The Jungle Book 2

Rating: G

Starring:
Haley Joel Osment as Mowgli (voice)
John Goodman as Baloo (voice)
Phil Collins as Lucky the Vulture (voice)
Jim Cummings as Kaa, Col. Hathi (voice)
Tony Jay as Shere Khan (voice)
Bob Joles as Bagheera (voice)
Connor Funk as Ranjan (voice)
Mae Whitman as Shanti (voice)

Special Features:
Mowgli’s Jungle Ruins Maze Game

Deleted Scenes

The Legacy Of The Jungle Book

Original Movie Recap

Music Videos
- “I Wanna Be Like You” by Smash Mouth
- “W-I-L-D”
- “Jungle Rhythm”

Disney’s Song Selection

DVD-ROM Weblinks

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.66:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
French Language Tracks
Running Time: 72 Minutes

Synopsis:
“The Jungle Book 2″ takes place some short time after the first film.

Mowgli has become part of the human village and joined a family. He has new friends Shanti and her brother Ranjan. However, he still feels the call of the jungle. It doesn’t help matters when his new family punishes him for disobeying them. When Baloo stops by to visit Mowgli, the two run off together into the jungle to continue their carefree life. Thinking a wild animal has captured Mowgli, Shanti and Ranjan follow to save him. Little do they know that Mowgli’s old enemy Shere Khan is hot on their trail and thirsty for revenge.

“The Jungle Book 2″ is rated G.

The Movie:
Kids are, of course, the primary target audience of “The Jungle Book 2″ and they will enjoy it the most. It’s nice to be able to have something you can sit them in front of and not worry about. That alone makes it worthwhile.

It’s also fun to see some old favorite characters from the first film make reappearances. Kaa is as amusing as ever and perfect for some fun cartoon animation (though he sounds more like Winnie the Pooh than before). The Beatle-like Vultures return for some funny moments, too. Look for Phil Collins in a fun cameo as one of the vultures named Lucky. The new little boy character Ranjan adds some cute comical moments as well.

“The Jungle Book 2″ didn’t work on a lot of levels. The plot was a simple re-hash of the first film. Mowgli lives in the jungle with his interesting animal friends then must leave that world behind to take his place among humans. A fight with Shere Khan precedes a tearful goodbye with Baloo. Nothing new is added to the story or characters. The new songs are also rather unremarkable. I think Disney knew that, too, because “Bear Necessities” was played at least 3 times during the film. That just highlighted the fact that the first film was superior to this sequel and had more to offer.The fact that they roll out almost every character from the first film (except King Louie) is further proof of this. The animation is also rather bland and offers no new artistry to impress audiences. It becomes quickly apparent that “The Jungle Book 2″ was intended to be a straight-to-video release that has taken a detour onto the big screen. Not even Haley Joel Osment, John Goodman, or Jim Cummings can elevate this above what it is – a quick way to make a buck on the popularity of the first movie.

The Extras:
Here are some of the highlights of the extras:

Mowgli’s Jungle Ruins Maze Game – In this game, you wander through a maze looking for Mowgli. As you come to certain points in the maze, you must answer trivia questions about wildlife. Once you find Mowgli, you must make your way out of the maze again. It’s not very clear what you need to do at first, but once you pick up on it you’ll fly through the game. I personally found it mildly entertaining and my kid thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s one of the better games I’ve seen on a Disney DVD.

Deleted Scenes – This has two deleted scenes and both of them happen to be musical numbers that were cut because they focused more on Shanti than Mowgli. Both of the deleted scenes are only in storyboard form and the creators introduce them. They also feature temp music and voices, not the final actors. One is set in the village as Mowgi and Shanti attempt to outdo each other in bold stunts. The other features Shanti singing to keep herself from being afraid in the jungle. Both are actually good, catchy songs. It’s a shame they were cut from the film, but at least we get to see them on the DVD.

The Legacy Of The Jungle Book – This is the Making Of feature on the DVD. They show most of the cast and crew talking about the original Jungle Book as well as the sequel. You may be interested to find out that the original Jungle Book was one of the last films that Walt Disney was personally involved in before he died. One of the most noteworthy things about this feature is that it interviews Jim Cummings, the new Mel Blanc of the animated world. He does most of the animated voices you see on TV including Taz, Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Cat Dog, and many more. This shows one of his rare appearances in the real world. Animation fans will definitely want to see this one.

Original Movie Recap – This is a simple recap of the plot of the first film. It features a bunch of clips as well as narration.

Music Videos – “I Wanna Be Like You” by Smash Mouth is the biggest highlight of these videos. Unfortunately, it’s extremely short. It seems like it was intended to be filler between TV shows on the Disney Channel. The other two videos, “W-I-L-D” and “Jungle Rhythm”, are just the musical numbers from the film with a variety of clips spliced in.

Disney’s Song Selection – Selecting this allows you to go directly to the musical numbers of the film, thus bypassing everything else. You can also set it so that the words to the songs appear at the bottom of the screen

The Bottom Line:
This DVD is mainly for the kiddies and animation fans. There’s not much else here for general audiences.

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