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Chris Meledandri Revisiting Curious George for More Mischief

by
July 30, 2010
Source: 24 Frames

Curious George

If the traditionally animated version of Curious George released a few years back didn't tickle your fancy, you'll have another chance to see the famous literary monkey cause more mischief coming soon. 24 Frames reports Illumination Entertainment, the company created by Chris Meledandri (former Fox Animation President and producer of films like Ice Age and Despicable Me) is developing another computer animated adaptation of the famous book series. The film will apparently feature the same "wry animated images" from Despicable Me, but with a completely new story featuring George and The Man in the Yellow Hat yet again.

If you're too old, too young or just don't remember your childhood very well, the series of children's books focused on the adventures of George - a primate (whether he's simply a monkey or a chimpanzee is up for debate depending on the illustrator) who's taken out of the jungle by an eccentric explorer to live in the city. But the city is full of trouble for George to get into whether he intends to or not. Though Will Ferrell lent his voice to the previous animated adaptation (directed by Matthew O'Callaghan), the film wasn't a big success. This will be a fresh start for the family fare property with a script from Little Fockers writer Larry Stuckey.

Surely Illumination and Universal are hoping to duplicate the surprise box office success of this summer's Despicable Me, but I think they'll have better luck with adaptations like Where's Waldo and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax rather than revisiting something that's only a few years old, but you never know. Anyone curious?

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  • I want more original animated films which seem to be progressing rather well lately, so this would be a step backwards for Universal. If they stuck to the formula that created Despicable Me they'd be much more successful critically and financially.
  • ImaginaryVisionary
    I have yet to talk to an adult who liked the Curious George movie, but say what you will....we're not children. I was reviewing films at the time for a college paper and I went to a matinee showing of the film and one thing stood out about that film that no other kids film since then has been able to touch. It's a pure kids movie. The kids in the audience giggled throughout the entire film, while the adults just sat there bored. I remember looking around at one point and the kids were glued to the film, while several of their parents were bordering on falling asleep. Now I work in early childhood education and I recommend Curious George to parents constantly as the best kids movie available, because it is purely made for kids and they love it! We show a movie every single Friday in my room, and the kids ask for that movie every single week. The only other movie I've played in two years that draws the kids in as much as Curious George is the first act of Wall-E (they lose interest in the second half). I wish Hollywood would grasp this concept, but unfortunately Hollywood is not about what is in the best interest of the child, but like everything else in this country....the bottom line is what counts. Curious George didn't make money the first time around because it was made for kids, and they did a damn good job keeping the subversive adult humor out that populates so many movies. Just like anyone else I loved Despicable Me. I thought it was hilarious, but there's no way I'd show that to a kid under the age of 8-10 in good conscience. I don't have kids of my own, but I work in a school full of 3-5 year olds and I know what they learn and repeat through these movies, and yeah some of it is meaningless and harmless.....but thanks to movies such as Alvin and the Chipmunks I see a lot of 3 year olds dancing like 18 year olds singing "All the Single Ladies," and its not right. I'm probably more excited than most that they're making a CG Curious George! But I hope they don't go the route of most kids movies, because the Curious George books have such an innocence and heart to them and i hate seeing that destroyed by selfish adult intentions.
  • Eli
    I seem to recall you guys said dispicable me would suck. I partly agreed so imagine my shock when i read it did well. While I respect Steve Carrell as an actor, his character was sooooo played out in the office. And his movies suck. If this project does indeed happen, refer to this article and tell me I was wrong for saying this: There is nothing interesting they can do with this project unless it ends up at disney/pixar. It will go absolutely nowhere fast.
  • I just LOVED the previous one! I thought the animation style was super, the characters charming and the songs (Jack Johnson) lovely!
  • Chazzy
    This is bull. One of the things I loved about the previous ones, even the direct to video sequel, was the traditional animation style. We don't need everything freakin CG'ed. It's stupid.
  • James Birdsong
    I agree with #5

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