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The Jungle Book 2 Blu-ray + DVD combo pack -- click to read our review.
The Jungle Book 2 is now available in a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack.
Click here to read our review of that newer edition or read on for a full critique of the out of print original 2003 DVD.

The Jungle Book 2 DVD Review

The Jungle Book 2

Theatrical Release: February 14, 2003 / Running Time: 72 Minutes / Rating: G

Director: Steve Trenbirth

Voice Cast: John Goodman (Baloo), Haley Joel Osment (Mowgli), Tony Jay (Shere Khan), Jim Cummings (Kaa/Colonel Haithi), Mae Whitman (Shanti), Bob Joles (Bagheera), Connor Funk (Ranja), Phil Collins (Lucky the Vulture)

Songs: "W-I-L-D", "The Bare Necessities", "Colonel Hathi's March", "Right Where I Belong". "I Wanna Be Like You" - Smash Mouth


Review by Captain Hook

It's been five days since The Jungle Book, and we are treated to an incredibly fun recap of the movie in the form of a shadow puppet play (probably an idea from the original Mulan opening). Once this imaginative sequence is done, the plot thins out considerably.

Mowgli (this time played by Halley Joel Osment) longs to return to the jungle (though one of his opening statements is that he "always knew where he belonged" which, judging from the first one, he didn't). We again meet Shanti (Mae Whitman) and learn about Mowgli's new brother Ranjan (Connor Funk). Mowgli is forbidden to go into the jungle, and after breaking the rule, his new father grounds him. Baloo (John Goodman) goes to the man village despite Bagheera (Bob Joles) and Colonel Hathi (Jim Cummings). Baloo takes Mowgli back to the jungle, with Shanti and Ranjan chasing after him. Throw into the mix Shere Khan (Tony Jay) who's back to kill Mowgli once and for all.

Baloo and Mowgli share a friendy look in "The Jungle Book 2.">

<p>In all, everyone knows it will end as the original did with Mowgli going back to the village. The whole movie is a rehash of the first, even the sequences are in a similar order. However, this is bound to please children who don't care about the quality of story, and I myself laughed several times, especially when Kaa got the prickly pears stuck on his head, making him look like Mickey Mouse, and says,

Buy The Jungle Book 2 from Amazon.com Marketplace DVD Details

1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French)
DTS 5.1 (English)
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned
Release Date: June 10, 2003
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)
Out of Print - Discontinued January 2004
White Keepcase

VIDEO and AUDIO

Video quality of The Jungle Book 2 looks completely brilliant with its bright colors and crisp lines. Though the animation is weak compared to the original, the presentation is far superior to the original's release (though hopefully its Platinum release will blow this sequel away). The film is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen.

Audio was incredibly clear and made use of all the speakers, not surprisingly for a more contemporary film. English is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 (now, why can't the animated classics have this?) French Dolby Digital 5.1 is the only extra language track and there are English captions for the Hearing Impaired.

EXTRAS

The first extra is "Mowgli's Jungle Ruins Maze", where you must search through the ruins to get back to the village. Not only is it incredibly easy but also boring. The clips of different animals look like they were intentionally covered with artifacts and grain.

Next up is the "Synopsis of the Original Movie The Jungle Book". This 2:58 short gives a quick recap of the first film, obviously cutting the movie to practically nothing. This is a basically wasted extra, as most people already know the original film or own it themselves.

"The Legacy of the Jungle Book" (14:10) actually has some decency in presenting a behind-the-scenes feature, though claiming this film tops the original is bordering on the ridiculous. It was nice to see Roy Disney talk about Walt's influence on the original film. It's bothersome that this feature had nothing on the songs composed by the Sherman brothers for "More Jungle Book", a proposed but canceled sequel.

"Disney's Song Selection" gives you the option to watch any song from the film, with or without sing-along words. This is basically useless, unless you don't know how to put on subtitles and press the "Chapter Search" button.

"Sing with the Movie" gives you the option to see the film with sing-along words on the bottom. Again, why bother when you can just turn on the subtitles? I hope this made someone happy, though.

The "Deleted Scenes" were two all-out boring storyboard sequences cut from the film. Sharon Morrill (you'll remember her from the Return to Never Land DVD's Deleted Scenes) and Matt Walker give a brief introduction and then you are allowed to watch either "I've Got you Beat" (5:39) or "Braver" (3:42). The first is sung by Mowgli and Shanti, both trying to beat each other. This was when Shanti was a much more feisty character, proving that the village is better than the jungle. The second song is sung by Shanti, when Shanti took a turn and became an absolute wimp. Thankfully a medium between these two Shantis is the one we see in the film.

"W-I-L-D Music Video" (1:01) and "I Wanna Be Like You" Music Video by Smashmouth (1:01) were rather dull. I personally am not a fan of music videos, especially when the song is chopped short, as "W-I-L-D" was.

Sneak Peeks at the beginning of the disc are The Lion King Special Edition, Brother Bear, Piglet's Big Movie, Stitch! The Movie and George of the Jungle 2. In the Sneak Peeks menu you can also watch previews for Sleeping Beauty Special Edition, Kim Possible, Air Bud Strikes Back, Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade/All Growed Down, and The Haunted Mansion.

Kaa treats Shanti to a main squeeze.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

While this film is what most of us lovingly refer to as a "cheapquel", it does have several moments of humor, some drama, and has a decent (if not copied) plot. Though this probably will not thrill older audiences, younger children will find this movie amusing. Although, with The Jungle Book to be released as a Platinum in a few years, this now out-of-print movie may be released around the same time as a Special Edition.

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Related Reviews
The Jungle Book 2 (Blu-ray + DVD)
Return to Never Land (2002) | Cinderella II: Dreams Come True (2002)
The Jungle Book (1967) | The Lion King (1994)
Tarzan (1999) | The Lion King 1 1/2 (2004)

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