John Matthews created a masterpiece with each painstakingly-shot frame of this beautiful movie taken directly from two of the most popular Curious George books. Any parent or teacher who has read the original "Curious George" or "Curious George Goes To The Hospital" will notice the text virtually unchanged (except for parts that are plainly shown and thus do not have to be told) and the scenery so accurately rendered down to tiny details (the furniture in The Man With The Yellow Hat's house, a sign on the wall in the hospital, George's yellow bed, etc.). Matthews proves his extraordinary patience with the gorgeous and smooth clay-animation that he uses to tell these stories. The lovely soundtrack is also notable, containing lovely themes played mainly on strings, and composed by Matthews as well. All the elements combine to create a charming and fast-moving story to delight kind souls of all ages.
George himself has never looked better (or more cute) than in this movie. Though he is a small, furry monkey, he reminds us of a toddler-- which is a good description of his mentality. His curiosity is always leading him into trouble, but there is no hint of badness or malice in him at all. He is so innocent, good, and loving. When George cries, you just want to cry along with him.
My sisters and I first watched this on HBO in the 80's. We taped it and it was a favorite of ours until our father taped over it one day and for a long time we had no idea how to find it again. Now the advance of the internet has made it available once more. I can't adequately describe the joy I've gotten from this movie, but I can say that it harkens back to a simpler time in the same way that "Little House on the Prairie" or "Anne of Green Gables" does, if you are a fan of those works. It's something to reaffirm your faith in the world, and the good of people. It's something to turn on when you've had too much of modern video games and violent cartoons. George has been removed from his jungle paradise to our "civilized" but often chaotic world, and his triumph is that he doesn't let it corrupt him. In a way we all face the same journey of starting out fresh from birth, enduring the trials and mistakes that come with life, and getting through with the help of our loved ones and the goodness of our own character.
You can think I'm making too much of a simple claymation video, but this is something very special to me. I am so glad that I have a daughter now to share this unique piece of art with. I hope the world will give Matthews many chances to display his talents.