Once again I find myself watching a live action movie based on a cartoon. But where a lot of those movies tend to be pretty bad, today’s movie is actually pretty entertaining. I remember seeing this in the theaters and then going to Waffle House afterwards and getting into a discussion with some of the wait staff and cooks. The conversation started on whether Shep was a dog or an elephant (the answer, of course, is that Shep is a great big, peanut loving poochie) and progressed to talking about various other cartoons from Super Chicken to Animaniacs. The cook spent the rest of the night singing cartoon theme songs. Definitely a fun time and all because I went to see today’s movie, George Of The Jungle.
The plot: Heiress Ursula Stanhope is exploring the jungles of Africa when her fiance, Lyle, shows up to bring he back to San Francisco. They later find themselves attacked by a lion but while Lyle gets knocked unconscious, Ursula is rescued by George, who takes her back to his treehouse. While she is recuperating there, she is introduced to George’s friends Ape, Shep, and Tookie, and Ursula begins to enjoy being with George and forgets about going back to her friends. Lyle shows up to “rescue” her and after accidentally shooting George, finds himself in Jail while Ursula takes George to San Francisco to get medical help. While in San Fran, she introduces George to her parents and tells them that she refuses to marry Lyle, but her mother refuses to accept that and convinces George that he should leave Ursula. When Tookie arrives in San Fran to tell George that Ape has been “apenapped”, George heads back to Africa to rescue Ape. George gets into a fight with the poachers but just when he is about to be shot, he is rescued by Ursula, who had realized she was in love with George and gone back to Africa to be with him.
George Of The Jungle received mixed reviews from the critics, only receiving a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus among the critics was that while it stayed faithful to it’s source material, it makes it a less than compelling feature film. The audiences didn’t mind what the critics had to say as the film would make over $174 million worldwide.
This is such a funny movie to watch. They really did a good job of bringing the cartoon to life. Brendan Fraser was great in his portrayal of George, bringing a lot of comedy and slapstick to the movie. Thomas Haden Church was also good as the arrogant, yet buffoonish, villain. I also thought John Cleese was great as the voice of Apoe, giving the lines a lot of the sarcastic wit which he is known for. The story itself was pretty decent, almost like a prequel to the cartoon. Every time I see this movie, I laugh, even after all the times I have watched it.
So for a movie based on a cartoon that is really funny, then you really should watch this movie.
Rating: 4 out of 5