Disney is never one to rest on their laurels, and knowing what potential lies in sequels to their animated hits, it is never very shocking to see said sequels pop up time and time again. Most are direct to video but a few get a theatrical run with a somewhat higher production value. Jungle Book 2 is the latest of that elite group. The film did pretty good and managed to score $120 million or so at the box office. Though the production value is good, the actual film isn't. The characters don't “grow” at all. Meaning they have not changed at all and are merely rehashes of the same ones found in the first film. Characters should have broadened a bit, developed some. They didn't, and they didn't do much at all in this film. It seems like a missed opportunity to have expanded on the charms of the first film.
The story in Jungle Book 2 takes off where the first left off. Young Mowgli is still living in the human village but longs for the jungle. His old friends Baloo and Bageera linger at the edge and entice him to return. Nasty tiger Shere Khan is still there, looking for a little payback for having been humiliated by a human. Same old stuff eventually plays out that you saw in the first film.
Jungle Book 2 is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen (though it looks wider than indicated). The transfer is extremely clean with no dirt, grain, or blemishes. Image quality is bright with well saturated colors and properly contrasted hues. Backgrounds are well detailed and you can easily pick out the finer items painted onto them. This is a great looking transfer in every way.
Audio is available in DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1. Range is a bit limited as this isn't a big production effort, but the sound design is truly quite good with excellent ambient use. The rears come alive with all sorts of jungle sounds which works with the fronts to provide a solid 360 degree sound field. Bass is a little tight but does have some punch. Dialogue is clear and little in the way of distortion.
Per the usual Disney setup, as soon as you load the disc you get hit with the Sneak Peeks group of trailers. There is a whole mess of trailers present here which can be skipped and later looked up under the menu. Included is The Lion King: Special Edition, Brother Bear, Piglet's Big Movie, Stitch! The Movie, Sleeping Beauty: Special, George of the Jungle 2, Kim Possible, Air Bud Spikes Back, Recess: Taking the 5th Grade/Recess: All-Growed Down and The Haunted Mansion.
If you go the menu route you will discover the Bonus Features section. First up is Mowgli's Jungle Ruins Maze, a really short kids game. Synopsis of the Original Movie "The Jungle Book" is next and recaps the first film.
The Legacy of The Jungle Book runs about fourteen minutes and is a short feature in which cast and crew discuss the wonders of the original film and how they approached handling a sequel.
Disney's Song Selection lets you watch and sing along with ten of the film's musical numbers with Sing With The Movie.
Next up are two Deleted Scenes with introductions by Sharon Morrill and Matt Walker who discuss why the scenes were cut.
Last but not least are three Music Videos: W-I-L-D, Jungle Rhythm, and I Wanna Be Like You.
Jungle Book 2 is purely one of the kids as it offers nothing new and is really just a rehash of some of better parts of the first film. The DVD though is nice little job with a great transfer and even better audio. A nice amount of supplements rounds out the DVD as a solid purchase for children. Adult Disney animation fans might want to rent it first before plopping down some change.