Jungle Book 2

Sequelizing The Jungle Book was barely a necessity, but Disney has done it anyway, fashioning a perfunctory follow-up that doesn’t so much expand the story as rehash it. Restless in civilization, jungle-boy Mowgli (now voiced by Haley Joel Osment) heads back into the woods to boogie some more with his old pal Baloo (John Goodman). There, he once again matches wits with his nemesis, the nefarious tiger Shere Khan. Over thirty years have passed since the jazzy original film’s release; now, the beatnik-inspired dialogue and swing-influenced score feel exceedingly dated and contrived. This is especially true of a quartet of vultures clearly fashioned after the Beatles, a reference unlikely to be appreciated by a generation less familiar with “Hey Jude” than Hey Arnold!

Grade: C+

Kinsey Scale: 1 (Goodman was a single gay dad on TV’s short-lived Normal, Ohio.)

(Appeared in Q Syndicate)