Most animal adventure films feature a villain that’s one of those animals we just don’t like. They can be a snake, a shark, a vicious dog or a lion with a nasty scar. The kid movie reinforces our suspicions that the animal is not to be trusted or thought of as a sweet lovable pet. The Jungle Bunch dares to go against this formula by picking a cutie to threaten everyone.
The Champs are an elite team of animals that unite to protect the jungle from those that would do it harm. The team includes the tiger Natacha, the sloth Tony, the rhinoceros Goliath and the porcupine Ricky. Who is their fiercest rival? Why it’s a koala bear named Igor. That’s right, the heavy is a cute koala bear that kids love to snuggle against as a stuffed animal. This is rather good since if you know anything about koala bears, you’ll learn that they smell bad and carry STDs. While they are constantly fighting, an iceberg arrives in the jungle with an egg. One of Igor’s horrible plots takes hold which leads to the jungle catching fire and one of the Champs sacrificing themselves to save the egg. Natacha raises the egg so that when it hatches, we meet Maurice who is a penguin that also looks like a tiger. Maurice falls in with those that want to protect the jungle from Igor. But is he good enough to replace the Champ who gave all to save him?
The Jungle Bunch is a kinetic CGI animated film that can easily grab the attention of a kid who can deal with the death of a character they barely know. There’s a lot going on in the jungle including explosions and fires so the animation does fill the screen. The movie is based off the French children’s show that aired on Universal Kids. The only real warning is that The Jungle Bunch might upset your child if they still think of koala bears as cute and cuddly.
The video is 2.20:1 anamorphic.The audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround. There’s also a 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo mix for when you don’t want the jungle wrapped around the room. The movie is subtitled in English.
Trailer (1:08) has Maurice the Tiger Bunch and his crew ready to defend the jungle.
Shout! Factory presents The Jungle Bunch. Directed by David Alaux. Screenplay by: David Alaux, Éric Tosti & Jean-François Tosti. Voices by: Philippe Bozo, Laurent Morteau, Pascal Casanova. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 97 minutes. Released: August 6, 2019.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.