Writers: Dan Wicksman, Nuria Wicksman, Elana Lesser, Cliff Ruby, Joe Stillman
Producers: Deirdre Brenner, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, David Kirschner, Jon Shapiro
Director : Doug Murphy
Voice Director: Wes Gleason
Date: September 10, 2019
Synopsis: “George switches places with a royal monkey.”
I never expected another Curious George movie after 4 years. At least we got a good one. Let’s talk about it.
This movie has George and Ted getting ready to meet the royal family of Simiana, those being King Gustavo, his daughter Princess Isabel, the king’s right hand woman Ana, and the royal monkey Philippe . They’re dropping off a royal artifact at the museum. Things go wrong, and in the chaos, George and Philippe end up switching places. Now Ted has to deal with Philippe, thinking he’s George, while George has to help the royal family with Isabel’s coronation, since they think he’s Philippe. Here is the ultimate message of the movie:
“No lifestyle is easy. Make adjustments in order to make things better, but don’t go too far.” Here are the most notable characters that get this across well .
George and Ted: The dynamic that George and Ted have is well done. The beginning shows George being a bit messy, what with playing around with his food, and accidentally getting him dirty. However, it’s also made clear he never meant to do any of that . He’s just trying to get Ted to relax a bit and wants to show his support. We see that he can be a well behaved monkey when properly motivated, most notably when Ted promises that they’ll go to the Castle Land amusement park if behaves at the museum. Of course, his curiosity gets the better of him when he sees Philippe, thinking he’s his double. This also shows Ted’s more reasonable side, as he’s slightly annoyed with George, but is only really mad when the king chooses not to donate the artifact because of George’s behavior . Even with that, he simply tries teaching him good manners, and when he seemingly snubs him (not knowing its Philippe), he’s saddened. It gives a good idea of their dynamic with George being mischievous yet good natured, and capable of being well mannered, and Ted just wanting a well behaved monkey that’s still happy. There’s a great sense of care between them.
Philippe: Now let’s talk about Philippe. He’s shown to be very prim and proper, yet also somewhat smug and spoiled. He’s very no nonsense and while not bad, is incapable of forming attachments to others, merely just do what he’s told. Notably, he doesn’t express any sadness at not being with the royal family. Plus, he’s rather dismissive to Ted, just following the rules on good behavior, but not spending time with him. He does start to warm up when seeing how he was willing to get George back home.
Princess Isabel: What can I say about Princess Isabel? She’s very likable and endearing. She does seem shy and is fairly insecure, but underneath is a fun loving and emphatic girl. She adores fun things like music, monkeys, and racing derbies. However, she feels she won’t be able to do all this because of her coronation and her father’s strict rules. We see she does consider the opinions of both George (Philippe from their perspective) and her father . While they do go off for horseback riding , it’s also made clear it’s just for being less stressed. When they accidentally embarrass him on tv, he’s disappointed in them, and she’s clearly sad. Though she asks for some time away from George, she’s also not mad at him. She can also control herself even if she wants some fun.
King Gustavo: Her father King Gustavo is also quite likable. He’s very stern and is very insistent on making sure Isabel is a proper princess. We see more to his character though . One scene has him playing with model boats when talking to George. This foreshadows his backstory. When he was younger, he accidentally embarrassed himself while playing the tuba, and was laughed at. He’s hard on Isabel since he doesn’t want her to be humiliated like he was.
Ana : Even Ana , the king’s assistant, stands out . She’s something of the king’s yesman, making sure everything he says turns out well. However, she also tries to make sure Isabel is still happy, showcasing self aware behavior. This balancing act makes her prone to fumbling, making her surprisingly endearing.
So, how does this movie end? Well, Ted apologizes to George, and Isabel sees the video where her father was embarrassed. Philippe also becomes nicer. Isabel then tells her father about the video, and when the mayor reveals she won the derby, he’s doubly proud, especially when everyone praises them.
This movie is essentially a kids fantasy come to life, and its magnificent. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Here is the cast for the movie.
Frank Welker as Curious George, Philippe
Jeff Bennett as Ted Shackleford/The Man In The Yellow Hat , Butler, Announcer
Daniela Bobadilla as Princess Isabel
Philip Anthony Rodriguez as King Gustavo
Eliza Jane Schneider as Ana, Fruit Cart Lady
Ed O’Ross as Ivan The Doorman, Firefighter
Adrienne C. Moore as Doris
Mick Wingert as Mayor, Nature Show Narrator, Worker
Brendan Hunt as Guard 1, News Anchor , Head Servant
Kari Wahlgren as Guard 2, Jester, Director
Dee Bradley Baker as El Fuego, Fernando
Additional Voices : Kimberly Bailey, Oscar Camacho, Elizabeth Daily, Terri Douglas , Juan Pope, Matthew Wood