Curious George

Rated 2.0

Margret and H.A. Rey’s venerable kids’ books about the mischievous little monkey would be difficult to translate into an animated feature, but in this Universal release, writer Ken Kaufman and his nine uncredited collaborators barely try. Instead, they concoct an Indiana Jones parody about George’s owner, the Man in the Yellow Hat (voiced by Will Ferrell) scouring Africa for an exhibit that will save the museum where he works from being turned into a parking garage. The movie finds time to plug Dole bananas and Universal’s own remake of King Kong, but George himself and his simple, straightforward charms are elbowed aside. Director Matthew O’Callaghan supplies a bright, cheerful look that will please small kids, but parents hardly need rush them to the theater; the video will do just as well.