As far as stellar movie soundtracks go, many esteemed critics would probably point to “Purple Rain,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “A Hard Day’s Night” as gold standards for film and music fusion. And they’re not wrong, but we need to talk about one sorely overlooked blockbuster that inspired a generation-defining soundtrack that deserves another look. We’re talkin’ Jimmy Neutron.
The 2001 animated flick “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” chronicled the story of an 8-year-old wunderkind, his friends and his trusty robotic dog, who had to save their parents from an alien abduction. It was a cinematic masterpiece for kids of the early naughts, TBH, and it even went on to inspire two Nickelodeon spin-offs, “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” and “Planet Sheen.”
And accompanying the hottest kids movie of the year was the hottest soundtrack, which enlisted the who’s-who of early ‘00s pop: Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Aaron Carter, Lil’ Romeo, 3LW and more. It’s a somewhat eclectic mix of teen pop and new wave favorites that somehow melded together to give us a soundtrack tailor-made for the cool kids.
Take a little trip down memory lane with us and treat your ears to the wonders of the “Jimmy Neutron” movie playlist:
“Leave It Up To Me” by Aaron Carter
We open with a mission statement of sorts: “It’s the kids, baby. It’s the kids, come on.” That’s right; a full 14 years before Kanye was all “LISTEN TO THE KIDS BRO,” pint-sized Aaron Carter was preaching on behalf of youth everywhere and keeping up his penchant for defying authority. The accompanying music video is also required viewing because of its decidedly terrible animation. Just remember, it was 2001.
“Pop” (Deep Dish Cha-Ching Remix) by NSYNC
BEST REMIX TITLE EVER, right?! You know the original “Pop” from NSYNC’s Celebrity album, but this ~straight fire~ remix takes it to a whole different level. Have you ever inhaled a sh-t ton of sugar and caffeine and then started tinkering away on Garage Band? No? Well, this is what that would sound like, with all its weird little sonic zings. It’s a lot to handle, but don’t stand down yet; we’re only two tracks in, folks.
“Parents Just Don’t Understand” by Lil’ Romeo, 3LW and Nick Cannon
Lil’ Romeo is SO lil’ here, rapping about going shopping for clothes with his mom. Aww. But Mrs. Lil’ Romeo keeps picking out whack stuff “from 1993” and Romeo is NOT having it. Then “Nick from Nick” Cannon hops on the second verse and tells us about the time his mom (played in the vid by Whoopi Goldberg, naturally) busted him for stealing the car. The icing on the cake is 3LW coming in with that sugary hook. Such an ace trio.
“Intimidated” by Britney Spears
Brit goes industrial and electro on this rare cut, which sounds a lot like some of the other songs on her 2001 album Britney, like “Boys” and “What It’s Like To Me.” Minus all that weird video game bleeping.
“He Blinded Me with Science” by Melissa Lefton and The Matrix
This is a fun cover version of Thomas Dolby’s kooky ‘80s song “She Blinded Me with Science.” It’s super zany and slightly cheesy, but in a surprisingly addictive way.
“A.C.’s Alien Nation” by Aaron Carter
So Aaron Carter wakes up one morning and sees an alien named Steve standing in his room, staring at him. Instead of calling 911, what does A.C. do? He hops on Steve’s spaceship, goes to a different planet, and teaches a bunch of aliens to dance. Why? Because there’s a “universe of rhythm” and “everyone is a cosmic freak.” You do you, A.C.
“Kids in America” by No Secrets
This song’s been covered a million times, but you probably forgot about this version by short-lived girl group No Secrets (fun fact: Lady Gaga was almost a member). Here they are performing it at the 2002 Kids Choice Awards, complete with matching white pants and early ‘00s pop-approved choreography that definitely doesn’t match the song at all.
“The Answer to Our Life” by Backstreet Boys
OK, now we’re starting to get a little serious. A pop song pondering existential questions is kind of a random choice for the “Jimmy Neutron” soundtrack, but it’s the Backstreet F—king Boys, so it slides.
“The Chicken Dance” by Nobody
I mean. What can you really say about the chicken dance? It’s one of those things that no one really likes to talk about but it’s just a given in life that it’ll pop up, you’ll do it, you’ll feel like an idiot, but you’ll have a smile on your face the whole time.
“I Can Count on You” by True Vibe
True Vibe were a mix of boy band pop and contemporary Christian music, and even though this song didn’t have any secular language in it, it’s almost TOO glossy to exist. Like, listening to it all the way through might give you cavities; just sayin’.
“We Got the Beat” by The Go-Go’s
You know this one. It’s still great. Always has been; always will be.
“Go Jimmy Jimmy” by Aaron Carter
Aaron strikes again! This time, he delivers an insanely repetitive song that’ll leave you either THRILLED your parents named you Jimmy, or devastated because they didn’t. No matter; you can always save the name for your firstborn so they’ll have their very own A.C.-curated anthem to guide them through life.
“Parents Just Don’t Understand (Bonux Mix)” by Lil’ Romeo, 3LW and Nick Cannon
Same song but with a different, slightly less poppy beat. Still just as awesome.
“Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones
Here’s another oldie but goodie that’s been faithfully passed on through the generations. You can bet anyone of any age knows the “Hey! Ho! Let’s go!” — it’s practically a requirement for living on this planet, so it was the perfect soundtrack for Jimmy’s quest to rescue his parents from alien abduction.
“Jimmy Neutron Theme” by Bowling for Soup
Last but not least, we have the ultimate Jimmy Neutron jam: a legit great song that does the boy genius justice by chronicling his quest to save the world and get to school on time. I dare you to make it through this video without immediately wanting to turn the movie on afterward. “Who can we count on? Jimmy Neutron!”