The Jungle Book 2 Review

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Mowgli, bored with village life, heads back to the jungle in search of adventure with his animal pals. Finding them sugar-coated travesties of their former selves, he goes home again.


Grave-robbing is a serious charge. But it's one that might stick if the relatives of Phil Harris, George Sanders and Sterling Holloway - three of the actors who made Disney's 1967 rumble in the jungle such a hoot and whose voices are given a creepy Alistair MacGowan treatment here - could muster the enthusiasm to press it.

Pale imitations do not come any more anaemic than this. Nor do they come more starved of originality, as John Goodman, standing in for big band legend Harris as hipster bear Baloo, proves every time he launches into yet another reprise of The Bare Necessities.

The song is still a sing-along gem, of course, but it becomes a recurring reminder (if the crappy animation wasn't enough) of what a cheap, cynical cash-in this is.

Only the late Louis Prima, incomparable as swinging ape daddy-o King Louis, escapes from this travesty unscathed. And that probably has more to do with a lawsuit brought by his estate over DVD royalties from the original than any qualms about trampling cherished memories.

A flat, lifeless insult to an animated classic. This is what sell-through video was invented for.