My opinion right after watching movie
My opinion right after watching the film is that I feel like they had to rehash a lot to come up with a cohesive plot for the film. The characters are still not that impressive, nothing is explored on or learned, and while it is appealing to look at, and there was some effort put into the story, it is still not a standout or deserved to be released in theaters.
Apparently in the 1990s, the original draft that was submitted for this film was about Baloo saving his romantic interest from a poacher….. Easy to see why it was denied and changed. For legal reasons, the character King Louie from The Jungle Book was not allowed to appear in this film.
So we start off the film with Mowgli (Haley Joel Osment) explaining to his adopted family about his journey in the last film, and we can clearly tell that they are building an attraction between him and Shanti (Mae Whitman). Everyone goes to bed, and I instantly notice that he calls his father “sir” and never “dad”. It is morning time, and Mowgli takes his adopted brother Ranjan (John Rhys-Daviens) to the river side to scare Shanti (who is getting water) by telling a story of the jungle, which pisses her off, and causes her to tell Ranjan that he is not a good influence.
I have a serious question. How long is the time gap between the two films? We are not introduced to him meeting his family and settling in, and it seems like he has been by the village for a while. It is a bit hard for me to understand some of the conflicts of the film without knowing the gap between the films.
Things get even worse when the camera narrative takes us to the jungle, and we see Baloo (John Goodman) is obsessed with missing Mowgli, and even has a coconut named after him. He goes to get Mowgli from the village (which has been a pattern), which Bagheera (Bob Joles) tries, and fails to stop. Holy crap, Baloo has only known Mowgli for a few days, and after an undetermined amount of time, he is really that invested to kidnap him?
Mowgli is bitching and moaning about how there is a bunch of rules at the village to Baloo, and of course he co-signs about everything. Baloo ends up starting to dislike Shanti for being no good for him. I wonder if the wolf family that raised him for 10 years is going to be paid a visit by Mowgli. They sing a reprise of Bare Necessities, and I tune out. Shanti ends up being hypnotized by Kaa (Jim Cummings), and is followed by Ranjan, who saves her from the snake. We learn the motivaitons from Shere Khan when he is speaking to Kaa, saying that he wants revenge on Mowgli, and wants to rid of him.
Since I am sick and tired of this, and I want this review to end,I will wrap it up quickly. Baloo and Mowgli goes to King Louie’s, and all of the animals bash Shanti and the human world, which causes Mowgli to miss his life and to walk off, only to bump into her and Ranjan. Baloo ends up running back to them, and tries to scare off Shanti, because he told him. We get the misunderstanding plot element where Shanti is mad at him for planning this whole thing, and yada, yada, yada. As soon as he approaches them, Shere Khan appears behind him, and is defeated after a fight with Baloo and collapses under a bunch of rocks. He goes back to the man village, they learn not to be that afraid of the jungle.
The characters are nothing to go in depth into to be very honest.
What you can definitely say is that the budget for this film is bigger than most in the canon, and that they definitely made this look like a theatrical film. The colors,textures, and the character animation is great and well-suited.
The music is pretty much the same from the first film. There were a lot of rehashed songs, and the score is pretty good though it is not the most stand out.
Reception at Release
When the film came out on February 14, 2003, it made about $47,901,582 domestically, and $87,802,017 overseas, making about $135,703,599 internationally. Critically-wise, it got extremely panned, saying that it is a piece of crap, and should be released via direct-to-dvd.
22/40 = 55%