Tribeca 2024 Review: Boys Go to Jupiter

In Julian Glander’s candy-colored, CG-animated vision of suburban Florida, slacker friends co-exist with odd sentient creatures and an orange juice company run by descendants of a dolphin/human hybrid. And it’s a musical, or at least a comedy with occasional lo-fi indie songs. Premiering at this year’s Tribeca Festival, the film has all the makings of an instant cult classic, with an incredibly original art style, memorable characters, and a bonkers story.

Buy Adventure Time: Season 1 Blu-ray

Billy 5000 is tired of hanging out with his buddies, and is instead focused on his hustle as a food-delivery worker for the Grubster app, grinding hard to get to his target of $5000 in earnings as fast as possible. When he and his friends encounter a strange alien creature on the beach, it leads to weird events that threaten to upend their familiar suburban lives. 

Billy’s deliveries bring him into the massive Dolphin Groves Juice company, where he meets the alluring young Rosario Dolphin, aka Rozebud, as well as her mother and current head of the company, Dr. Dolphin (Janeane Garofalo). The family’s deepest secret is literally buried under the company, a discarded NASA experiment that resulted in a dolphin/human hybrid who still lives in a deep cavern waiting for her next visit from her daughter, Dr. Dolphin.

Glander takes a leisurely approach to plot development, leaving plenty of space for funny sidequests along the way, from Billy’s deliveries to assorted sketchy customers, to his care for a needy donut creature, to his crew’s snap decision to switch their musical ambitions from hip hop to indie rock. The movie is all about the journey, although its eventual destination is thoroughly satisfying.

The large vocal cast features little-known leads Jack Corbett and Miya Folick, supported by co-stars including Garofalo, Julio Torres (Los Espookys), Sarah Sherman (SNL), and Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade). Corbett’s deadpan delivery is a perfect fit for the affectless Billy 5000, with the rest of the cast also fine matches for their roles. 

There’s really nothing else like this out there, but the film’s bizarre but childishly innocent sensibilities and songs mostly reminded me of early Adventure Time, while its isometric, 2.5D perspective gives it a strong indie videogame feel, likely due to Glander’s past experience creating the game Art Sqool. While it’s completely unobjectionable fare for the entire adventurous family, it’s also so loopy and fascinating that stoners will wholeheartedly embrace it. Glander has created a welcoming and fully realized universe here, one that is worthy of multiple repeat viewings to savor its details.

Steve Geise

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search & Filter