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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday October 3, 2019 


This is the movie debut of the 60s cartoon hero, George (Brendan Fraser), who has lived in the African jungle without human contact since he was just a young boy. He was never alone, however, due to the constant companionship of the many animals including the Wise Ape (voice of John Cleese), an educated and talking gorilla, and Shep, his pet elephant who acts and thinks like a dog. Things change, however, when a rich American heiress, Ursula Stanhope (Leslie Mann), shows up on an expedition. Soon following her is her fiancé, Lyle Van de Groot (Thomas Haden Church), who along with two poachers, Thor (Abraham Benrubi) and Max (Greg Cruttwell), is there to retrieve Ursula and to capture an infamous "Great White Ape." Little do they know that the creature they're looking for is really George, a well-meaning but often clumsy fellow with a penchant for swinging on vines and crashing into trees. As Lyle and his men try to find their legendary catch, Ursula becomes attracted to George's simple life, while he becomes attracted to her, the first woman he's ever seen.

"Sometimes one has such low expectations of a film, that it is a pleasant surprise. George of the Jungle has such a cheekiness about it, an irresistible sense of good fun and a delightful self-mocking tone, that one can forget that it's also silly, studio factory nonsense.

Inspired by a forgettable TV cartoon series, this George is your Crocodile Dundee meets Tarzan, a classic fish out of water and back in the water fable which works on its own level because it gently pokes fun at its characters and genre. The narration alone is worth the price of admission, and star Brendan Fraser has a nice comic style, though the banging into tree jokes do wear a tad thin. John Cleese has a ball voicing an ape and there's an elephant that is a marvel to behold.

Funny and well-paced, George of the Jungle is a fetching piece of nonsense, an enjoyable satire of all those jungle movies that works surprisingly well. Kids will love it, and their parents won't be bored to death in the process."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Brendan Fraser, Leslie Mann, Thomas Haden Church and the voice of John Cleese

PRODUCER: David Hoberman, Jordan Kerner Jon Avnet

DIRECTOR: Sam Weisman

SCRIPT: Dana Olsen, Audrey Wells, (story by Olsen, based upon characters developed by Jay Ward)


EDITOR: Stuart Pappe, Roger Bomdelli

MUSIC: Marc Shaiman


RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 2, 1997 (Syd, Perth, Adel);
Sept 25, Melb, Brisb

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