In the year 1967, animator, Jay Ward (creator of Rocky & Bullwinkle) developed a cartoon called, “George Of Jungle,” which is basically a parody of Tarzan. The Premise is about a dim witted buffoon named George, who protects his jungle located in Africa, from dangerous threats. One of the key elements of the show is its catchy theme song and let’s not forget the infamous “Watch out for that tree” bit with George accidentally colliding towards a tree which is also a recurring joke. Despite the show being titled George Of The Jungle, the cartoon is comprised into a compilation of three segments unrelated to each other starting with the titular show, Tom Slick & Super Chicken. For unknown reasons, the cartoon was cancelled the same year it aired, only 17 episodes were shown on television.
Thirty Years Later, Disney adapated the cartoon into a full length feature film with Brendan Fraser portraying The King Of The Jungle.
George Of The Jungle was released in 1997. (same year Natalia Dyer & Maisie Williams were born) It received mixed reviews from critics and managed to make enough cash at the box office.
One of the reasons why I wanted to review this movie, is because Jay Ward is one of the original Fourth Wall Breakers, way before The Mask & Deadpool we’re conceived. Speaking of Deadpool, I’m also giving you Marvel fans recommendations to keep yourselves patient, if you’re excited for Deadpool 2 as I am, here’s a film to enjoy with your kids.
The following review doesn’t contain any massive SPOILERS. You are allowed to read this article, just in case if you’ve never ever ever seen the whole thing. Does George Of The Jungle still holds up? Let’s find out shall we?
Smart: Brendan Fraser did a hilarious job as the dim witted titular character.
Other Cast Members such as Thomas Hayden Church, Leslie Mann (Judd Apatow’s real life spouse) & John Cleese all did a good job on their performances.
Fun Fact: Brendan Fraser went on to star in Dudley-Do-Right based on Jay Ward’ cartoon. By the way, Leslie Mann also participated in DreamWorks’ Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which is also based on another Jay Ward cartoon.
Funny Moments containing slapstick, fish-out-of-water situations and dialogue made me laugh hysterically.
A fart scene made me laugh uncontrollably. If there’s flatulence in a movie, I’m always giving it an Extrs Point, because I have a fascination with flautlence in comedies.
At the 1:06:40 mark, Ursula’s dad describes her mother in a meaningful way. I’m giving Disney, Bonus Points for having the guts to say that line. I won’t tell you what it is, you’ll have to see for yourself.
Similar to the cartoon, characters often “Break The Fourth Wall.” Ryan Reynolds or Rob Liefeld, (creator of Deadpool) if you’re reading this, George Of The Jungle is one of the original Fourth Wall Breakers along with The Looney Tunes and Rocky & Bullwinkle, way before The Merc With The Mouth existed.
Besides “Fourth Wall Breaking,” The Narrator lampshades a bunch of cliches by taking a few jabs at them.
Chemistry between George & Ursula felt natural without pairing them up way too soon. As I’ve stated in my review for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I can’t stand two people starting an early relationship, it’ll take a few days or weeks to get to know one other, then the romance properly begins.
Alternate rock band, The President Of The U.S.A. contributed to the theme song, plus the song appears during The Opening Credits as well as The End Credits.
Practical Effects mixed with Digital Effects were used to bring creatures to life including George’s “brother” Ape and the producers were very careful to hire animal experts to make sure The Cast & Crew were safe.
Set Pieces were crafted design George’s Treehouse, The Jungle & Swinging Sequences to make them feel realistic as possible.
Cinematography doesn’t feature any signs of Shaky Cam, present throughout the entire duration of the of film.
One scene pays tribute to The Lion King. Disney must’ve given us a wink that they made one of their crowning achievements.
Before The End Credits roll, one character sings Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
Dumb: Annoying Sound Effects are often used, does the live action version of Inspector Gadget seem familiar to ya?
A Blue Screen Effect hasn’t aged well for a movie that came out in 1997. Let’s face it, this was back when C.G.I. was at its early stages of development like a baby learning to walk for the first time.
Not really an actual flaw, but if you’re a female viewer, Brendan is mostly shirtless. Are you up for a challenge to resist his attractiveness, in case you don’t loose focus on the story?
Product Placement featuring the brands including, UPS, Milkbone, Nike, Sony, Doritos, Oreo’s, Sprite, & McDonald’s. I would’ve given this flaw a pass if one of the characters made fun of it.
The Final Verdict: B, FOR B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Gwen Stefani please don’t sue!
In my opinion, George Of The Jungle is perhaps the best live action adaptation of a cartoon. It retains the show’s style of humor filled with funny as heck moments, lampshading storytelling elements and properly translating a cartoon to a full length motion picture. This is why the Alvin & The Chipmunks films lack substance, because they only rely on the Lowest Common Denominator. (L.C.D. for short) If I were you, I recommend this movie for you and your kids. I would consider George Of The Jungle a PG version of Deadpool.