4 February 2010 | vchimpanzee
Pretty good family adventure
Archaeologist John Geller narrates this tale, telling us there have been many tales of its type told, except this one is true! (Suuure it is.) During a celebration of the jungle spirit Dava, in what is supposedly India even though the area is still ruled by a king, a boy named Suresh disappears into the forest. His mother wants to search for him but is told it is too dangerous. Suresh is rescued from Sabre the leopard by the elephant Bono and the monkey Mantoo, and like Dr. Dolittle, he is given the ability to communicate with the animals. He is named "Manling" and raised by the forest creatures.
As an adult, Manling (now called Krishna) must battle Sabre, but when he defeats Sabre in a manner that violates the rules, he is told to go out on his own. Geller and his pretty niece Anna find him and take him in, teaching him English and how to be human. He learns fast because he knew human ways at one time.
Geller is looking for a treasure found in the forbidden forest, but so is Rajah Singh, who claims the treasure belongs to his family and hires John Hook to find it. Hook will use any means necessary, even killing, to make sure he gets not only the treasure, but also his share of the money from finding it.
Anna and Krishna seem to like each other, so there is the potential for romance here. But there is also plenty of action and getting killed is certainly a possibility.
No one will ever accuse this movie of being an Oscar contender, except possibly for the visual effects. But it's a pleasant enough family film with talking animals and silly humans.
I would question the G rating, however, given some of the violence. With the font that was used for the V-chip rating when I saw it, movies given a plain-vanilla TV-PG rating often have content that would have demanded more on network TV. And when a V or other content indicator is used with this font, I can tell you it's bad. So whoever uses this font is being conservative, and you can only know that the film is family-friendly but not necessarily for younger kids.
It's nothing spectacular like the similar "Jungle Book" movies, but it's worth seeing.