Menu
Entertainment

MOVIE REVIEW: Wild animal caper actually pretty tame

The Jungle Bunch should satisfy very young audiences.
The Jungle Bunch should satisfy very young audiences.

EVEN for a G-rated animated adventure, The Jungle Bunch is fairly tame.

But the feature-length film adaptation of a popular French children's television series, which screens in Australia on the ABC, is lively enough to keep very young audiences entertained.

And their chaperones will be temporarily diverted by moments of absurdist humour - such as the homage to Mission: Impossible's vault heist scene involving a penguin who thinks he's a tiger disguised as a red-bottomed monkey suspended from the ceiling by toad's tongues (you really have to see it to fully comprehend.)

Maurice (Kirk Thornton) was adopted, as an egg, by a fierce tigress.

Natacha (Dorothy Ahn) has retired from the animal-rescuing business herself following the death of one of her gang.

As an adolescent, her Emperor Penguin son defies her wishes, striking out on his own to set up a new team of heroes - Maurice might look like a flightless bird, but he has the heart of a wild cat.

His own son, Junior, a Tiger Barb, accompanies him wherever he goes in an impregnable goldfish bowl that Maurice tucks under one flipper.

Despite his cuddly appearance, the martial arts master is more than capable of holding his own in a fight, although there is a touch of Paddington Bear's sweet naivety in his wide-eyed approach to the world.

 

The heroes confront the evil koala in The Jungle Bunch.
The heroes confront the evil koala in The Jungle Bunch.

 

Maurice and his Jungle Bunch, which includes Miguel (Cam Stance), a simple-minded gorilla, Gilbert (Dre Gordon), a fiendishly intelligent tarsier, a bat (Erin Fitzgerald) and two toads, successfully keep the peace - until his mother's nemesis, an evil koala named Igor (Keith Silverstein), re-enters the fray with a dastardly plan to destroy the jungle with his red fluorescent mushroom bombs.

To save the animals, the two generations must find a way to overcome their differences.

The storyline is predictable and the film has at least one ending too many but the preposterous characters work so hard for their laughs it feels rather churlish to judge them too harshly.

The Jungle Bunch opens tomorrow.

THE JUNGLE BUNCH (G)

Two stars

Director: David Alaux

Starring: Kirk Thornton, Dorothy Ahn, Dre Gordon

Running time: 97 minutes

Verdict: Absurd animal adventure

Topics:  movie review movies the jungle bunch


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

It's apple season at the markets

MARKETS: High in fibre, vitamin c and antioxidants, it's no wonder apples have a reputation for keeping the doctor away.

She's all apples at local farmers markets.

UPDATE: Man was trapped in utility for 30 mins

CRASH RESCUE: At 2am on Sunday the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called out to a crash involving a ute colliding with a truck on the Pacific motorway near Brunswick Heads.

Police continue inquiries into crash between ute and truck

Screenworks gets funding to go national

Screenworks General Manager Ken Crouch.

Evolution program has received funding from Screen Australia

Local Partners