A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!
Directed by Savage Steve Holland
Written by Butch Hartman & Scott Fellows
When A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! was first announced as a live-action feature film, it sounded like it would be terrible. Who needed yet another live action film for a cartoon? Haven’t we suffered enough? But, Grow up, Timmy Turner! instead turned out to be a good surprise, keeping the tone of the cartoon while delving into raging manchild territory with a plot so off the walls that it is brilliant. And yes, that means I liked it very much. I’m shocked, shocked, I tell you! Who knew that I would end up enjoying what appeared to be a terrible Disney Channel-type film? But Grow Up, Timmy Turner is much more than that, it’s fun, and sort of has a message about the need to grow up and move on with your life buried beneath the wacky antics of the hijinks that ensue.
For those of you out of the loop, The Fairly Oddparents is a cartoon series about a child named Timmy Turner’s fairly godparents who grant him wishes, and all the adventures that entails. The series’ bizarro humor helped earn it a cult following among more than little kids, with viewers of all ages tuning in. There has been sporadic tv-movie specials for The Fairly Oddparents, though this is the first live-action special.
Grow Up, Timmy Turner continues the same basic plot, except Timmy is now 23 years old, still in the same grade at school, still living at home, and still not grown up, because being grown up loses you your fairy godparents. It’s in the rules, trust us, they break out the rules to read during the movie!
Cameos from the cartoon show up all over the place. Jorgen Von Strangle (Mark Gibbon), the strongest fairy and the boss of all fairies, appears repeatedly throughout the film to threaten Timmy. He’s an obvious Arnold Schwarzenegger parody. Timmy’s childhood friend Chester McBadBat and A.J. (Chris Anderson and Jesse Reid) appear sporadically as adults assuming the still-childlike Timmy is jealous of their “successes”, though the successes are never elaborated on.
Director Savage Steve Holland was an 80s genius with such classic films as Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, and How I Got Into College. He got into tv with The New Adventures of Beans Baxter and the Encyclopedia Brown series on HBO, but his greatest television creation was Eek! the Cat (and accompanying cartoons.) He’s since been making a living directing episodes of family fare tv series, making him perfect for this film packed with Nickelodeon teens.