The world of kid's movies has been turned into a bit of a battlefield recently, as movie studios slug it out for their piece of the billion-dollar windfall of movie tickets and merchandise kids ask, cajole and flat-out beg their parents to get. The two weapons in the arsenal that studios seem to be turning to are either an escalating level of computer-generated imagery or jamming joke upon joke and gag into gag to fill their movie with cleverness and 'comedy.' For an example of the former strategy, see any Pixar film. For an example of the latter, see Hoodwinked. Or, rather, don't.
So it comes as a lovely surprise that the new animated adaptation of the decades-old Curious George kid's book series is neither a conspicuous demonstration of technical mastery (although it's quite well-made) or an overstuffed collection of gags that have come from a room full of writers (although it's quite funny). What makes Curious George such a gentle surprise is a sense of what I can only call "relaxed effort" – the feeling that everyone involved tried very hard to not seem like they were trying too hard.