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Curious George (2006 Film)

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Curious George Blu Ray 3D Comic book (front)

Curious George Miramax DVD Cover

Curious George is a[1]traditionally-animated a film adaptation of the childeren's stories by[2]H.A. and[3]Margerat Rey.[4]It was released in the United States on February 10, 2006. Will Ferrell voices Ted, the Man in the Yellow Hat. Mathew O'Callaghan directed (after replacing Jun Falkenstein). This project had been in development hell at Imagine Entertainment for a long time, dating back at least as long ago as 1992 (and possibly many years before this). The screenplay was written by Michael McCullers, Daniel Gerson, Rob Baird Joe Stillman and Karey Kirkpatrick. Although it is a traditionally-animated film, about twenty percent of it takes place in 3D environments that were computer-generated. This was Universal's first theatrically-released feature-length animated film since 1995's Balto. It was Imagine Entertainment's first animated film

Plot

Workprint

A clumsy, mischievous, and curious chimpanzee named George (voiced by Frank Welker) lives in the jungles of Africa. His behavior amuses the other young jungle animals, but angers their parents; therefore George is left sad and alone.

Meanwhile, at the Bloomsberry Museum, Ted (the "man in the yellow hat" of the earlier book series) (Will Ferrell), museum employee, teaches schoolchildren about natural history, not realizing that his lectures bore them. Afterward, he has a talk with Maggie (Drew Barrymore), the school teacher, who admires him and for whom he has strong feelings. Later, Mr. Bloomsberry (Dick Van Dyke), the owner of the museum, tells Ted that he is pressed to close the museum by his son, Bloomsberry Junior (David Cross), who wishes to build a parking garage in its stead. This upsets Ted, who suggests, to revive the museum's popularity, that they obtain a statue called the Lost Shrine of Zagawa. Excited, Mr. Bloomsberry thinks to go himself as he had been prevented from doing by his son's birth, but finds that he is too old. Without thinking, Ted quickly volunteers to make the expedition. Mr. Bloomsberry accepts the idea and Ted prepares to leave for Africa. Junior, frustrated, modifies his father's map of Africa to prevent Ted from finding the Shrine.

Ted subsequently goes to an outfitters' store, where he is tricked into purchasing a yellow safari outfit with a yellow hat on the grounds that "Yellow is the new Khaki" and therefore the new fashion for explorers. He then sets off for Africa, though embarrassed by his uniform.

Ted arrives in Africa, and leads a group on a four-day hike to the lost shrine. George spots the yellow hat and, mistaking it for a large banana, goes after it. Ted mistakes a rock for a rhinoceros, whereupon he shoots it with a tranquilizer dart, which ricochets and hits his guide, Edu, rendering the man unconscious and therefore slowing the expedition. The team sits down for a lunch break. Ted prepares a sandwich to eat, whereupon George suddenly takes his hat and attempts to eat it. When Ted notices this, George comes down from a tree to see him. They play "peek-a-boo" and become friends. George returns the hat and Ted gives him his sandwich. When Ted reaches the end of Junior's sabotaged map, he encounters a miniature idol; believing this to be Zagawa itself, he gets depressed. He gets a call from Mr. Bloomsberry and sends a picture of the statue via cellphone. However, the angle of the picture causes Mr. Bloomsberry to believe the idol is much bigger. George takes the hat again to play "peek-a-boo" again, but Ted leaves, letting George keep the hat. Ted returns to the docks, while George quickly follows with the hat. George sneaks onto the ship and rides to the city without Ted's knowledge.

Upon arrival, Ted rides home in a taxi. George follows Ted all the way to his apartment. When Ted finds George in his apartment, he is flabbergasted. Ivan, the doorman of the apartment building, follows George's scent, intending to enforce the apartment manager's rule against pets. Ivan searches the apartment, while George makes it a game of "hide and seek". Ivan fails to find George, and therefore leaves. Ted looks for George, to find that George has gone to Ms. Plushbottom's (Joan Plowright) apartment, whose resident is a neighbor of Ted's. Ted worriedly climbs the fire escape outside the building to the top. He finds George inside, where George has been painting colorful pictures on walls (a reference to one of the books on which the film is based). When Ms. Plushbottom notices, she calls for Ivan, who races to her room. After a lot of commotion, Ivan sends Ted and George away.

Upset, Ted wonders what he is going to do with George. Together, they walk to the Bloomsberry Museum, where crowds of people await to see the idol. He goes to his office, where he attempts to sort out his thoughts. Meanwhile, Junior is upset about the idol foiling his plans, and then notices that Ted is back. He decides to spy on him, and finds out the truth about the idol's size. Clovis, an inventor, knocks at Ted's door and gives Ted a bill for the exhibit of the Lost Shrine of Zagawa. Ted tells Mr. Bloomsberry the truth and reveals the 3-inch-tall idol. Junior then brings in the large crowd of people to see the idol. They start asking questions, which makes Ted nervous. Suddenly, he sees George climbing a dinosaur exhibit, which starts to fall. He races after George as the dinosaur skeleton crumbles. Junior orders Ted out. Ted goes to a telephone booth to call Animal Control to get rid of George.

That evening, with nowhere to sleep, Ted follows George to a park, where Ted lies down on a bench and sarcastically tells George how "great" it is. George makes a pile of leaves under a large tree, where Ted joins him and becomes fascinated by the sight of a starry sky. George curiously observes fireflies; eats them; spits them out in disgust; and causes Ted to do the same. They acquire green color on their tongues as a result, and therefore make a joke of showing each other this until George is asleep.

The next morning, Ted awakes in the park to find George gone. Hearing a commotion, he follows it to a zoo, where he finds George with Maggie and her class. Here, George is given his name by Ted, in honor of George Washington. Ted attempts to court Maggie, but is alerted to the fact that George is floating away, suspended by a bunch of balloons, and goes after him in the same way. They float around the city; George's balloons are popped, but Ted catches him. Together, they fly around the city, held aloft by Ted's balloons and using a kite to control their direction. When they float over the Bloomsberry museum, Ted holds out the idol and wishes it were big. This gives him an idea, for the fulfillment of which he visits Clovis' workplace.

At Clovis' shop, George discovers a machine that can create a 40-foot-tall hologram of any object. Ted takes the machine to the museum, intending to use it to display the idol. En route George causes trouble (unnoticed by Ted) by using the machine to project a giant version of himself cavorting around the city, provoking a re-enactment of scenes from King Kong.

Upon reaching the museum Ted shows the machine to Mr. Bloomsberry. Though Junior tries to convince his father that use of the projector is not honest, the older Bloomsberry sees it as the only way to save the museum. Desperate to build his parking garage, Junior pours his coffee into the projector and gives the rest to George so as to frame him for damaging it.

With the machine ruined, Ted is forced to admit the truth to the thousands of people waiting outside, including Maggie. Angry at him, Ted allows George to be taken away by Animal Control officers and be shipped back to Africa, saying "it's for the best." However, Ted's conscience convinces him that he has made a mistake or wronged his friend, as he confesses to Maggie. Maggie, rather than comfort Ted, tells him that his conscience accuses him rightly and should be obeyed. Ted therefore sets out to retrieve George.

Ted attempts to jump his car onto the departing ship, but lands in the swimming pool of a cruise ship nearby. Hopping on to the retracting anchor chain of the cargo boat, he smashes in a porthole and, with a well-placed blow to the cage's lock with a fire extinguisher, frees George. While he tries to explain to George that their friendship is more important than any idol, a beam of sunlight passes through the tiny statue, which is in their hands, and creates a pictogram which George notices, displaying the location of the larger version of itself desired by Mr. Bloomsberry. Ted then realizes the true meaning of an ancient writing he saw back in Africa("Turn your eye to the light. Go from blindness to sight", which means that he is supposed to hold the small statue up to the sun. Ted and George therefore travel to Africa in the ship's cargo bay, to rejoin Edu and find the true idol. This they do.

Upon the exhibit's re-opening, Ted redesigns the entire museum to be more interactive, thereby igniting the children's interest in history. The museum now includes a dinosaur rib cage, where the children can learn of the skeletal system, a space where they can learn about the solar system, a paint area, where the children can paint for and other exhibits. Junior is set to work parking customers' cars, somewhat to his chagrin, but by fulfilling this task, however, he earns his father's praise, which he has much coveted. Ted and Maggie are about to become sweethearts in earnest when George again interrupts them by hijacking a nearby spacecraft (The empty fuel tanks were filled by Clovis, accidentally). Ted and George orbit the Earth in this craft, which is itself a reference to the book series on which the film is based. The film concludes as they make their second and third orbits at a comically exaggerated speed.

Changes made in "Arabian Monkey" (Miramax; 2015)

  • Previously Mute Characters added voices including George (if Ted explains that George is a monkey with many thoughts)
  • The Deleted scenes are added.
  • As Ted and Maggie are married, there are flashbacks of their times together while the song "It's So Amazing (from The Thief and the Cobbler)" plays before George and Ted go to Space.
  • In the End of the movie, Ted mentions that George is put to jail but Bloomsberry made him do one more thing: stealing the golden THE END letters and the entire film.

Characters

  • Ted (The Man in the Yellow Hat) - Ted is a museum employee, and Curious George's friend. He is sent to find the Lost Shrine of Zagawa. He finds George and eventually befriends him loyally. Ted is somewhat clumsy, but remarkably resilient and compassionate. In a deleted scene, his last name is established as Shackleford. Ted Shackelford is also the name of an American actor who played, among other roles, Gary Ewing on Knot's Landing. He is voiced by Will Ferrell in the workprint and in the Miramax version.
  • Curious George - George is a chimpanzee living in Africa with his friends, until he follows Ted to what is apparently New York City. George is constantly curious, quite innocent of the consequences of his investigations, and compassionate. He is very clever and has an impressive proficiency in visual art, as well as a strong sense of natural beauty. He is voiced by Frank Welker in the original workprint and Jonathan Winters in the Miramax version.
  • Maggie - Maggie originated in the book series. She is a teacher who brings her students to the Bloomsberry museum every week, partly out of duty and partly out of her own romantic admiration for the dedicated and handsome Ted. Maggie is honest with Ted and presumably with her students, who express no visible reaction to her courtship of him. She is Ted's girlfriend. She is voiced by Drew Barrymore.
  • Mr. Bloomsberry - The kind old owner of the museum. Mr. Bloomsberry runs into trouble when profits are down and his son wants to turn the museum in a parking lot. He sends Ted to Africa to find the Lost Shrine of Zagawa, to hopefully attract customers to the museum. He is voiced by Dick Van Dyke in the workprint and John Cleese in the Miramax version.
  • Junior - The film's primary antagonist. He is the son and only child of the museum's owner, who believes the museum would be of more use as a parking garage. He bears little physical appearance to his father, and is apparently jealous of Ted, who is one of the elder Bloomsberry's favorites. Ultimately, Junior becomes his father's employee and thereby earns the elder's much-coveted praise. He is voiced by David Cross (top billed in the end credits of the Miramax version).
  • Clovis - Clovis is a museum employee who is an eccentric inventor. He builds robotic animals to help him with his work. He is voiced by Eugene Levy in the workprint and Alan Rickman in the Miramax version.
  • Ms. Plushbottom - A neighbor of Ted's at his apartment builidng, Ms. Plushbottom is an opera singer about to have her room repainted. George shocks her by painting murals in her room. She takes long baths while wearing slices of cucumber on her eyelids and reacts noisily when people surprise her. She is the owner of a parking garage near the museum, which draws a great deal of revenue. The revelation of this is somewhat to Junior's annoyance. She is voiced by Joan Plowright in the workprint and Jane Krasowski in the Miramax version.
  • Ivan - Ivan is the doorman at Ted's apartment building, and possibly its landlord. When George finds his way to Ted's apartment, Ivan expels both of them. At the end of the film, he befriends George, who had painted a portrait of Ivan on its model's back. Ivan is a large man who speaks with something akin to a Russian accent and has an especially sharp sense of smell. He can often be belligerent and frightening, though he is softhearted when George shows a liking for him. He is voiced by Ed O'Ross.
  • Edu - Edu is Ted's African guide on both expeditions made to find the Lost Shrine of Zagawa. He is patient with Ted's clumsiness and speaks little to him, smiling indulgently. He is voiced by Michael Chinyamurindi.

Difference between the film and original books

  • In the books, the Man in the Yellow Hat does not have a love interest, nor is his given name ever revealed. The original books focus sol ely on George's misadventures, and on the Man's getting him out of trouble. Here, George is more of a catalyst to his friend's adventures.
  • George, in the book, was captured by a bag. In the movie, George follows the Man in the Yellow Hat.
  • In the film, when George climbs up the dinosaur bones the skeleton shatters, whereas in the books George climbs down.
  • Numerous changes were made to Curious George’s appearance, such as the large eyes with pupils that replace the small black dots from the book.

References

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