Every so often Disney likes to release a movie that is live-action and set in a world like our own but has a tinge of the extraordinary. You know in these movies a Volkswagen Beetle somehow is alive, a man turns into a shaggy dog, or a mother and daughter switch places in each other’s bodies. All these movies the main characters learn something great about themselves and their place in the world with the people close to them. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is another of one of those movies. The Odd Life of Timothy Green is super saccharine hug of wholesomeness straight from the Magic Kingdom.
Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton play Cindy and Jim Green, who reside in Stanleyville. This is a town that is centered on a pencil factory as everyone in the town works for something connected to it. Cindy and Jim want to start a family but are unable to conceive. So the night they got their latest news about this they both sit and dream up what their child would be like. They write all these things down and place them in a box and bury it in their garden in the backyard. During the night a thunderstorm comes in and after it’s over they find a ten-year old boy in their house named Timothy calling them Mom and Dad.
Peter Hedges crafts a pretty quirky little Disney movie here that at times feels weird, then at others is wholesome on a level not often seen in modern movies. Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton really do well at playing the nicest, most earnest parents-to-be you’ll see on screen this year. They really sell that they try to hard to a fault in an American town that might not really exist anymore. CJ Adams does well carrying the film as the title character, capturing Timothy's awe, wonder, and experiences as a little boy.
This film doesn't stray far from what you'd expect, as Timothy begins to have a positive effect on the people of Stanleyville. He makes everyone’s life a little better, and somehow everyone accepts that this kid just emerged out of nowhere. Let’s call it the “Ma and Pa Kent Jedi mind trick”. A lot of the side characters we meet aren’t given the same type of care as our main one so they are rather two-dimensional.
In the end if you’re looking for a decent non-animated family movie this is most likely your best choice, but it’s also something that you might be able to wait until it comes out on DVD. While it is good it’s not really that big and magical that you need to see it on a theater big screen.