Patents Pending

Inside the inventions of a new animated film.

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Inside the inventions of a new animated film.

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, in theaters December 22, begins with the question: What would happen if kids could make their parents disappear? Jimmy gets his wish but doesn't like it. But he is a boy scientist, and fashions all manner of outlandish inventions to defeat aliens, rescue his parents, and generally save the planet from evil. Reality isn't there yet, but it's close. A comparison.

NEUTRON'S WORLD BEST CURRENT CHOICE
Jet Pack Backpack All kids' backpacks are heavy, but Jimmy's has boosters: Stowaway jets get him to school on time via the stratosphere. SoloTrek XFV This DARPA-funded manned flight machine is a third of the way through testing. It flies, but not without tether. www.solotrek.com
Super Bubble Gum Mobile One blow on this bubble, and Jimmy's cruising to class inside a bouncing sugar sphere. But it pops easily. Sparrow Electric Vehicle Almost as cute, this one-man, three-wheeled electric car gets 50 miles per charge, so the juice costs about as much as a pack of gum. www.corbinmotors.com
Intergalactic Communicator This toaster communicates very effectively with aliens. The aliens then come calling. This is bad. NASA's Voyager Spacecraft Both versions carry pictures and music on the so-called Golden Record. But the machines haven't left the solar system yet. www.nasa.gov
Jimmy's Hair Machine It looks diabolical but cuts, combs, and dries without nicking ears or expecting a tip. The Flowbee Attaches to your vacuum, then sucks your hair into its blades for an even cut -- which, come to think of it, is rather diabolical. www.flowbee.com
**Goddard the Robotic Dog ** An artificially intelligent pup with an internal cellphone, it can mimic Jimmy's voice to fool his parents. Sony Aibo Cutest of the robo-pets, it walks, rolls over, barks, chases a ball. Not particularly loyal, and needs its batteries changed. www.sony.com