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Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4
THE JUNGLE BOOK 2, which screams direct-to-video, is nonetheless receiving a
theatrical release. Its downfall is easy to identify. It's the script,
stupid. Disney produced a great script for LILO & STITCH, and the movie
went on to critical and financial success. With THE JUNGLE BOOK 2, and
TREASURE PLANET before it, the studio seems to have forgotten the obvious,
that the writing makes a huge difference, especially when traditional
animation is trying to compete with more exciting and realistic computer
generated animation. It doesn't help, either, that the drawings this time
are dull pastels, lacking any life or imagination. Think Saturday morning
cartoons, and you'll be in the ballpark.
Our audience, packed with the film's targeted demographics of kids under
four feet, was visibly unimpressed. Only songs like "Bare Necessities" from
the original had the youngsters come alive, but this was only because it
reminded them of the much better first film. Adults should plan on major
coffee jolts ahead of time since there isn't a single memorable line or
The relatively plotless movie spends the entire time slowly running out the
clock like a team who racks up a tiny lead and doesn't want to blow it.
Mercifully, the closing credits roll just slightly more than an hour after
the film starts. Parents won't know whether to feel cheated that they spent
fifty bucks for just an hour's worth of family entertainment or to be
thankful that they didn't have to endure more of this pointless production.
THE JUNGLE BOOK 2 runs just 1:05. It is rated G and would be acceptable for
My son Jeffrey, almost 14, gave it **, complaining that it lacked any
originality. His cousin William, age 8, said that he "liked it a bit."
William's sister Liana, age 6, thought the film was "fine." William and
Liana watched attentively but rarely seemed engaged.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes