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The Jungle Book 2

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Jungle Book 2

Starring: Haley Joel Osment, John Goodman
Director: Steve Trenbirth
Rated: G
RunTime: 76 Minutes
Release Date: February 2003
Genres: Animation, Kids

*Also starring: Tony Jay, Bob Joles, Mae Whitman, Phil Collins, Jim Cummings, Connor Funk

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Susan Granger read the review movie reviewmovie review

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 endearing character.

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 all ages.

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

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