Nickelodeon hopes to build a Rugrats-style franchise around its latest cartoon hero, who will star in his own TV series this autumn. But, while his big-screen debut is a lively and colourful addition to the burgeoning computer animated market, Jimmy Neutron may be too limited a character to guarantee lasting success.
Initially, though, kids will be thrilled by a gadget-packed caper that finds quiff-sporting brainiac Jimmy leading an expedition into space to fight the egg-shaped aliens who have abducted his parents. Grown-ups, on the other hand, may find this hyperkinetic adventure heavy-going – not least because of the MTV-friendly soundtrack, which can’t let a scene go by without some cacophonous accompaniment from ‘N Sync, Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys.
That said, only the sourest old puss could fail to be amused by the sight of fairground rides transforming into rocket ships, sly references to The Blair Witch Project and a tongue-in-cheek turn from Patrick Stewart as bad guy Goobot.