The Jungle Book 2 Movie Poster Image

The Jungle Book 2

(i)

 

OK for kids, but not the most inspired sequel.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 72 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

 

Provides a positive (though slight) view of India, its geography and people. Introduces some animals native to the Indian jungle (Bengal tiger, vulture, mongoose, and more).

 

Positive messages

 

Young Mowgli's journey back into the jungle teaches him to make better decisions, to obey those who have his best interests at heart, and to value the rules and responsibilities that keep his community safe and thriving. Baloo, the comical bear, realizes that being a good friend involves more than playing and having fun.

 

Positive role models

 

The young female heroine, Shanti, is brave, loyal, and steadfast. She is willing to take great risks to save her friend. The parental figures are forgiving, concerned, and reliable. Mowgli, carefree and irresponsible at the start, learns a lot about being solid and trustworthy, and makes a wise choice by the film’s end.

 

Violence & scariness

 

All cartoon action, heightened by suspenseful music, some dark jungle settings, and lots of leering and teeth-bearing. Two jungle creatures, a snake (Kaa) and a tiger (Shere Khan), stalk, chase, and threaten to attack three human children. The kids get lost, fall into a pit, cover dangerous terrain while trying to escape, and ultimately face their enemy at close range. Shere Khan is set upon by spears and fire to keep him at bay. No one is hurt or killed.

 

Sexy stuff

 

Mowgli and Shanti are almost childhood sweethearts.

 

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

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.  

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?

QUALITY

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.

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 14, 2003
DVD release date: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

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Quality

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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.

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Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written byMom of 2 Monkeys August 10, 2011

Skip it

Well, in addition to being fairly boring, this movie doesn't have much to recommend it. As far as scariness, there are some suspenseful bits with Shere Khan lurking and threatening; a somewhat scary scene when the villagers chase Shere Khan out with spears and torches, and then a more intense scene near the end when Shere Khan chases the kids across a lava pit (they dangle, fall, but are saved by Baloo, and Shere Khan ends up on a rock at the bottom of the lava pit, trapped but not hurt.) It is a bit scarier than the first Jungle Book, but not much. However, two issues in particular mean that my daughters (4 and 7) won't watch it again. 1) Shanti, a responsible, rule-following girl, is set up as the enemy for much of the film and Baloo and Mowgli are dismissive of her and frequently refer to her as "that girl", with "girl" sounding about as appealing as "cockroach." And 2) near the end, Mowgli must decide whether to stay with Baloo or go back to the village with Shanti, and he initially chooses Baloo and Shanti is clearly sad and hurt by this. My girls ended up crying because he didn't choose her and she was so sad. Mowgli does eventually choose to leave Baloo and go back to the village, and then the kids find a way to visit with Baloo and Bagheera in the jungle so that everyone gets a happy ending. Granted, my kids are fairly sensitive, but they were still crying during the credits and needed a major distraction afterwards.
Parent of a 3 year old Written byGretchensmom June 12, 2010
Teen, 14 years old Written byNectaria August 31, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence

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