George Of The Jungle Review

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George (Fraser) rescues Ursula (Mann) from a lion attack, and takes her to live in his jungle home. Her fiance (Hayden Church) finds them, and they go to live in her jungle - San Francisco. Of course, that fiance fella is up to no good.


Anyone familiar with the Tarzan spoof cartoon series, will remember the theme jingle's punchline, "Watch out for that treeeeee!". George (Fraser), the eternal klutz, remains oblivious. It is one of the few irritants in a jolly wheeze that George's vine swinging invariably results in a cajones-crushing collision - a gag that runs past exhaustion. Otherwise this is a good giggle that operates efficiently on two levels, one for kids and one for those alive to irony.

From his swell treehouse, George enjoys an idyllic domain, fellowship with the wildlife, and mythic status. Enter the expedition of pretty heiress Ursula Stanhope (Mann) and her environmentally unfriendly fiance (Haden Church), whose hip, superior African guide (Richard "Shaft" Roundtree) and porters sustain a hilariously smart-assed running commentary in subtitled Swahili. After the swinger and the girl get acquainted, she's charmed by his lifestyle, impressed by his, um, personality (Fraser looks pretty darn good in a buttflap) and delighted, as are we, by pets including a cute capering CGI elephant calf.

Embroiled in foiling the schemes of the fiance, the duo also take a trip to San Francisco, providing a Pretty Woman-like shopping expedition in which the jungleman is pleased to learn he looks good in Armani.

The cast play it sprightly amid cartoon bright settings and snappy comedic action, with the wittier gags largely falling to narrator (Keith Scott), who provides knowing observations and links ("Meanwhile, at a very expensive waterfall set..."). John Cleese is an added joy as the voice of George's smarter ape brother. Fraser is comic, hunky and engaging, the CGI, puppet and real animals are a treat, and the good-natured humour seldom falters. Very amusing fun.

It's amusing, which is possibly as much as anyone could ask, and the assortedly animated friends are cleverly done. You could do much worse for family entertainment.