George of the Jungle

George of the Jungle

Synopsis of Movie

“Don't worry. Nobody dies in this story. They just get really big boo-boos.”

Armed with one of the most memorable theme songs in cartoon history (“George, George, George of the Jungle, Strong as he can be…”), Jay Ward’s George of the Jungle swung his way into the hearts of an entire generation of 60’s children. After decades of syndicated repeats, the accident-prone (“Watch out for that tree!”), loincloth-wearing dimwit finally got a new adventure, this time as a live-action Disney film. A bulked-up Brendan Fraser took on the role of George, while his jungle buddies were all played by various animatronic gadgets, actors in rubber suits, special effects and the occasional real animal.

An animated prologue explains that George crash-landed in the fictional African nation of Buvuku as a toddler, where he was adopted by an ape named Ape. Now grown (but not any brighter), George and the well-bred Ape spend their carefree days with the rest of their jungle crew—toucan Tookie Tookie, Little Monkey, and Shep, an elephant who thinks he’s a dog. Into this jungle paradise comes Ursula Stanhope, a San Francisco socialite who’s unhappily engaged to the slimy Lyle Van de Groot. Ursula is on an expedition into Bukuvu to get away from Lyle, and when George rescues her from the jaws of a hungry lion, the lovely Ursula is smitten.

Having grown up around monkeys and such, George has no idea how to win Ursula’s heart (Ape suggests beating his chest, showing his fangs and throwing grass), but he’s sweet and dreamy enough to get by. Meanwhile, Lyle has mounted an expedition of his own, planning to get Ursula back while his poaching henchmen go after Bukuvu’s legendary “white ape.” George and company manage to outwit Lyle’s camp, but George faces an even greater task when Ursula takes him back to San Francisco to meet the family.

All the elements that made Jay Ward’s cartoon such an enduring hit—George’s goofy charm, the constant tree collisions, the dry wit of the off-screen Narrator (voiced in the film by Keith Scott)—were all present in the live-action George of the Jungle. And they still worked, as kids and parents alike made the film into a surprise hit in the summer of 1997. And yes, that drum-pounding theme song was back, covered by the rock group The Presidents of the United States of America.

“George, George, George of the Jungle,
Friend to you and me!”

Movie Release History

1997 - George of the Jungle

Movie Sub Categories

live-action
comedy
disney

Movie Studio

Disney, Mandeville Films, Avnet/Kerner Productions

Cast

George   Brendan Fraser
Ursula Stanhope  Leslie Mann
Lyle Van de Groot   Thomas Haden Church
Kwame   Richard Roundtree
Max   Greg Cruttwell
Thor   Abraham Benrubi
Beatrice Stanhope   Holland Taylor
Betsy   Kelly Miller
Arthur Stanhope  John Bennett Perry
An ape named Ape (voice) John Cleese
N'Dugo   Michael Chinyamurindi
Kip   Abdoulaye N'Gom
Baleto   Lydell M. Cheshier
Narrator (voice)   Keith Scott
Male Guest at Party   Spencer Garrett
Male Guest at Party  Jon Pennell
Ursula's Friend   Lauren Bowles
Ursula's Friend   Afton Smith
Ursula's Friend   Samantha Harris
Lion Joseph
Lion Kaleb
Lion Bongo
Shep Tai
Tookie Tookie
Tookie Scooper
Tookie Hopper
Little Monkey Binx
Little Monkey Zachery
Little Monkey Emely
Ape body actor Nameer El-Kadi
Mercenary   Hans Schoeber
Mercenary   Alexander Denk
Mercenary   Sven-Ole Thorsen
Jailer   Rodney Louis Johnson
TV Weatherman   Peter F. Giddings
TV Anchor   Terilyn Joe
Cameraman Michel Camus
TV Reporter   Valerie Perri
Perfume Lady   Carrie Zanoline
Fireboat Captain   Garrett Griffin
Bongo Drummer in Dance Club  Harve Cook
Bongo Drummer at Dance Club   Aristide Sumatra
George, Jr.*  Noah John Cardoza
George, Jr.*  Benjamin John Cardoza
Mayor Willie Brown, Jr.* Himself

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