Like most 20-somethings slowly sliding away from youth, animated films exist only on my periphery. When they do come into focus, they are typically Pixar or Disney heavyweights, with The Lion King and Toy Story always managing to seize my heart and stir nostalgic memories. So when I was tasked to watch The Jungle Bunch, a 2017 family animated film, I was unsure of whether this would be worthwhile of my time.

While The Jungle Bunch didn’t hit as heavy as Simba’s triumph over adversity, it certainly made for an entertaining experience. Developed from a popular French TV series of the same name, The Jungle Bunch tales the adventures of Maurice, a penguin adopted and raised by Natacha, a tigress.

Despite once leading The Champions, a close-knit team of jungle animals dedicated to justice, Natacha has experienced her fair share of loss and heartache. She rejects Maurice’s desire to follow in her vigilante footsteps, and he must subsequently take down a villainous koala, Igor, while leading his own band of misfit heroes, the ‘jungle bunch’.

A narrative on good versus evil, this films’ originality arises from the relationship between Natacha and Maurice. Not many animated films have navigated the complexities between single mothers and their sons, but The Jungle Bunch handles this brilliantly, demonstrating that familial love is the strongest and most forgiving.

Olivier Cussac’s musical score is lively and personable, though hardening and softening in sync with the different emotional crescendos. The innumerable landscape shots offered by director David Alaux draw attention to the immensely detailed fauna and flora. Every tree, every leaf is lent texture and movement, drawing us in to Maurice’s deep love for his home.

If, as a 20-something, I can positively remark The Jungle Bunch as a worthwhile viewing experience, than I am certain young families will think so as well.

The Jungle Bunch will be in cinemas from 25 January 2018.

Readers also enjoyed this review of Wonder Wheel.

 

 

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