors)--virginal, beautiful and her greatest joy is doing housework for men. Even better, she just lays down and waits for a man to wake her up, and she has no say in the matter of her "true love" whatsoever. :D

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Postby Seppuku on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:05 pm

Lady Sheridan wrote:
seppukudkurosawa wrote:
I'd hate to see what you made of Snow White...did those dwarves represent man's eternal phallic obsession?


Hmmm...Snow White. No, I would say that she represents man's ideal woman (or, perhaps, our ancestors)--virginal, beautiful and her greatest joy is doing housework for men. Even better, she just lays down and waits for a man to wake her up, and she has no say in the matter of her "true love" whatsoever. :D

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And that's a good thing.

Plus thanks for opening my eyes to the real meaning behind Snow White, I think you might just have a very good point there. Any other childhood films you want to look at with your They Live shades on?
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Postby MiltonWaddams on Fri Feb 10, 2006 4:33 pm

The feminists that don't hold up on mysticism and phenomenally small grievances with language problems (hero? WHY NOT SHE-RO!) can indeed rock. I would say these are in the minority. Alas, it is like this with any group, a majority are total retards with a few intelligent people keeping it afloat, barely. See: Democrats, Republicans, etc etc.

I'm just glad they didn't lace the movie with jokes that only adults could understand, or worse yet, jokes only stoned adults could understand.

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Postby Lady Sheridan on Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:11 pm

I consider myself a feminist, but not in some bizarre "all things must be rejected" sort of way, or fussing overmuch about language and "HERstory." I've never taken a women's studies class in my life, actually. :D I don't honestly believe that about Snow White, or the majority of fairy tales. :D Nor would I refuse to let my daughter read them, or watch the Disney versions...I grew up with them and didn't suffer a damaged psyche!!

My favorite radical feminist story was when they demanded that Pirates of the Caribbean be changed. Thank goodness Disney didn't remove the Bride auction, but I'm pissed they bowed at all. But when it comes to movements of any kind, the media (and the world) will focus on the insane to marginalize those who are rational and legitimately working towards change...yet the kooks always get their way. Grrrr.

But Curious George...now that's just literary criticism. ;)
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