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Curious George (2006 film)

Curious George is a 2006 animated adventure film based on the book series written by H. A. Rey and Margret Rey and illustrated by Alan J. Shalleck. It was directed by Matthew O'Callaghan, written by Ken Kaufman and produced by Ron Howard, David Kirschner, and Jon Shapiro. Featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Drew Barrymore, David Cross, Eugene Levy, Joan Plowright, and Dick Van Dyke, it follows the Man with the Yellow Hat, a tour guide at a museum, as he befriends a curious monkey named George and going on adventures with him around the city.

It is the first theatrically-released animated film from Universal Pictures since 1995's Balto, the first theatrical animated film from Universal Animation Studios (making this Universal's first in-house theatrical animated film), and the first animated film from Imagine Entertainment. The film had languished in development hell at Imagine Entertainment since at least 1992, but it is possible that it was conceived years before. The film employs a notable blend of traditional animation and CGI scenery and objects that make up 20% of its environment. The soundtrack was composed by Heitor Pereira and features several songs by musician Jack Johnson.


A happy and curious monkey lives in the African jungle and plays with baby animals. Meanwhile, in the big city, Ted is a museum tour guide who gives weekly presentations to schoolteacher Maggie Dunlop and her students. His boss, Mr. Bloomsberry, informs Ted that the museum is losing money and will have to close down, much to the delight of his son Junior, who wants to replace it with a parking garage. Ted volunteers to find an ancient 40-foot tall African idol, the Lost Shrine of Zagawa, hoping that it will attract more visitors. He is outfitted with a bright yellow suit and hat and boards a cargo ship to the African jungle, where he discovers that the idol is only 3 inches tall. He sends a photograph to the museum, but the image's angle leads Mr. Bloomsberry to believe that the idol was even larger than he thought. Meanwhile, Ted befriends the monkey who secretly follows him back to the city.

In Ted's apartment building, the monkey makes his way to the penthouse and vandalizes neighbor Miss Plushbottom's walls and bath with paint. Due to the building's strict no pets allowed policy, Ted is evicted by Ivan, the doorman. Ted reveals the idol's actual size to Mr. Bloomsberry and is kicked out of the museum by Junior after the monkey accidentally destroys an Apatosaurus skeleton. After a failed call to the animal control service to try to get rid of the monkey, Ted and the monkey are forced to sleep outside in a park. The next morning, Ted follows the monkey into the zoo, where they meet Maggie and her students, and names the monkey George after a nearby statue of George Washington. George floats away on a bunch of helium balloons into the city, forcing Ted to commandeer a bigger bunch of balloons and a kite. George's balloons are popped by bird control spikes on a tall building, but he is saved by Ted before he falls to his death.

After a flight around the city, George and Ted make their way to the home of Clovis, an inventor, George discovers that an overhead projector makes the idol appear huge. Ted shows the projector to Mr. Bloomsberry, but a jealous Junior (upset that Bloomsberry loves Ted more than him) pours some of his latte on the projector, causing it to explode, and frames George by giving him the rest. Ted sadly informs the public that the museum will be permanently closed and they don't have the idol. Because of all the stuff George has caused, Ted orders him to leave and the animal control (who he called the night before) arrives and Ted asks them to take George away from him and back to Africa.

Ted soon realizes that George was like a buddy to him and speaks with Maggie, who helps him to understand what is important in life. He sneaks onto the ship and reunites with George in the cargo hold. George notices that the idol actually reveals a pictogram when exposed to brightness, and Ted realizes that it is a map to the real idol, which they find in the jungle.

The real idol is finally displayed in the museum, which reopens with new interactive exhibits. Although disappointed that he did not get his parking lot, Junior gets a job as a valet and finds joy in his father finally being proud of him. Even Ivan, who has grown fond of George, invites Ted to move back into his apartment. Ted and Maggie share a romantic moment but are interrupted by George, who has started a rocket ship; Ted jumps in with him and they circumnavigate the globe.