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The Jungle Book 2

By Tom Siebert | Posted

Harmless but generic and immediately forgettable sequel to Disney's 1967 classic. The plot couldn't be more simple: Now living in an Indian village with adoptive family, Mowgli misses animal friends and returns to jungle. Song. Animal enemies stalk him. Song. Animal friends rescue him. Song. Mowgli returns to village. Song. The end. A gal pal and wisecracking baby are tossed in as new characters, basically to get in trouble or provide deus ex machina rescues. Reliable John Goodman brings empathetic life to the big blue bear Baloo, but the rest of the voice cast (including Haley Joel Osment and a nonsinging Phil Collins) could be anybody. My 3-year-old hung on every moment, and that's probably the target audience. I was bored and suspect most kids past 8 or so will be, too. Zero inspiration here from MouseCorp; it's a business decision at every turn, from flat and stagnant animation backgrounds to second-tier songwriters--the only memorable tune is a reprise of "The Bare Necessities."

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