Picks and Pans Review: The Jungle Book 2
Animated, with voices By John Goodman, Haley Joel Osment
Like its pint-size hero, Jungle Book 2 is a small but lively package. It's no Lion King, but there's not much else in theaters for the under-10 set right now, and this will keep them reasonably content on a Saturday afternoon.
The 72-minute sequel picks up near the end of the 1967 original, which was loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's stories about a boy raised by animals in a jungle in India. Mowgli (Osment), our youthful hero, is living with a warmhearted human family in a nearby village. But when he returns to the jungle to visit Baloo (Goodman), his ursine mentor, his human family follows. There Mowgli must protect them, and himself, from a predatory tiger and other threats.
Book 2 feels padded—its predecessor's Oscar-nominated tune, "Bare Necessities," is reprised at least three times—but the animation, combining hand-drawn and computerized, is sumptuous, and there's plenty of humor. Warning: Young tykes (and the timorous) may find the rapacious tiger way too scary. (G)
BOTTOM LINE: Jungle fun
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