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on September 10, 2005
Ah, good ol' Inspector Gadget. I have many fond memories of watching with laughter and excitement every Saturday morning as the good-natured, although often times misdirected, Inspector Gadget lumbered around some dangerous building or trap-infested jungle in search of clues that would solve the case-of-the-week. Often times his niece, Penny, and their dog, Brain, would pull some miraculous miracle in the nick of time that would save Uncle Gadget from his impeding doom. Other times, Gadget's typical "slip-up" would actually result in the foiling of Dr. Claw's dastardly deed-of-the-week. Either way, Inspector Gadget's clueless nature is what made the show so enjoyable. That is why when Disney announced they were making a live action movie based on the cartoon, I could hardly wait to see it in theaters.

Unfortunately, my memories of that movie are not nearly as fond as that of the cartoon, and that is why I never watched the sequel (although I hear it was equally as bad, if not worse). The movie lacked the charm of the cartoon, and it hardly seemed to be little more than loosely based off the show. That is why when I heard Inspector Gadget was getting yet another modern day facelift, this time through CGI, I found myself to be far more hesitant in picking up a copy. Surprisingly, my hesitation wasn't warranted.

Inspector Gadget's Biggest Caper Ever is by far, the closest thing to the original cartoon that has been released so far. Granted, there is probably enough in the movie to set it apart from the cartoon (such as the Gadget mobile being like the one in Disney's movie, where it talks and is an actual character) but, in my honest opinion, there is enough nods to the cartoon that will satisfy most fans of the original. Inspector Gadget is just as clueless and comical as in the original, and Brain is just as active and crucial to helping Gadget out of the crazy situations he gets himself in (again, unlike Disney's). Poor Chief Quimby gets blown up a couple of times from his self-destruct assignments, Dr. Claw is back to his ol' self with plans for world domination, and his MAD agents are just as useless, although amusing, as ever.

Really, the only major differences between this CGI movie and the cartoon is the Gadget mobile (although it's not nearly as bad as the one in Disney's movie, this one actually has some comical lines and cool stunts!), Penny's character (she doesn't seem nearly as smart or resourceful), and a couple new characters that didn't appear in the cartoon (such as the mayor), but I feel they add to the value of the movie. Another major difference is the original Gadget theme is nowhere to be found! That really disappointed me, as the new theme song doesn't sound nearly as good. It's ironic, the only thing the Disney movie got right was the theme song, and really, the only thing this movie gets wrong is the theme song!

Nonetheless, I was more than satisfied with this new Gadget adventure. I won't spoil the plot, but it's classic Inspector Gadget material, as is much of the world in which the story unfolds. The CGI, while nothing groundbreaking, flows nicely, and the dialogue is bound to bring about some laughter and fond memories. The DVD also comes with some nice bonus features, so it isn't barebones like some DVD's out there! The bonus features include:

Deleted Scenes

Bloopers

Build Your Own Gadget

Inspector's School Of Gadgetry

Trailer Gallery

I haven't checked out all of the bonus features yet, but so far, I'm not disappointed!

As for the bottom line, I can't say for certain every Gadget fan will love this new movie. All I can say for certain is that I enjoyed the movie, and that, in my opinion, it stayed fairly true to the cartoon in most respects. That is why I feel if you enjoyed the cartoon, you'll enjoy the movie, even if you're all grown up now. Heck, I was able to enjoy it even though I'm nineteen and haven't watched the show since I was about nine or so (it's never on anymore! Bring it back!), but hey, that's me. As for the rest of you, I would hope that you'll at least give the movie a chance and rent it... you might just find yourself pleasantly surprised!
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on April 29, 2015
I grew up watching "Inspector Gadget" and loved it. Our family has recently been watching the latest Inspector Gadget reboot on Netflix and everyone (wife, kids, me) think it's funny and entertaining. I don't know what the heck happened with this one to make it so painful to watch. Neither my 5 nor 3 year-old laughed and it held their attention slightly better than a Baby Einstein would if we let them watch those. I'd strongly suggest you skip this one.
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VINE VOICEon March 24, 2013
Like many kids in the early 1980s, I remember the Inspector Gadget franchise pretty fondly. While it lacked the fantastical elements I craved in my daily He-Man fix and the over-the-top do-gooder ways of Superfriends on the weekends, it was always a treat to visit Metro City's bionic crime fighter, his niece and the true "brains" behind the operation; Brain the dog.

Naturally over time, the charms of the show faded to the recesses of memory and when rumors of the 1999 live-action version began to circulate, I was immediately doubt-stricken. To me the whole Inspector Gadget concept was birthed on the principles of cartoonism: The laws of physics are intermittent at best, bombs are always of the black cherry (with lit wick) variety, dogs (well one in particular) walk upright and do their best to talk- it just wasn't the type of stuff made to be taken seriously.

Well of course the movie came and went and somehow so did a sequel but the true vibe of the cartoon seemed doomed to fade into absolute obscurity. When, in 2005 it was announced a computer generated animated feature film would be released once again centering on the good Inspector and his pals, some hope was restored.

After finally having had to enjoy the film, I have to say that fans of the original incarnation will certainly find much more to be pleased about here than they would have in either of the live action incarnations.

For starters, this piece was created by Canada's Mainframe Entertainment. If the name doesn't ring any bells, rest assured these guys were doing the CG cartoon thing even back when Pixar was primarily a software company. They pioneered the format with their show Reboot in the early 90s then continued to do their thing steadily throughout the years: Transformers Beast Wars & Beast Machines, Max Steel, a dozen Barbie and Hot Wheels direct-to-dvd CG pieces and even a full-length feature designed to keep Pixar and DreamWorks honest in 2008 (The Nutty Professor). All told, they've been busy!

The 67-minute movie actually borrows a few elements from the live-action movie version of the mythos (like the talking Gadgetmobile and scientist love interest for Penny) but the narrative is undeniably inspired from the original cartoon. The pacing is brisk and the silliness of the absent minded Inspector gets underway literally within the first couple of minutes of the film.

The story centers on Dr. Claw escaping from MC Pen with a little assistance from the hilariously Scottish henchman Bombaboy, leaving a crater in the earth where once existed a maximum security prison. While scoured the scene in typical Gadget fashion, the Inspector finds minimal clues to Claw's whereabouts (though evidence is a plenty) and instead uncovers an un-hatched dinosaur egg.

Penny and the scientist Looney deduce it must belong to a long-extinct species called "Iguana Giganto"; which immediately sends Gadget on a campaign to arrest as many pet Iguanas as possible. Newly introduced character, alien obsessed Mayor Morty Markumr, views the discovery as a sure-fire tourist attraction and the newly freed Dr. Claw realizes a flying dinosaur could be precisely the type of minion he's been lacking all these long years.

The egg hatches, a metal eating dinosaur emerges and sheer chaos ensues. Rest assured, if this all sounds silly- it certainly is! But like I discussed earlier in this critique, such silliness has always been the cornerstone of the Inspector Gadget experience. Fortunately the formula still works here, even after all these years.

The animation is a bit stiff and the background & texture detail show nothing to get Pixar or DreamWorks nervous but it is quite a treat to view the characters and their city in 3D. Voice work is solid throughout and it's always a pleasure to encounter CG films actually animated to accompany an English vocal track as mouth flaps and timing is impeccable.

The comedy here is slightly mixed- while much of the zany slapstick that was a staple of the original cartoon survives here, the writers arguably went a bit far in making Gadget a bumbling fool. It's always been the low-key efforts of Penny and Brain that have resulted in Gadget's success, but this film is one of few examples where the two of them may truly have been better off without the good Inspector around.

Make no mistake though; there are many solid gags here: The Gadget Copter being used to cut the grass, a criminal gathering where a lively game of pin the tail on the mayor ensues (and a piñata of Gadget's head). A few gags (like Inspector Gadget unable to remember which hand contains his integrated cell phone function) get a little tired but then the film redeems this with a quote like, "Huh dead already and I left my elbow in the charger all night".

In all, a recommended romp in the unique world of Inspector Gadget that, while it cannot replace the charm of the original series on which it's based (no need to, the original series is still out there for those who wish to seek it out), the concepts here are undeniably fun.
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VINE VOICEon January 9, 2006
It's been a long time since I've seen the TV show, but I can still fully remember the theme music and how fun it is. So when I found out that there was a new CGI-animated version of Inspector Gadget, I just had to take a look.

I wasn't disappointed. This is a fun, snappy film that stays largely true to the style of the TV series. Some fun updates are a more hip version of the theme song and Bernie Mac as the voice of the Gadget "G" Mobile. (Whose sharp, witty, funny commentary adds a lot.) I agree that Penny doesn't seem quite as smart as the TV show. The most annoying subplot in this movie involved her and a character named Loony, who wanted to give her tickets to a concert, which dragged out way too long (and popped up way too many times). But otherwise, this film was great.

Some of my favorite lines came from Chief Quimby in relation to the ridiculous, pompous, neurotic, self-absorbed mayor. At one point, the mayor asks some sort of stupid question about where something is and Quimby responds with a wonderfully humorous line that I won't spoil here.

Claw is, of course, the main villain and his cat is with him as well.

This being a Lion's Gate release, there's some wonderful special features. Tehre are several deleted scenes, most of them in storyboard film. There are also some bloopers, which have obviously been created just for laughs. There's a short Build Your Own Gadget game, which is just okay. There are also trailers and fully animated menus showing the scenes in the movie.

If you ever loved Inspector Gadget, or just wanna see a great DVD, then be sure to give this one a look.
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on March 19, 2014
Remembering that this is a cartoon, I have to say the plot isn't what you watch it for. But even so, the story just wasn't that good. It didn't make any sense. It was hard to figure out how the characters were relating to one another. Like what hold did the villian have over the punk British kid that made him obey his every command? Or what was a punk British kid doing in this cartoon in the first place? Is there supposed to be some natural connection between punk British kids and making bombs? And the annimation wasn't pleasing, either, It wasn't Inspector Gadget's usual medium, and yet it didn't seem to be actual "claymation." On the whole, I'd say give this a miss.
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on July 21, 2013
I couldn't stand to be in the same room where it was playing. The voices were annoying, the animation wasn't very good and the resolution was awful, I don't know if it was the source material or amazon's streaming service.
I loved this cartoon as a kid. I don't know if I just had poor taste or a bad memory or maybe they just screwed up the new animated version but this is not what I was hoping it would be, even my kids who'll watch anything with changing lights and sound had some negative comments about it. I give it 2 starts because it was still entertaining enough that they sat through it all.
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on August 18, 2014
Computer animated fail, the cartoon was much better, this was clearly a first stab at computer animation. The voices also fell flat humor was meh, I didn't get all the way to the end of the show, kids were like "can we watch something else?"
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on February 12, 2014
Looks more like a cheap video game version of the cartoon series. Very difficult to watch even on our HDTV
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on February 3, 2014
This was terrible. The animation was bad, the picture was blurry, and the story was terrible even for Inspector Gadget. I'd rather watch the Matthew Broderick movie. It was just painful to watch. This is what we picked after we had run out of everything else.

Maurice LaMarche did a pretty good Don Adams. But then Maurice LaMarche can do everything from Orson Wells to an interesting toaster. He's a genius. This movie is not.
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on November 14, 2013
The animation style of this series is odd. Almost hard to see, actually. There's just not enough contract. Maybe that had to do with picture quality, but it was very noticeable. As far as the quality of the script and all that, I thought it was okay. Kids thought it was good - it kept them entertained - but they weren't dying for more Inspector Gadget afterword.
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