Curious George (U)

A shy museum attendant, voiced by Will Ferrell, sails to an African jungle to find an ancient idol, and comes back instead with a mischievously inquisitive chimp. In an age of 3D computer-animation, Curious George is a rare beast: a traditional 2D cartoon. But it's a throwback in other ways, too. Inspired by a series of 1940s storybooks, it glows with unironic joie de vivre, and it has almost none of the smart-alec hipness that's mandatory in today's Dreamworks and Disney products. The Wild, for instance, is wall-to-wall pop hits, movie references and grown-up innuendo. Curious George may have the inevitable King Kong pastiche, and adults might appreciate the loopiness of Will Ferrell's lines ("You don't give a monkey latte!"), but overall this sunny film has a dangerously novel concept: it's a children's cartoon that's aimed at children.