A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jungle Shuffle is a comical animated movie with considerable cartoon action. Heroes are jungle creatures fighting for survival against humans encroaching on their habitat and attempting to use them in experiments to create a "super chicken." For little kids or more sensitive kids, the cackling brutality of the humans, the fearsome (glowing eyes, threatening growls) panthers, and menacing hybrid monster-dragon may be too scary. Best for those who already distinguish between pretend and real violence and are comfortable with the over-the-top exaggerated villainy of the assorted bad guys. The setting is a Mexican rainforest populated by amusing animals, some of whom use funny or stereotypical dialects (a ninja monkey, a Mexican toucan, a German mad scientist/inventor). Though the female characters are mostly strong-willed and brave, they are victims and must be rescued by the males of their species.
What's the story?
In JUNGLE SHUFFLE, Manu (Drake Bell) is a coati in love. (Note: The coati is a member of the raccoon family.) The apple of his eye is Sacha (Alicia Silverstone), daughter of the king of their band. Unfortunately, the king has forbidden their romance. It seems Manu's playful nature has gotten him into big trouble, especially after he's deemed responsible for the destruction of a giant monument built to protect the animals in the jungle from the human hunters and developers who threaten their environment. Manu has a chance to redeem himself, however, when Sacha is captured by those very humans who are in desperate need of a female coati for a mad scientist's experiment. Manu's quest is simple: rescue his sweetheart and bring her home. Knowing he's in over his head, but refusing to acknowledge it, the unstoppable Manu joins up with Chuy (Rob Schneider), a brazen spider monkey, and the two face the enemy and the dangers and wonders of the jungle together.
Is it any good?
A Korean venture with skillful vocal performances, Jungle Shuffle is a mostly successful composite of funny, endearing characters and extensive cartoon action. The human villains cover all the bases -- mad scientist (with German accent), savage hunters, and a greedy tycoon -- and only one man proves that he has a heart. On the other hand, those animals who are initially seen as enemies (a grief-stricken panther, a horrific dragon-monster, and a sugar-addicted monkey) are capable of redemption. Sadly, the female characters are reactive and rely on the males for their rescue and protection; the few times Sacha tries to extricate herself from a bad situation, she is unsuccessful. Because of the exaggerated nature of the scary visuals and ferocious sounds of some of the wild animals portrayed (a stealthy panther, a dragon-like monster, bats, a snake) as well as the brutality of the humans, the movie is best for kids comfortable with animated violence and danger.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the humans portrayed in this movie. Find out about if and how our species threatens the jungles and rain forests of the natural world. How can you be aware of your own impact on our planet?
Manu refuses to give up on his efforts to save Sacha, even when it seems impossible. Which tasks or people do you think would inspire feelings of courage and dedication in you?
Rob Schneider created an entertaining character in Chuy. Why was the spider monkey so funny? Think about what he said, how he said it, and how he behaved.
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