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|