From a 65-year-old franchise comes a palatable, even occasionally fizzy concoction kids will gulp up and their folks won't choke on. There are snippets of classic Curious George stories: George painting a white bedroom in palm-tree greens and leopardskin yellows; George scaling a high-rise like a miniature King Kong; George soaring over Manhattan with a handful of helium-filled balloons; etc. Those looking for subtext -- or even the occasional pop-culture gag -- can peek elsewhere. I know one two-year-old who thought it the best thing ever; presumably, he's the demo, and I'm just the wallet and car keys. The story couldn't be more mundane: The owner of a natural science museum (voiced by Dick Van Dyke) will be forced to let his scheming son turn the joint into a parking lot unless museum anthropologist Ted (Will Ferrell) returns from Africa with a 40-foot-tall idol. The best thing you can say for the movie is that it's decidedly old-fashioned (or timeless, choose your back-handed compliment).
Director: Matthew O'Callaghan
Writer: Ken Kaufman and David Reynolds
Producer: Brian Grazer and Ron Howard
Cast: Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Dick Van Dyke, Joan Plowright, Ed O'Ross, Frank Welker, Clint Howard, Michael Chinyamurindi, Kath Soucie and Billy West