Compared to the other Halloween specials I’ve watched this Spooktober with my daughters, Curious George’s is the one that is most clearly “for kids” with little concern for the attention span of the grown ups.
That’s not to say that the hourlong film is poorly made. It’s very cleanly animated, with a pleasing, laid-back style consistent across all of the characters and settings. The autumnal colors (with moments are dark spookiness) are attractive.
Then again, “adherence to basic craft” is different from “compelling,” and it is safe to say that this special never does anything remotely interesting enough to really capture my attention.
The script dawdles, but the leisurely pace is a selling point here. There’s no exhausting manic energy, just a curious monkey exploring the autumn world and trying to pick a Halloween costume. The climax is jarringly slapstick, though, featuring a pumpkin avalanche that kicks off a Rube Goldberg situation at a local festival. (It cracked up my 4 year-old. She was cackling.)
One thing I liked in the script was a handful of nods to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, mainly centered around the local legend of “No Noggin” who is a very G-rated headless ghoul. (He’s a scarecrow who knocks hats off your head.)
Last noteworthy thing: This features a full soundtrack of non-horrendous quality! Something like five original numbers bring some energy to the outing.
It’s not something I’d encourage adults to watch on their own in the slightest, but as something for the kids it’s certainly pleasant and bearable.
Nearly Good (4/8)
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.