20 March 2024

Pick of the Flicks – The Jungle Bunch World Tour

| Rama Gaind
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The Jungle Bunch World Tour features colourful characters who race against time in search of an antidote for when a mysterious supervillain covers the jungle with pink foam that explodes on contact with water. Photo: Supplied.

The hectic adventures of a tiger-striped penguin and his companions resume in the follow-up to the 2017 animated superhero film The Jungle Bunch. The sequel, The Jungle Bunch World Tour, will also appeal to young children, under adult supervision.

Reminiscent of the chaos associated with films such as Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda, this time around Maurice the penguin and his pals are up against a villainous beaver whose diabolical plan is to destroy the jungle with a toxic pink foam that explodes on contact with water.

Less than a month before the rainy season, the race against time is on. The animated heroes will have to travel the world in search of an antidote, far from their favourite jungle, going from the North Pole to the Far East, crossing mountains, deserts and oceans.

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Maurice is the leader, who is convinced he is a tiger. Perfectly mastering kung fu, he tries to pass on his knowledge to his adopted son, a tiger fish nicknamed Junior. Despite his small size, Junior can swim, jump and fly and never hesitates to embark on an adventure. A worthy heir to his father, he has to prove his great qualities while being somewhat destabilised by his father’s behaviour.

Other entertaining characters include Miguel, a big gorilla with a tender heart, who isn’t necessarily the smartest of Maurice’s companions, but he’s loyal and always ready to hit the bad guys. Tarsier and mastermind of the band, Gilbert, is often in a bad mood, but we can’t do without his tips and his brilliant ideas to get out of a bad situation.

Camelia is an energetic and determined armadillo. A true female Indiana Jones, she travels the globe to restore justice by recovering stolen charms to return them to their rightful owners. Albert, an armadillo, is as whimsical a scientist as he is awesome.

The Jungle Bunch World Tour brings a breath of fresh air by introducing new characters, in particular Camelia, an agile and daredevil adventurous armadillo with whom Maurice falls in love. This relationship is not without its share of funny and touching misunderstandings because we discover a ”great tiger warrior’’ is awkward in the face of love. However, the new couple will have an epic happy ending to be remembered!

We also meet Albert, Camelia’s father, a somewhat bewildered old scientist, and Henri, the big bad guy in the story, accompanied by his two henchmen, Yuri and Sergei. All our usual characters will also be entitled to their subplot. The toad duo Al and Bob set out to prove, once and for all, that they were real members of The Jungle Bunch, not just the guardians of their lair, and their quest for recognition will punctuate the story with comical situations.

As for Miguel, deprived of bananas throughout the journey, he will make the most important taste discovery of his life: camembert!

Directors Laurent Bru, Yannick Moulin and Benoit Somville say they wanted to make a film that could be seen as a “standalone”.

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“We imagined it to be broader and more ambitious than the first, we wanted to go further in terms of staging, animation, visual quality, improve pacing and storytelling,” the trio said.

“This ambition was not only ours, in our director positions, but also that of all the studio teams.

“Upon reading the script, we immediately understood that this second part had all the qualities of a great adventure comedy that presents great technical challenges, with its many spectacular action sequences and crowd scenes.

”Indeed, our heroes will have to escape an avalanche, cross the Earth through its centre and fight an epic battle against an army of beavers, in the heart of a gigantic assembly plant.”

The directors find the right balance between gags, action, narrative issues and the visual aspects, coming together in the desire to make a touching, fun and dynamic film.

The Jungle Bunch World Tour, directed by Laurent Bru, Yannick Moulin, Benoit Somville, Icon Film Distribution, is now streaming on Google Play, Apple TV Store and Prime Video Store.

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