Plot: What’s it about?
George (Christopher Showerman) has been through a lot in recent times, after all, he found out he wasn’t an ape, met some other humans, and fell in love. His battle with romance wasn’t an easy one, but in the end, he wound up with the woman of his dreams. Now George and his bride Ursula (Julie Benz) are living in the lush jungles with their young son, George, Jr. (Angus T. Young). But while things seem to be going well, Ursula’s always scheming mother is at work and plans to break the two up for good. After all, she can’t have her daughter and grandson living in the wild, when her upscale lifestyle would be more appropriate. Even though Ursula insists she is happy as it is, her mom is determined to return her to the urban, civilized domain. So she pays a visit to Ursula’s pompous exboyfriend Lyle Van de Groot (Thomas Hayden Church), who also wishes to see the union fall to pieces. Then he can step back into Ursula’s life and become her new man, which would enhance his social status even more. Since Ursula would never leave on her own, the plan is to hypnotize her and then force her to return back home. This is just what happens and while George is confused, he is not ready to give up on his love that easily. But can he and his jungle pals venture to Las Vegas, then win back George’s family?
These days, Disney’s live action department is almost up to snuff with its animated division, though of course, that isn’t saying much. It has been a while since Disney could put together a string of live action box office hits, but of late, they seem on the right path. The new Freaky Friday was a smash success, while this sequel to their George of the Jungle was also in the headlines. Of course, the reason for the exposure was legal troubles but Disney won that battle and now we have George of the Jungle 2. I wasn’t too impressed with the original, as I liked the cornball animated series, so perhaps I was a little biased. In this sequel, we’re given more of the same slapstick antics, though previous star Brendan Fraser has been replaced. A newcomer that sounds and looks enough like Fraser to pass is present, in a performance that really captures Fraser’s screen presence, so not much is missed in that respect. A few cast members come back however, such as Thomas Hayden Church, while the always hot Julie Benz takes over as George’s love interest, so it is a mixture of old and new talent. This movie is decent if you want the same kind of experience as the original, so if you disliked the previous one, you won’t be won over here. Disney’s disc is quite good though, so if you’re interested, this release is recommended.
Video: How does it look?
George of the Jungle 2 is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. This might be a direct to video release, but it looks terrific. I saw no problems with the print, which is good news, since this is a brand new movie, after all. The colors are vivid and bright, with no signs of errors, while flesh tones have a natural presence also. No woes in terms of contrast either, as black levels perform at a high level throughout. The image is quite sharp and refined also, so fine detail is high and the visuals look excellent. Aside from some minor shimmering in a handful of scenes, I couldn’t find much to complain about, so kudos to Disney on this one.
Audio: How does it sound?
I was pleased to see 5.1 surround tracks in both Dolby Digital and DTS, which is a trend I hope to see continue. The film starts out in the wild jungles and the surrounds take us right into the thick of the experience. You’ll hear sounds all around you, as if you were swinging on those vines yourself and that makes for a fun viewing session. But when the movie moves to Las Vegas, be prepared for a slowdown in terms of audio dynamite. The audio still has a great sound to it, but the surround use is quite limited. So the front channels shoulder the burden and do so well, but you do wish the promise of the jungle scenes continued. The dialogue is clean and clear also, and if you’re wondering, the DTS runs a little better, but not that much. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some deleted scenes (with audio comments), a promotional behind the scenes featurette, a wild and fun Vine Surfing game, and yes, a hilarious reel of priceless Jungle Bungles, also known as bloopers.