Life's a Jungle: Africa's Most Wanted

 
Tedious Madagascar rip-off with some crude humor.
  • Review Date: July 17, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A father tells his son that there are times that sometimes it's better to set free something that you love, in this case, a pet dog into the jungles of Africa.

Positive role models

The characters are archetypes (weaselly hyenas, thuggish rhinos), if not stereotypes (female rhinos who speak in imitation of African-American dialect and say things like: "You go, girl!").

Violence & scariness

Cartoonish violence. A dog falls out of a jeep during a safari and lands on his head. Crocodiles snap at the dog as he climbs across a narrow branch over water. A herd of rhinoceroses destroy a village. They throw around bamboo buildings, and one rhino goes as far as to urinate (standing up) on one of the bamboo walls.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The animals throw a party and drink out of mugs with cocktail umbrellas and martini glasses. A crocodile is told that he needs to drink a "frosty beverage."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Life's a Jungle: Africa's Most Wanted is a crude and unwatchable rip-off of the DreamWorks film Madagascar. None of the characters are especially likeable and some fall into stereotype territory. In one scene two hyenas pull a prank on a sleeping dog by putting excrement in the dog's paw then tickling his nose so the dog smacks his face with the excrement. There are also shots of this same dog sitting on a toilet, as well as the dog burping to raucous applause from the animals around him.

What's the story?

Pip is a blue-blooded dog from Cambridge, Massachusetts who has accompanied his owners on an African safari. When a bump in the road throws him out of the jeep, Pip is lost in the jungle. He meets two hyenas who mock his dandified "big city" ways, but gains acceptance among the jungle's denizens when he figures out a way to get water out of the river via irrigation pipes made out of bamboo, keeping them safe from rhinos and crocodiles. A party ensues, but when the rhinos see the pipes, they are enraged and attack the huts that have emerged around the water vats. It is up to Pip to try and make peace with the rhinos, so he meets a herd of female rhinos, and plays matchmaker in the hopes that love will bring peace to the jungle. Meanwhile, Pip awaits the return of his family, who is desperately trying to find him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LIFE'S A JUNGLE: AFRICA'S MOST WANTED is an incredibly boring rip-off of the DreamWorks film Madagascar. Even if the computer animation was decent (which it isn't), there are no likeable characters, the action is at least twice as long as necessary, and the attempts at humor fall flat.

Furthermore, in the midst of the tedium, parents watching this will be subjected to computer animated excrement placed onto the paw of a dog by hyenas who tickle the dog's nose so said dog slaps the excrement in his face. Couple this with utterly bizarre jokes involving flatulence and poop, and you have many reasons to avoid this movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bad movies. What makes a movie "bad" as opposed to good?

  • Did you notice any stereotypes in this movie? Why do you think filmmakers choose to use stereotypes for characters? Are they funny?

  • Were there any likeable characters in this movie? What happens to a movie when no one is likeable?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 12, 2012
Cast:Jeffrey Lee Hollis, Melissa Lattari, Robert D. Hanna
Director:Robert D. Hanna
Studio:Phase 4 Films
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Adventures, Wild animals
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some mild rude humor

This review of Life's a Jungle: Africa's Most Wanted was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written byBatmanGuy1 July 25, 2012
age 4+
 

What a total waste of time

This movie really sucks, the story is really boring and the animation looks like crap. Never watch this.
Kid, 8 years old July 7, 2013
age 6+
 

greatest movie ever

great movie it is awesome and great for children
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bylove4films July 31, 2012
age 5+
 

funny for kids

The Brian Costello review you've read is a very one sided point of view from an adult judging the narrative as if LIFE'S A JUNGLE is being evaluated for an academy award. This is a little kids film, likely ages 3-8 years old. My kids were glued to it and wanted to watch it again. It's funny for kids and has a good message about friendship and sharing. They managed to get in some funny gags and touching moments in between a few "poop" jokes. It's obviously not a big studio flick, made on a low budget, but with that in mind, it's pretty good considering. The film, the animals, and the story are no way similar to Madagascar.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass