‘Boys Go to Jupiter’ Review (Tribeca Film Festival 2024) – An Eccentric 3D-Animated Oddity

The official promotional image for Julian Glander's Boys Go to Jupiter.
The official promotional image for Julian Glander's Boys Go to Jupiter.

Boys Go to Jupiter is animator Julian Glander’s debut feature film. Glander has mostly made a name for himself with short films and worked in the animation department for the criminally underrated Strawberry Mansions.

Glander’s credits on IMDb include projects with Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney, and HBO Max, the ART SQOOL video game, noting that the animator’s illustrations have even managed to appear in publications such as The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Rozebud (Miya Folick) avoids work in Julian Glander’s Boys Go to Jupiter.

Made entirely in Blender over four years on a nearly nonexistent budget, Boys Go to Jupiter is a computer-animated musical in Florida between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

A 16-year-old named Billy 5000 (Jack Corbett) has dropped out of school and is trying to make money delivering food for Grubster. He intends to make $5000 to get his own place and pay back Gail (Eva Victor), who has been letting him stay with her.

Billy 5000 (Jack Corbett) picks up a Grubster delivery in Julian Glander’s Boys Go to Jupiter.

Billy’s friends Freckles (Grace Kuhlenschmidt), Beatbox (Elsie Fisher), and Peanut (J.R. Phillips) aren’t of the same money-making mentality. They’re more interested in freestyling over sick beats, loitering, and attempting to con adults for beer.

The film juggles Billy’s quest to independently make money, as it introduces genetically altered fruit that may or may not change the world and aliens that assist in discovering the perfect fruit in existence while also vacationing as an intergalactic food critic.

Julian Glander’s art style resembles a 3D version of Adventure Time, specifically the Guardians of Sunshine episode. Limbs are longer, and some characters have lumpier heads.

Billy 5000 (Jack Corbett) chillin' between deliveries in Julian Glander's Boys Go to Jupiter.
Billy 5000 (Jack Corbett) chillin’ between deliveries in Julian Glander’s Boys Go to Jupiter.

For example, mini-golf course owner Herschel Cretaceous (Joe Pera) and the Dolphin Groves security guard T-bone (Julio Torres) have bumpy heads that could simultaneously double as their hair a la Bart or Lisa Simpson.

The film’s perspectives and blocky, computer-generated aesthetic make Boys Go to Jupiter feel like a retro video game. Walking and animals or insects flying are minimal. Characters mostly bounce around, similar to how South Park used to be with its cardboard cutout feel.

The freestyle stuff and anything involving Freckles on lead vocals are the weakest of the nine songs in the film. Rozebud’s (Miya Folick) Winter Citrus song is the film’s highlight, which is likely why it’s utilized twice. Billy has the most songs, and most are solid, with Junk Removal being a personal favorite. I Hope They Have Chickens in Heaven is also an entertaining effort.

One of the oranges from Dolphin Groves in Julian Glander’s Boys Go to Jupiter.

Narratively, the film is all over the place. Boys Go to Jupiter is an animated comedy, but it is more awkward and bizarre than laugh-out-loud funny. The ending, in particular, is a wild choice.

The film stumbles around religion, or at least vague references to God and The Bible, and doesn’t seem to have much of a purpose despite showcasing how stupid Billy’s friends are, but even the title of the film lets you know what you’re in for.

Freckles (Grace Kuhlenschmidt) attempts to get beer at a gas station in Julian Glander’s Boys Go to Jupiter.

Feeling out of place and like you don’t belong anywhere is a significant theme that factors into Billy’s bold choices at the film’s end. Coming to that realization after spending time with an alien donut from outer space, an underground dolphin running a juice factory, and stealing an experimental lemon is bizarre.

Boys Go to Jupiter also comes across as mostly family-friendly until it drops its one mild curse word in the entire film, dialogue that features someone thinking someone else is gay, and Freckles and Peanut calling each other “clown penis” at the end of the film.

(L -R) Beatbox (Elsie Fisher), Peanut (J.R. Phillips), Billy 5000 (Jack Corbett), and Freckles (Grace Kulhenschmidt) argue outside of a port-a-potty in Julian Glander’s Boys Go to Jupiter.

Julian Glander’s unique style gives his animation an unusual execution. It reminds you of other animation, but it’s also unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.

Its chaotic storytelling and outlandishly deadpan cast of characters will make or break your enjoyment of an animated film that feels like the exploration of an independent video game.

NEXT: ‘The Watchers’ Review – Go Watch Yourself

Boys Go to Jupiter (2024), Glanderco



  • Solid lo-fi music.
  • Unique animation.


  • Super weird.
  • Embraces stupidity.
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