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Film Review - George of the Jungle
Childhood memories alone brought me to this film. I was not disappointed.
We're still deep in Hollywood's trend of making movies out of old TV shows. Most of these films really suck. Then there's the movies made out of short Saturday Night Live skits. They suck more. But here is a movie that really is working, and the writer gets the credit.
The George of the Jungle cartoon was always a rip-off of the old Tarzan stories, with a spin. George is a bit thick, his best friend is a talking ape called Ape, and his elephant thinks it is really a great big peanut-loving poochie.
Take this facade from the cartoon, and place it over the original storyline from Greystoke - The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and you have this film. It's a great strategy. The plot of a George of the Jungle cartoon could never maintain your attention for the requisite 100 minutes of a Hollywood comedy. The Greystoke legend has enough twists and subplots to keep this happening.
One of my favorite bits is Shep, you know, the great big peanut-loving poochie, played both by an elephant and a computer. The character needs to perform the body language of a dog. These are some of the funniest slapstick humor shots I've seen in years.
So why doesn't this get my highest rating? Well it's the little things. I reserve a No Suction rating for films where I'm completely snowed into thinking that what I'm seeing is real. George of the Jungle is a fun movie, but I could tell Shep was computer-generated. I never for a second thought they shot this off in Africa. And you know, they didn't have to, the movie is "good enough," but there's no way I can say there's zero suction.
George of the Jungle is appropriate for all age groups (no one dies in this film, they just get great big boo boos). Yes, it's a "G"-rated Disney flick, but adults can also find a lot to laugh at here.
Directed by Sam Weisman
Released in 1997
MPAA Rating: PG
Reviewed by Mongo