72 Min | Adventure – Animation – Family | April 2003
IMDB Rating: 5.3
Director: Steve Trenbirth
Starring: John Goodman, Haley Joel Osment, Tony Jay
The Jungle Book 2 Review: Even though this film was made over thirty years later, it is a sequel to the 1967 Disney flick, “The Jungle Book”, the last animated feature produced by Walt Disney himself, which was released the year after he died. “The Jungle Book 2”, made after so many other animated features produced by the Disney company after the man’s death in 1966. Mowgli now lives in the “man village” with adoptive parents and a younger stepbrother named Ranjan. He is good friends with Shanti, the girl who lured him out of the jungle and into this village. However, he misses the jungle and his old friend, Baloo, and the friendly bear happens to be missing him. Baloo manages to make his way to the village, escaping from the elephants who try to stop him.
The film starts with Mowgli in the village. When we see the jungle animals in this film, it’s still not funny, even with the return of such characters as Baloo, Kaa, and the vultures. Sure, we have more of their antics here, but unlike before, they’re not funny. Around the beginning, after Mowgli and Ranjan trick Shanti and make her fall in the water, she calls them, “Horrible, stinky boys!” What a cheesy line! There may be some mild suspense towards the end, and some parts later on may even be fairly poignant (or at least close to it), but these things are certainly not enough to make “The Jungle Book 2” worth watching.
The first sequel to an animated Disney feature was “The Rescuers Down Under” from 1990. That film was released in theatres, but most of the animated Disney sequels have been direct-to-video, starting with “The Return of Jafar”, the first of two sequels to 1992’s “Aladdin”. “The Jungle Book 2” was released the year after “Return to Never Land”. Unlike most other Disney sequels, these two actually had a theatrical run, but this “Jungle Book” sequel is just like another direct-to-video one and probably should have been just that. As one would expect, since this sequel was made decades after the original, the animation is more advanced here, but it’s so bland compared to its predecessor. 1967’s “The Jungle Book” is good animated family entertainment for many of those who want that, but this 2003 sequel might be just for kids.