The Jungle Bunch

  • Review Date: September 6, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 58 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Whimsical animated animal tale has mild action.
  • Review Date: September 6, 2012
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 58 minutes





What parents need to know

Educational value

Some information about animal habitats and traits. A few exotic species are introduced (anaconda, tarsier, warthog).

Positive messages

Promotes teamwork and planning. Self-confidence is highly desirable and helps us reach our goals. Smart action can overpower brute force.

Positive role models

Diverse species contribute to the group effort and earn respect for their unique abilities. Males and females are both effective, brave, and loyal. Maurice, despite a somewhat overblown opinion of himself, is a formidable leader with a good team and good luck on his side.

Violence & scariness

Occasional cartoon violence: an anaconda squeezes a penguin, then fights with Maurice, the hero; a monkey pounds heads; villainous walruses intimidate and threaten to harm the penguins and their eggs. There are some falls, hits, a bit of scary music, and a lengthy finale "battle" that finds Maurice knocked out for a few seconds.

Sexy stuff

A bat falls in love with a tarsier.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Jungle Bunch is a short, comic animated film best for younger kids who are comfortable with make-believe action, though older kids might appreciate some of the jokes and clever characterizations. There's some mild cartoon violence in which the heroes face danger from bad-guy walruses, an aggressive snake, and sometimes their own missteps. Characters fall, are punched and captured, and sometimes fear for their lives and the lives of their offspring. No one is seriously hurt or killed, but a couple of knockout blows are delivered -- the victims then quickly revive.

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What's the story?

As a herd of walruses overpowers a peaceful penguin village at the South Pole, one egg falls into the sea. The egg floats to a faraway jungle where it hatches, and Maurice (voiced by John Lithgow), the baby penguin who emerges, is adopted by a loving tiger. Maurice grows up believing that he, too, is a tiger; in fact, his belief is so strong that all the other animals are convinced that he's the King of the Jungle. Back at the South Pole, two young penguins who've heard the legend of the Great Warrior Tiger escape from their cruel walrus overseers to find the hero. When they meet Maurice, they're sure the legend is true. They ask him to return with them to rid their village of their walrus captors. So the brave Maurice, with a fresh coat of painted tiger stripes and a band of seven oddball freedom-fighter friends, sets out to save the penguins.

Is it any good?


Light and upbeat but neither very memorable nor original, THE JUNGLE BUNCH is a pleasant enough diversion for little kids.

An occasional misfire (i.e. a warthog who who speaks in annoying rhymes, a weak musical number) doesn't spoil the overall charm of the penguin with delusions of grandeur and some of his off-the-wall compatriots. At 58 minutes, though, this feels more like a TV series episode than a feature film.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Maurice's belief that he's a Great Warrior Tiger. How did his belief in himself convince the other animals that he was King of the Jungle?

  • Gilbert is a "tarsier," a rare primate that looks like a large mouse. How could you find out more about tarsiers?

  • Maurice's role as a leader is very important. What qualities make a good leader?

Movie details

DVD release date:May 29, 2012
Cast:Donald Leary, John Lithgow, Stan Hanks
Directors:David Alaux, Eric Tosti
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Misfits and underdogs, Wild animals
Run time:58 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Jungle Bunch was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall 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, okay 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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