Studio: Phase 4 Films
Director(s): Robert D. Hanna
Cast: Jeffrey Lee Hollis, Melissa Lattari, Robert D. Hanna
Run Time: 100 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG
MPAA Explanation: for some mild rude humor
Common Sense Says: Tedious Madagascar rip-off with some crude humor.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Life's a Jungle: Africa's Most Wanted is a crude and unwatchable rip-off of the DreamWorks film Madagascar. None of the characters are especially likeable and some fall into stereotype territory. In one scene two hyenas pull a prank on a sleeping dog by putting excrement in the dog's paw then tickling his nose so the dog smacks his face with the excrement. There are also shots of this same dog sitting on a toilet, as well as the dog burping to raucous applause from the animals around him.
- Families can talk about bad movies. What makes a movie "bad" as opposed to good?
- Did you notice any stereotypes in this movie? Why do you think filmmakers choose to use stereotypes for characters? Are they funny?
- Were there any likeable characters in this movie? What happens to a movie when no one is likeable?
What's the story?
Pip is a blue-blooded dog from Cambridge, Massachusetts who has accompanied his owners on an African safari. When a bump in the road throws him out of the jeep, Pip is lost in the jungle. He meets two hyenas who mock his dandified "big city" ways, but gains acceptance among the jungle's denizens when he figures out a way to get water out of the river via irrigation pipes made out of bamboo, keeping them safe from rhinos and crocodiles. A party ensues, but when the rhinos see the pipes, they are enraged and attack the huts that have emerged around the water vats. It is up to Pip to try and make peace with the rhinos, so he meets a herd of female rhinos, and plays matchmaker in the hopes that love will bring peace to the jungle. Meanwhile, Pip awaits the return of his family, who is desperately trying to find him.
Is it any good?
LIFE'S A JUNGLE: AFRICA'S MOST WANTED is an incredibly boring rip-off of the DreamWorks film Madagascar. Even if the computer animation was decent (which it isn't), there are no likeable characters, the action is at least twice as long as necessary, and the attempts at humor fall flat.Furthermore, in the midst of the tedium, parents watching this will be subjected to computer animated excrement placed onto the paw of a dog by hyenas who tickle the dog's nose so said dog slaps the excrement in his face. Couple this with utterly bizarre jokes involving flatulence and poop, and you have many reasons to avoid this movie.
The Good Stuff
Messages: A father tells his son that there are times that sometimes it's better to set free something that you love, in this case, a pet dog into the jungles of Africa.
Role Models: The characters are archetypes (weaselly hyenas, thuggish rhinos), if not stereotypes (female rhinos who speak in imitation of African-American dialect and say things like: "You go, girl!").
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: Cartoonish violence. A dog falls out of a jeep during a safari and lands on his head. Crocodiles snap at the dog as he climbs across a narrow branch over water. A herd of rhinoceroses destroy a village. They throw around bamboo buildings, and one rhino goes as far as to urinate (standing up) on one of the bamboo walls.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs & smoking: The animals throw a party and drink out of mugs with cocktail umbrellas and martini glasses. A crocodile is told that he needs to drink a "frosty beverage."