‘Curious George’ movie monkeys around for younger audiences

Tiffany Ciesicki

Will Ferrell and Drew Barrymore supply voices in the new animated feature, Curious George. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

For a story that has been adored from one generation to the next for more than 60 years, Curious George is a movie behind its time.

The storyline may be cute and the jokes corny, but many will still appreciate this movie based on the classic books of H.A. and Margret Rey.

Curious George books were written with simple plotlines and characters so they would be easily digestible by young children. It must have been a challenge to choose the voices behind the characters that would really bring them alive.

Will Ferrell was perfectly cast to animate the shy and slightly nerdy Man in the Yellow Hat. Just as Ferrell was able to make audiences believe his role as an elf in Elf, he brings life to the Man in the Yellow Hat and gives the character a dynamic personality, becoming the man readers have imagined for years.

Curious George

Starring Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross and Eugene Levy

Directed by Matthew O’Callaghan

Rated G

Stater rating (out of five): ***½

Drew Barrymore’s sweet, dainty voice fits the role of the blushing love interest of the Man in the Yellow Hat. Other recognizable voices: David Cross, the somewhat creepy outcast who tries to keep the Man in the Yellow Hat from accomplishing his mission, and Eugene Levy, who plays a wacky inventor.

One of the highlights of the movie is the music. Original songs by Jack Johnson fantastically accompany George in his adventures. Johnson’s melodies fit perfectly with the mood of the movie.

Though the plot is less than enthralling, the warm fuzzy feeling of watching a childhood favorite come to life will draw the audience in.

The Man in the Yellow Hat goes on a mission to retrieve an ancient 40-foot idol in an attempt to save the museum where he works. On his trip to Africa to retrieve this “eighth wonder of the world,” he finds himself face to face with a playful monkey. The monkey takes an immediate liking to the man and finds his way onto the ship back to America. Once back in America, the monkey, who is given the name George, seems to cause nothing but trouble.

The rest of the movie is based on watching George be the mischievous, yet adorable little monkey he has been known as for years. Although he is a troublemaker, he still finds his way into the hearts of the other characters.

Though a few jokes seem to be aimed at an older audience, this movie is definitely more of a favorite for the kids. This isn’t a movie for everyone especially if you can’t stand the thought of a theater full of noisy, little children. But for those who grew up fans of this infamous character, the movie is worth seeing if for nothing more than the chance to relive the wonders of being a small child.

Contact ALL correspondent Tiffany Ciesicki at [email protected].