The Jungle Book 2 (2003)

DailyView: Day 302, Movie 427

I was watching the YouTube show Charts with Dan, featuring Dan Murrell and he was looking at a Box Office chart from years before. On that chart was The Jungle Book 2, which I had no idea was a theatrically released Disney film. Having seen the listing on Disney +, I always assumed that it was just another one of the direct to DVD sequels such as The Return of Jafar or Lion King 2.

Of course, after watching it, that is exactly what this movie reminded me of.

With a new voice cast, The Jungle Book 2 felt like a considerably weaker retread of the much better original animated film. And, of course, it was far inferior to the “live action” Jungle Book that was released a few years ago.

Mowgli (Haley Joel Osment) was feeling homesick for the jungle, now that he was in the man’s camp. The little girl Shanti (Mae Whitman) and the little boy Ranjan (Connor Funk) were there too. Baloo (John Goodman) was also missing his man cub so he took off to find the kid, followed from the jungle by tiger Shere Khan (Tony Jay).

Once he got there, the people of the camp panicked when they saw Shere Khan and Baloo and Mowgli, who had reunited, retreated into the jungle. Shanti and Ranjan followed to try and save Mowgli from the wild bear Baloo.

The film used Bare Necessities or some version of it three times. There was no doubt that the film was desperate for music. The other songs in the film are unremarkable and hard to remember. It is why they kept going back to Bare Necessities.

John Goodman made a decent Baloo. Haley Joel Osment was clearly not much of a singer. He was fine the rest of the time, but not a real standout.

The film is harmless, but needless. Maybe a little kid would enjoy the film, but it is such a drop in quality from the first one, it was quite a disappointment.

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