Movie Review: “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” – Naturally Heartwarming

Written by Britt B August 22, 2012

Since I try to go see every movie that Disney releases in theaters, I did not hesitate to see “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”. After watching the trailer, I immediately decided that it would probably fill the spot of ‘cutest movie of the summer’.

When Jim and Cindy Green (Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner) are about to give up hope of ever having their own child, they bury a box in the garden filled with all the qualities they’d wish for their hypothetical child. Shortly after, a little boy, Timothy, shows up in their house covered in mud as the incarnation of all their wishes. As they take Timothy in as their own, he changes the lives of everyone he meets and gives hope back to Jim and Cindy. But the mystery of his appearance is not the only secret that Timothy is hiding.

Although I found “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” to be the definition of a heartwarming Disney movie, there were a few things about the movie that were too odd, even for Disney.

From left to right: Cindy (Jennifer Garner), Timothy (CJ Adams), and Jim Green (Joel Edgerton) rock out during a family music concert.

Child-Growing Garden

Although the audience doesn’t exactly see where Timothy comes from, it is implied that he grew out of the garden from the wooden box. This point in the plot reminded me of “Thumbelina”, a classic fairytale about a miniature girl who emerged from a flower once it had been planted. Even though the similarities end there, I find Thumbelina’s birth from a flower to be far more acceptable than Timothy’s materialization from a wooden box in a backyard garden. When there is a shot of the hole in the garden that Timothy supposedly came out of, it is far too small and shallow for an 11-year old boy. But I guess that is the magic of Disney, even full-grown children can materialize out of a garden after a freak rainstorm pours down over one house in a town plagued by an ongoing drought.

Timothy’s Leaves

If Timothy’s materialization from a garden is not odd enough, the ivy-like leaves growing around the bottom half of his legs definitely are. Timothy’s leaves become something that Cindy and Jim Green teach him to hide from people who might not understand after being examined by a Botanist who claims the leaves are perfectly healthy but irremovable. Normally in a Disney movie you would expect that Cindy and Jim would realize they should have taught Timothy to be proud of what makes him different instead of making sure he kept it hidden. Instead they only allow Timothy to show people his leaves once when they are backed up against a wall.

Abrupt, Awkward Ending

I will not give away the ending or any specific details, but it was not the typical cookie-cutter happy ending that is usually associated with Disney movies. The ending delivered felt awkward and lacked a sense of finality. It ultimately felt incomplete which left an unsettling feeling that something was missing from the conclusion.

Even with the few minor oddities and abrupt conclusion it is still a very entertaining and heartwarming Disney movie that is worth seeing at least once. CJ Adams who plays Timothy Green will steal your heart in this movie as one of the cutest, big-eyed kids I have ever seen in a live-action Disney movie.

My Rating: 7/10

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