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This movie got me hooked on Jimmy Neutron
I was at my sister's house, waiting for dinner to be ready. My nephew had cartoons on the TV and I couldn't really change the channel without being rude. I sat down to see what tripe the kiddies were watching these days. Over the next 90 minutes, my nephew abandoned the TV for the toys in his room and I was laughing so hard and often that my sister asked what I was doing. Not only is/was Jimmy Neutron the BEST cartoon since Pinky and the Brain, this episode is the best of the series. I would give anything to own this on DVD, but I don't think it's available. That's a real shame. The writers lampoon the TV business in general - sci-fi and reality TV, specifically. When Jimmy's dad built a Star Gate, I thought the writers were actually living inside my own head!
Must watch this as a viewer from the early 80s, not as one from today
I want to disagree a little bit with the other reviewer. If you watch this as a "2009" movie-watcher who has seen Hollywood-ized stories like Erin Brockovich, you may be disappointed in this little TV movie from the 80s. But you have to realize that that is exactly what it was. Movie plots weren't as complicated or dramatic as they are today. I think (though I don't know the particulars of this case) the makers of this movie probably tried to make the characters more like the real people they were portraying than "basing" a great role on a real person.
I was actually surprised that there wasn't a big trial or lots of scenes with scientists where the victims had to prove that they were being poisoned. That is the kind of plot line we expect to see today. But this movie focused more on the families and their struggle to be treated fairly.
It may have seemed unrealistic that so many people refused to believe that the government allowed this to happen. But society was just beginning to experience problems like this. It was fairly reasonable for people to believe that "someone" was watching out for this kind of thing. It is exactly BECAUSE of situations like the real event that happened in this movie that we in 2009 have become so jaded and are more apt to believe that big business and government may not always be looking out for us.
Anyway, the point is that to enjoy this sweet little movie, you have to put yourself in the mindset of the early 80s TV audience.