We recently had an opportunity to review “The Jungle Book” on Blu-ray, and as an all-time great, it was fun to watch something that we hadn’t seen in quite some time. With that movie fresh to us, it seemed like the perfect time to also take a fresh look at “The Jungle Book 2.” I will have to admit that we loved the ending of the original film and didn’t really see a reason to do a second one as the story nicely wrapped up perfectly. That being said, because we had liked the ending so much, we were also interested to see the direction the story would go.
If you haven’t seen the original in awhile, the movie ends with Mowgli being drawn back to the “man village” by a pretty girl who had been singing while gathering water for her family. The new story begins there, with Mowgli being invited to become part of the family of the little girl who we find out is named Shanti. She lives with her parents and her brother Ranjan and Mowgli is invited into their family.
I won’t spoil the entire film with exact storylines, but as you might guess, Mowgli isn’t adjusting to the village very well and it doesn’t take long for him to become “homesick” for the jungle. Likewise, Baloo is missing Mowgli and decides that it would be a good time to pay him a visit. It doesn’t take long for the two friends to reconnect, and soon, Mowgli follows Baloo back to the jungle where Shere Khan awaits the return of the man cub so that he can exact his revenge. Ranjan and Shanti try to follow him, and in doing so, they soon find themselves in danger. It’s an average sequel story, very simple and predictable, but it doesn’t venture too far away from the original material.
The original film had an amazing voice cast, and “The Jungle Book 2” has some big names for the sequel as well including John Goodman (Baloo), Haley Joel Osment (Mowgli), Mae Whitman(Shanti), Jim Cummings (Kaa) and Bob Joles (Baghera the Panter) each doing their parts very well. The voice cast is definitely a strong part of the film, but the visuals really lead the way. The colors are fantastic, the film has excellent details, and the hand-painted backgrounds are top-notch. The soundtrack is good as well and includes some of the original tunes like “The Bare Necessities” and “Colonel Hathi’s March.” It also has a new Smash Mouth cover of “I Wanna Be Like You” that plays during the end credits, along with a tune called “Jungle Rhythm” which we really liked. Overall, this is a film that will keep the younger members of your family entertained, but adults will probably not enjoy it all that much.
Cast: John Goodman (Monsters, Inc., The Big Lebowski) as Baloo, Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense, A.I. Artificial Intelligence) as Mowgli, Mae Whitman (Independence Day, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Shanti, Connor Funk (The Jungle Book 2) as Ranjan, Bob Joles (Puss in Boots, The Lion King 1 1/2 ) as Bagheera, Tony Jay (Beauty and The Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame) as Shere Khan, Phil Collins (Tarzan, Brother Bear) as Lucky
Director: Steve Trenbirth (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, Aladdin and the King of Thieves)
Producers: Christopher Chase (Enchanted, Tarzan), Mary Thorne (Cinderella II: Dreams Come True, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning)
Writers: Karl Geurs – screenplay (Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin), Carter Crocker (Return to Never Land, Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin), Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Lion King 1 1/2, Battle for Terra), David Reynolds (Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life), Roger S.H. Schulman (Shrek, Jonas), Tom Rogers – additional written material (The Emperor’s New Groove 2: Kronk’s New Groove, The Lion King 1 1/2)
Release Date: March 18, 2014 (Direct Pre-book: 1/21; Distributor Pre-book: 2/4)
- Deleted Scenes – On-camera intros to each song with EVP, Sharon Morrill and SVP/Music, Matt Walker. “I Got You Beat” song cut to storyboard & “Braver” song cut to storyboard.
- Music and More – Sing along with the movie & music videos: “Jungle Rhythm” and “W-I-L-D”
- Backstage Disney – Synopsis of the original movie – The Jungle Book (short recap of the first story) and The Legacy of The Jungle Book – discover how the original animated film influenced the look, feel and story of the new movie….and more
Ratings: G in U.S. & Canada (Bonus materials not rated)
Feature Run Time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio: Blu-ray: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (English); Dolby® Digital 2.0 (English); Dolby® Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (French and Spanish) & DVD: Dolby® Digital 5.1 Surround Sound (English, French and Spanish)
Languages/Subtitles: English, French and Spanish
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Disclosure: We received a complimentary copy of this movie. All opinions are our own.