28 February 2007
Author/Illustrator: H.A. Rey
The celebrated story of an abducted monkey and his failed quest for freedom. George, our tragic hero, is kidnapped by a strange Man in a Yellow Hat who, on a whim, decides to take the unsuspecting George back to America. But our hero isn't going to go without a fight. Furious, George attempts a series of daring escapes. First, he jumps off of the ship where he is held captive and tries to swim through shark-infested waters back to his home. Unfortunately, he is recaptured by sailors, who most likely collect a healthy reward for returning him to the diabolical man in yellow.
Once in America, George continues to risk life and limb in order to escape. First, when the man in yellow lets his guard down, George secretly calls the fire department for help. This backfires, as it lands him in jail. After cleverly escaping from prison, George attempts an aerial escape by grabbing a bunch of balloons and taking to the air. Unfortunately, his flight to Africa doesn't get very far, as the balloons (and his dreams of returning home) deflate and George once again finds himself in the nefarious clutches of his flamboyantly dressed captor. In the end, George is placed behind bars at the local zoo, where he can only bide his time and plan his next daringly curious escape.
There are those who argue that the Man in the Yellow Hat was a kind man because he and George eventually become friends. Even if a friendship does grow between George and his captor, anyone who has studied criminal psychology (or watched way too many episodes of Law & Order) recognizes this as a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome. Those taken captive often develop positive relationships with their captors... this does not negate the crime. We can only hope that the Man in the Yellow Hat is brought to justice along with other famed criminals such as the One Armed Man and the Captain with the Hook.
Liner Notes: It was an interesting choice to have Jack Johnson do the musical score for Curious George The Movie... interesting but oddly appropriate. Because, if you've read one Curious George book, you've read them all. Likewise, if you've heard one Jack Johnson album, you've heard 'em all.