The film had been under development at Imagine Entertainment for a long time, dating back at least 1992, but it is possible that it was conceived years before. Although a traditionally animated film, it blends animation with computer generated, 3D scenery and objects that take up 20% of its environment. It features a musical score by Heitor Pereira, with songs produced by the musician Jack Johnson.
Explorer Ted (Will Ferrell) journeys to Africa hoping to recover an important artifact for his friend Bloomsberry (Dick Van Dyke), a museum director. Instead, however, he discovers an irrepressible little primate named George, who stows away on the ship back to New York City. There, Ted tries to stop plans to demolish the museum, but he has his hands full taking care of his new simian friend, whose curiosity may turn out to be more beneficial than anyone had imagined.
Why It Rocks
- Stays true to the original source material.
- Beautiful hand drawn animation that captures the charm of the illustrations in the books.
- Great use of lighing and camera angles, with the parkour scene with George having an excellent camera angle,
- George is a very likeable character.
- The movie, while having a simple plot, manages to be consisently engaging.
- The Man In The Yellow Hat is finally given a name unlike the original books.
- Several moments from the books are thrown into the movie yet it still remains to not feel like a rehash of the books.
- A lot of funny moments.
- Sublime dialogue.
- The voice acting was great.
- It spawned a successful PBS TV series and two decent direct-to-DVD sequels.
- Amazing songs and music by Jack Johnson.
- One of the many examples of bringing back an old IP for the big screen done right.
- Some other characters were being mean-spirited to George and The Man In The Yellow Hat.
- The story can be predictable at times,
The film has a 69% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 103 review; the average rating is 6.1/10. The site's consensus reads: "Curious George is a bright, sweet, faithful adaptation of the beloved children's books."
Roger Ebert praised the design of the film and its faithfulness to the "spirit and innocence of the books." Since he himself didn't particularly enjoy the film, Ebert made an exception in this case in recommending it for young children based on its better qualities, a point on which he said he disagreed somewhat with his television show co host Richard Roeper.
The film was released to 2,566 theaters, and opened at #3 with a total opening weekend gross of $14.7 million averaging $5,730 per theater. The film grossed $58.4 million in the United States and $11.5 million overseas, totaling $69.8 million worldwide.The film was released in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2006, and opened on #5.