CURIOUS GEORGE has a wonderful, upbeat opening sequence with the famous chimpanzee named George playing with his friends in the jungle, but it goes a bit downhill from there. The main problem with the movie is its humanist, pro-evolutionary worldview. Though the word evolution is not used, the main plot focuses on a museum, where the young curator mentions pseudo-scientific, revisionist history stories and jokes about pre-historic man, including so called Neanderthal Man and the Australopithecus ape species in Africa. Of course, Neanderthal Man may never have existed at all, or, if he did, he was actually an extinct species of ape or his ape-like features have been grossly exaggerated by incompetent paleontologists. The Australopithecus species is just another ape species unrelated to human beings.
The movie opens with that aforementioned sequence in the jungle, where George tries to play with his young animal friends in the jungle. The parents of his friends come along and spoil all his fun.
Cut to the city where Ted, the young curator of the Bloomsbury Museum is giving a lecture human evolution and fire to some schoolchildren and their pretty teacher, Maggie. Maggie is interested in Ted, but Ted is oblivious to her interest.
Ted learns from his boss that the museum must close down unless it has more income. Ted decides to travel to Africa to discover the Lost Idol of Zankara, a large statue of a ape worshipped by an ancient civilization. There, Ted meets George the chimpanzee. Ted’s boss thinks Ted has found the idol, but all Ted has found is a small version of the statue.
Of course, the chimpanzee stows away on Ted’s ship and causes all sorts of problems for Ted, who’s trying to find a way to tell his boss the truth.
Will Ferrel voices Ted, Drew Barrymore is the teacher, and Dick Van Dyke voices Ted’s boss.
The drawings and story of CURIOUS GEORGE have a simple charm, and some sequences with George getting into trouble are fun and funny. The plot, however, has a humanist spin celebrating science, exploration and adventure. It even includes a couple references to the pseudo-science of human evolution, although the word evolution is not used. Finally, throughout the story, there is a catchy song about the importance of sharing love and quote “singing Mother Nature’s song” unquote. Eventually, Ted learns that life and science are not just about facts and figures, but also about wonder, curiosity, adventure, and companionship.
CURIOUS GEORGE would have been a much better movie with a God-centered worldview and with stronger moral values.
By the way, since George is supposed to be a chimpanzee, he’s a member of the ape species, not a monkey.
(H, Ev, RH, Ro, Pa, Cap, B, V, M) Light humanist worldview with implied pro-evolution elements that revises human history in a Darwinistic manner (though the actual word evolution is not mentioned) and that takes a scientific, Romantic approach to nature, life and the universe including chimpanzee's eventual owner talks about a "hominid" race of human beings that is, in reality, just an extinct species of ape, owner also jokes about "Neanderthal Man" and "Cro-Magnon Man" but so-called Neanderthal Man may never have even existed and Cro-Magnon Man is just a pseudo-scientific term for an ancient race of homo sapiens descended from Adam and perhaps Noah, Romantic song talks several times about sharing love and singing "Mother Nature's song" and fits in with movie's premise supporting an insatiable curiosity that leads to wonderful adventures, plus museum searches for lost pagan idol but museum and its leaders take a scientific curiosity in it even though there is at least one acknowledgement that natives once worshipped the pagan idol, some pro-capitalist elements about museum trying to make money and avoid being turned into just a parking lot and about inventor who helps museum, and some moral elements mixed with the movie's Romantic notions where human protagonist eventually realizes that a purely humanist scientific approach of facts and figures to life is rather dry and dull and lacks compassion and a sense of adventure (but he doesn't really seem to reject humanism completely), moral element includes one possible reference to "Lord" in a song; no foul language; light comic violence such as doorman trying to catch chimpanzee gets hit by wooden doors, chimpanzee causes near traffic accidents, and man chases chimpanzee on high roofs and ledges; no sex, but there is a kiss; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, human protagonist and his boss try to stretch the truth but they don't get away with it.
CURIOUS GEORGE, an animated movie based on the classic children's series, opens with a wonderful sequence where George the chimpanzee tries to play with his friends. Cut to the city where Ted, the young curator of the Bloomsbury Museum, is discussing human evolution with some schoolchildren and their pretty teacher, Maggie. To save the museum from closing, Ted travels to Africa to discover the Lost Idol of Zankara, a large ape statue once worshipped by natives. There, Ted meets George the chimpanzee. Ted's boss thinks Ted has found the idol, but all Ted has found is a small replica of it. The chimpanzee stows away on Ted's ship and causes all sorts of problems for Ted, who's trying to find a way to tell his boss the truth.
The drawings and story of CURIOUS GEORGE have a simple charm, and sequences with George getting into trouble are fun and funny. The plot, however, has a humanist spin celebrating science, exploration and adventure. It even includes a couple references to the pseudo-science of human evolution, though the word evolution is not used. The movie would have been better with a God-centered worldview with stronger moral values.