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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Parents should focus on their kids.
Positive Role Models
Rainie is brave and independent but a little insensitive. Blue is courageous and loyal.
A girl is the main character. Natives of a jungle planet speak of being members of a "race" and express hate and fear for visitors from Earth. When one is nice to a human girl, he's called a traitor to his race.
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Violence & Scariness
Cartoon violence and scariness in the form of menacing monsters, enormous weaponized transports that stalk the good guys, and rays and nefarious medical research methods. Kids run from armed stalkers. A grown-up presumed to be a good person later is recast as a villain, and then back again. Long ago, a young alien was taken from his group by an earthling who, at first, insensitively performed experiments on him. As the youth grew, the human researcher came to love the alien as a "grandson." Scientific experimentation on living beings is presented as amusing, as a monkey comically plays around to avoid the laser rays pointed at him. This portrayal seems to ignore ethical issues raised by experimenting on living creatures. The same is true of the adult humans who act as if they're entitled to use creatures from the jungle planet as experimental "specimens" without much thought given to how the specimens feel about it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jungle Master tells the story of a girl who runs away from home straight through a portal that sends her to a jungle planet. There she learns about the meaning of forgiveness and the importance of family. The Chinese feature-length animation focuses on an adventurous female lead. The vaguely suggested themes include saving the rainforest and anti-racism. Some Mandarin writing can be seen, but the story is dubbed into English with an all-star cast of American actors. Cartoon violence and scariness come in the form of menacing monsters, enormous weaponized transports that stalk the good guys, and rays and nefarious medical research methods. Kids run from armed stalkers. A grown-up presumed to be a good person later is recast as a villain, and then back again. Scientific experimentation on living beings is presented as amusing, as a monkey comically plays around to avoid the laser rays pointed at him. This portrayal seems to ignore the ethical issues of experimenting on living creatures. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This tepid animated adventure offers more questions than answers. What will the evil entrepreneur Boss Cain do with the harvested DNA? Jungle Master doesn't trouble itself with such details. As the movie's worst of several villains, he keeps shouting he's just trying to save the world, but we suspect that someone that cruel and power-hungry has other motives. We just don't know what they are, other than putting the film's heroes in jeopardy. The muddy motives take the air out of this wobbly, routine, by-the-numbers cartoon. Characters talk aloud to themselves to provide a running narrative of what they're thinking and doing, the kind of information that a better script and a defter creative team could've found a way to convey wordlessly. "Thank goodness I was able to get away from him!" Rainie says to no one as she temporarily evades an enemy.
The main premise is pretty shaky, too. Forgetting a birthday is one thing, but the action begins when a mother doesn't even call home -- all night! -- to let her 12-year-old know she isn't coming home from work. That's the scariest thing about the movie.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.