[Screen It]


(1997) (Brendan Fraser, Leslie Mann) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Minor Mild Minor Mild
Mild None Minor None Minor
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor Minor Minor Minor Mild

Children's: A man raised in the jungle becomes attracted to a rich American heiress, and vice- versa.
George (BRENDAN FRASER) 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 like, and thinks he is, a dog. Things change, however, when a rich American heiress, Ursula Stanhope (LESLIE MANN), shows up on an expedition. For soon following her is her fiancÚ, 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 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.
Since the TV cartoon disappeared long before any of today's kids were born, they won't be familiar with the original, but Disney's marketing will make sure that younger kids will want to see this film.
For crude humor and mild violence, language and sensuality.
  • BRENDAN FRASER plays the jungle man who, simply put, is a bumbling Tarzan wannabe. His intentions are always good, but his Tarzan yells and swinging on vines (later cables in San Francisco) and into trees might cause a little bit of imitative behavior in young children.
  • LESLIE MANN plays the rich heiress who forgoes her wealth to be with George and live the simple life.


    OUR TAKE: 6 out of 10
    Obviously aimed at the younger children in the audience, and surprisingly and enjoyably self-deprecating, this film is extremely goofy, but quite a bit of fun. Based on the 1960's TV cartoon, this live action remake holds true to most of the original's humorous style and goofy plots. For instance, a narrator guides us along through the story and often interjects funny bits of dialogue or interacts with the on-screen characters, who also occasionally stop to chat with us. This is not only entertaining for the kids, but adults will find enough funny moments to make the film's goofiness bearable, allowing them to enjoy this movie with their kids, or just by themselves if that's the case. Other humorous scenes involve a talking and sophisticated gorilla (with its voice supplied by Monty Python's John Cleese) who thinks it's below him to act like a real gorilla in front of Ursula and would rather be playing chess than dealing with all of the "monkey" business. The funniest visual moments come from a computer-generated elephant. That in itself isn't funny, but the elephant thinks and acts like a dog, and seeing this computer creation is hilarious as it quickly wags its tail like a dog, barks, and races after branches while playing "fetch." The humans, of course, are cardboard caricatures (perhaps cartoon-like?) and Brendan Fraser easily fills the roll of George, while his chemistry with Leslie Mann makes their "romance" a lot of fun to watch. Of the movies out this summer, kids will probably enjoy this film the most, for it provides the greatest amounts of laughs and goofy antics to entertain them for an hour and a half. And since adults will get a kick out of it as well, the whole family can enjoy the film together. We give George a 6 out of 10.
    There is a Mickey Mouse cartoon that precedes the actual movie (it may or may not in your area). It deals with Mickey being caught up in a Frankenstein type plot where a mad scientist wants to put Mickey's brain into the body of a huge, lumbering beast. It includes: A mild amount of scary music; the phrases: "I hate..." and "Stupid"; some scary scenes involving the brain transference sequence and a thunderstorm scene (always scary to younger kids); a menacing looking giant creature with sharp and menacing teeth; and Minnie nearly falls to her death but Mickey saves her.

    As far as the feature film, there's very little to object to. The "worst" of the material is probably the slapstick violence, done in the same style as the old animated "George of the Jungle" and "Bugs Bunny" cartoons, but this time done with real people. There are many punches thrown and other such fighting, but it's all played for laughs and there's no permanent or even short-lived injuries (which of course might give kids the wrong idea about that). There are some scatological related scenes (farting sounds, an elephant peeing, and a man falling face first into elephant excrement) and one sexual reference that adults will get but most younger children will probably miss. There are a few minor words of profanity, some other phrases or words you might not want your kids uttering, and some activity (swinging on vines and ropes, and Tarzan-like yelling) that might inspire imitative behavior. Since many young children will probably want to see this film, we suggest you examine the content before allowing them to do so.

  • Lyle makes a comment about a gin martini, and later mentions that the term "great white ape" sounds like a drink and says, "I'll have two black russians and a white ape."
  • Ursula's parents are often seen with cocktails or after-dinner drinks.
  • People drink wine, champagne and cocktails at a pre-wedding party.
  • A chimp pours champagne, and later drinks some, as does an elephant.
  • People are briefly seen with drinks at a Las Vegas show.
  • Lyle has a few minor bloody scrapes on his face after falling to the ground and hitting his head.
  • Lyle has a snobby attitude toward anyone not in his social class and thinks he can buy or persuade their favors. He also takes Ursula for granted and later kidnaps her when she decides not to marry him.
  • There are two poachers in the story looking for a quick buck from "bagging" an animal.
  • Ursula's mother meddles in her daughter's life and looks down her nose at George and tells him that he's unsuitable for Ursula.
  • A man at a party refers to women as "chicks."
  • Lyle swings a rope bridge back and forth and a porter falls from it toward the river several hundred feet below. The narrator, however, quickly chimes in, "Don't worry, no one dies in this story, they just get really big boo-boos" and the porter is later seen and appears to be okay.
  • There's a brief scene where Ursula encounters a lion, and George then swings in and fights with the lion. Very young kids may find this to be a little tense, but it quickly turns into comedy as George tickles the lion and then throws him around the jungle as if they were both professional wrestlers.
  • Lyle kidnaps Ursula, and drags her away only to have both of them fall through a cave and into some raging rapids.
  • Cigarette Lighter: Shaped like a pistol.
  • Handgun: Looks like the above, and Lyle plans to use it to scare George, but ends up actually shooting him with it (we hear the shot and later see George with a bandage on his head).
  • Rifles/Tranquilizer Rifles: Carried by the poachers and by the porters. The later is used by the poachers to shoot a tranquilizer dart into the Wise Ape.
  • Phrases: "Idiot," "Duffus," "Chicks" (a man refers to women as that), "Screw up," "Pain in the ass, "Shut up," "I hate you," and "Snotty."
  • George often swings on vines (or cables) and accidentally slams into trees, boulders, and other objects. The fact that he's never injured for more than a moment may give young kids the wrong idea about this.
  • George, and later Ursula, often belt out the Tarzan yell.
  • There are a few farting sounds played for laughs.
  • Thor adjusts his crotch area commenting that he's chaffing (from the leather pants he's wearing).
  • Once in San Francisco, George sits up on a car's roof through the sunroof.
  • George eats coffee grounds straight from the can and then has quite the caffeine buzz.
  • George walks to the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • During a fight with George, one of the poachers grabs George's nipples and twists them.
  • None.
  • A few scenes have just a minor bit of suspenseful music in them.
  • None.
  • 2 ass words, 1 incomplete "You son of a...", 1 incomplete "What the....", and 2 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "God" as exclamations.
  • George puts a cold compress on Ursula's head and neck and then quickly pulls his hand back when he gets a glimpse down her shirt (we don't see anything) and he comments that there's "something different about this fella..." (he's never seen a woman before).
  • Max tells Thor to "get ready for room service and girls" after they take the talking ape back to civilization (and make a lot of money).
  • George walks from the shower and stands nude in front of Ursula and her friend. Both stare in amazement at him (we don't see anything below his waist), and the friend comments, "Oh I see what made him king of the jungle." Ursula then runs over and places a book in front of his crotch and a potted plant on his butt and escorts him out, but the side of his bare butt is seen as they leave.
  • Lyle offers cigars to several porters, and lights them for the men and himself, and later is seen with another cigar.
  • A man smokes a cigar at a wedding party.
  • Ursula's mom meddles in her daughter's life and there are some minor arguments about this between them.
  • What life is like in a real jungle compared to this cartoon-like version.
  • That swinging into trees (and the other violence listed below) can injure or kill people in real life.
  • Though never done on purpose, George often swings on a vine into trees, boulders, and other objects (including an open car door), and one time accidentally knocks out Ursula on a large tree branch.
  • George fights with a lion that had cornered Ursula. Punches are thrown and other activity imitates professional wrestling (spinning the lion around his head, dropping his elbow onto the lion, bouncing off trees like ring ropes, etc...) and it's all played for laughs.
  • Lyle tries to bluff his way at George who rushes forward to stop the poachers and Lyle then shoots him (thinking he's got the cigarette lighter gun and not a real one). We hear the shot and later see George with a bandage on his head and the narrator chimes in that George can't die "...because he's the hero."
  • The poachers shoot the Wise Ape with a tranquilizer dart and then cage him.
  • Ursula's mother threatens George by saying, "I will remove your reason for wearing a loin cloth."
  • The Wise Ape drops a banana peel to the ground, causing Thor to slip and bang his head on a cage.
  • The poachers grab George and bang his head into a cage. George then kicks the two of them in their crotches. Punches are then exchanged amongst all of them, along with some thrown elbows and one of the poachers twists George's nipples. (All of this appears to be played for goofy laughs and includes the poachers tickling George).
  • A toucan is impaled into Thor's butt.
  • An elephant fires coconuts that hit the poachers and the Wise Ape in the crotch.
  • One of the poachers prepares to shoot George with his rifle, but Ursula swings in and knocks the man aside.
  • Ursula kicks Lyle in the shin as he tries to kidnap her.

  • Reviewed July 12, 1997

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