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Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey - animated DVD / family DVD review
CURIOUS GEORGE 2: FOLLOW THAT MONKEY Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Amy Hill, Ed O'Ross, Jeff Bennett, Jamie Kennedy, Tim Curry, Matt Lauer
Directors: Norton Virgien Distributor: Universal Studios
DVD release: 02 March 2010 Feature runtime: 81 minutes / 1 disc
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features, Volume 1: Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 - English; Dolby 2.0 Surround - French, Spanish), Subtitles (English SDH, Spanish, French), Curious George's Cross Country Caper Game, "Hold On, Here We Go" music video, DVD-ROM, Bonus TV episodes ("A Monkey's Duckling," "George's Super Subway Adventure")

Still photo - CURIOUS GEORGE 2: FOLLOW THAT MONKEY)Everyone's favorite curious monkey (though my children correct me on this and call him an ape) is back for a second full-length film. This time George (Frank Welker) befriends a lonely young elephant named Kayla (Jeff McNeal) who performs in a magic show. George discovers that Kayla misses her family who live out in California. Together they board a train to try to get to the golden state with the hapless yellow-hatted man Ted (Jeff Bennett) a reluctant companion. Ted has been trying to return Kayla to the magician Picadilly (Tim Curry), but through a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings has been labeled an elephant-napper.

Ted's been busy at work lately trying to get the approval of his museum's board of directors so that he can take over the job as director when Mr. Bloomsberry (Fred Tatasciore) retires. As a result, he hasn't been as attentive to his little friend George or his girlfriend, Maggie (Nickie Bryar). An unplanned journey may help to set Ted on the road to setting things right.

Ted, George, and Kayla travel by rail, by road, and by air in an amazing journey from New York to California and back. They meet interesting people like a helpful stationmaster (Jerry Lewis), the hospitable farmer Dan (Clint Howard) and his daughter, Anna (Trupti Potdukhe), and learn what's important in life once more.

The film stays faithful to the style of the original film in style and story. The palette is bright pastels and softened primary colors, while the animation, like the original, is a combination of traditional 2D animation and 3D elements seamlessly combined. It's as pleasant to see as the first, and the soundtrack by Carbon Leaf gives a similar feel to Jack Johnson's original. Academically you can tell that there were corners cut here in casting choices and the music budget, but these choices don't throw the narrative under the bus. It's a sweet little story and a treat for the whole family.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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