Curious George Comes to the Silver Screen

Posted on November 1, 2005

Nearly 65 years ago, the first Curious George books were published. Written and illustrated by the late H.A. Rey and his wife, Margret, the books are still popular with children and adults alike. Now Curious George's adventures are coming to the silver screen as an animated feature film. And what's really great about the film is that it is hand-drawn, ink-and-pen, instead of computer-generated -- just like all the best Disney classics like Cinderella.

"It has a very painterly feel, as opposed to high-gloss," says director Matthew O'Callaghan. The Curious George trailer arrives in theaters Friday with Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. In the movie, George's keeper, the Man with the Yellow Hat, gets a bigger role.

"The books usually introduce the Man with the Yellow Hat at the beginning. He says, 'Goodbye, George, I'm going to work.' He leaves, George gets into all his adventures, and the Man is absent until the end," O'Callaghan says. "My approach was to make it more of a buddy comedy."

The Man (voiced by Will Ferrell) is a timid museum employee who is reluctantly dispatched to the jungles of Africa to find artifacts for exhibit by his curator boss (Dick Van Dyke).

There he meets George, who spots his yellow hat from the trees and mistakes it for a banana. What follows is a story about owner and pet, about giving kindness and getting kindness in return, O'Callaghan says.

Will Ferrell as the Man With the Yellow Hat? That's an excellent casting choice. The film is slated for a February, 2006 release.

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