A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Shere Khan, the villainous tiger who appeared briefly in the original Jungle Book, is a menacing presence throughout this sequel, with blazing eyes, an ominous voice, and scary music that accompanies him. Despite the upbeat musical numbers, funny jungle creatures, and endearing "man-cub" hero, there is a considerable amount of suspense and cartoon danger to Mowgli and two other young members of the Indian village that borders the jungle. No character, however, is injured or killed. There are important messages about listening to parents, behaving responsibly, and protecting those we care about.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The movie begins just after the first one ends. "Man-cub" Mowgli (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) followed the girl who sang so sweetly as she filled her pitcher with water and he now lives in the village, having been adopted by a loving family. But he misses his animal friends in the jungle. When Baloo (voiced by John Goodman) comes to see him, Mowgli follows him back into the jungle. Shanti and a feisty toddler, thinking he is in danger, follow him and get lost. Meanwhile, the tiger Shere Kahn, furious because Mowgli defeated him, has vowed revenge.
Is it any good?
There is no pretense of art or imagination in this movie. Like so many other sequels, JUNGLE BOOK 2 is full of watered-down production values and weak story lines, and lacks character development. The original Jungle Book was the last animated film personally supervised by Walt Disney. The few glimmers of life in this pallid sequel are reprises of some of that film's best moments, especially the wonderful songs, "Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You." But other attempts to remind us of the earlier film will disappoint those who remember it well and confuse those who do not.
There are some lightweight action sequences and some second-rate song numbers. The voice talents are excellent, though not up to the original's Phil Harris and Louis Prima. And the Disney animators, even on a second-tier project like this one, still do the best work there is -- viewers should be sure to look out for the meticulous work on the rippling water and some wonderfully expressive character work.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how we can sometimes feel divided loyalties and how by being honest with the people we love, we can find a way to be true to ourselves and those we care about.
Families can also talk to younger children about the importance of not going off on their own and always letting their parents know where they are.
What do you think of the end of the movie? Is there a better way for Mowgli to talk to his new family about what he is doing?
- In theaters: February 14, 2003
- On DVD or streaming: June 16, 2008
- Cast: Haley Joel Osment, John Goodman, Phil Collins
- Director: Steve Trenbirth
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, Music and Sing-Along, Wild Animals
- Run time: 72 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: General Audiences
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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