L-r: Carl, Jimmy, Sheen, Cindy.


Original medium: Television animation
Produced by: O Entertainment
First Appeared: 1998
Creator: Steve Oedekerk
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Jimmy Neutron, or "James Isaac Neutron", as his mom, Judy, called him when in a reprimanding frame of mind, was, as the title put it, a boy genius in the tradition of Dexter, Baby Weems or, in '40s comic books, …

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… inventor Edison Bell. The two of them, along with dad Hugh, a duck fancier, lived relatively normal lives (punctuated by occasional bizarre adventures, usually related to Jimmy's genius-hood) in Retroville.

And aside from the "genius" business, Jimmy was a pretty normal 10-year-old, too. The guys he hung around with, Carl Wheezer (who liked llamas) and Sheen Estevez (who was obsessed with a TV superhero named Ultralord), were no geniuses — in fact, this wasn't even Sheen's first time through the fifth grade. Cindy Vortex, the girl he bickered with so badly they'd no-doubt be an "item" if this took place during their high school years, was pretty smart, but not smart like Jimmy was smart, and her pal, Libby Folfax, wasn't more than ordinarily intelligent. Jimmy's robot dog, Goddard, who functioned as not just a faithful pet, but also a handy device that could be rebuilt as whatever they happened to need, rounded out the main cast, tho there were also scattered classmates, school personnel, townspeople and villains, as needed.

Jimmy's show represented a couple of firsts for Nickelodeon, a powerhouse in American cartoons since 1991, when they'd launched Ren & Stimpy, Doug and Rugrats all on the same day. It was Nick's first show animated with full 3-D graphics, as well as the first spun off from a feature, as opposed to succeeding on TV before getting feature-length treatment. The movie had its premiere on December 9, 2001, then went into general release on the 21st.

But before that, as early as 1998, a pilot episode titled "Runaway Rocketboy" aired on Nick as a proposed new show, but it wasn't picked up as a regular series. It was only after the movie (which included most of the pilot) succeeded in theatres that it was turned into a series. The first episode appeared on Nick July 20, 2002, but it didn't become a weekly series until September 6 of that year.

Jimmy was created by writer/director Steve Oedekierk (Barnyard), and produced by his own O Entertainment. The animation was handled by DNA Productions (The Ant Bully).

Jimmy's voice was provided by Debi Derryberry, who has also been heard in Taz-Mania, Disney's Tarzan, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy and more. Hugh and Judy Neutron were Mark DeCarlo (security elf in Santa Vs. the Snowman) and Megan Cavanagh (Slog in Tak & the Power of Juju), respectively. Carl and Sheen were Rob Paulsen (Arthur in The Tick) and Jeffrey Garcia (Rinaldo in Happy Feet). Cindy and Libby were Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy in Spongebob Squarepants) and Crystal Scales (Daisy in Static Shock). Goddard, like many non-anthropomorphic pets, was Frank Welker (Dynomutt).

Minor characters included Jimmy's teacher, Ms. Fowl, voiced by Andrea Martin (Queen Slug-for-a-Butt in Earthworm Jim); Jimmy's arch-enemy, Professor Finbarr Calamitous, voiced by Tim Curry (Nigel Thornberry); the professor's daughter, Beautiful Gorgeous, voiced by Wendie Malick (Chicha in Kronk's New Groove); and Jimmy's Grandma Neutron, voiced by Phyllis Diller (Peter's Mom in Family Guy).

The cast reprised their roles in the three Jimmy/Timmy Power Hour specials, where Jimmy and his supporting characters met the cast of Fairly OddParents, which Nick aired between 2004 and '06. The visual contrast between Jimmy's 3-dimensional world and the flat one of Timmy's traditional 2-dimensional animation was dealt with by positing that they lived in different parallel universes, which Jimmy could travel between by using the superscientific gadgetry available to geniuses like him, and Timmy by simply wishing himself there.

There were also video games, several more feature-length productions, and the usual coloring books, toys etc. The series lasted until 2006, with a total of 68 episodes produced. A sequel/spin-off series called Planet Sheen, started in 2010.


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Text ©2009-11 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Nickelodeon.