‘Jungle Cruise’ taps into Disneyland's classic attraction

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt star in the Disney film Jungle Cruise. Like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise takes its cue from the popular attraction in Disneyland. This was one of the first attractions to open in the park. Originally the park created many rides (aka attractions) based on Disney films, however they are branching out creating films based on the attractions. Perhaps there is a Matterhorn film in the future.

Johnson plays Frank Wolff. He’s the skipper of his boat and takes visitors on whacky tours of the Amazon. Blunt is Lily Houghton, who has come to the jungle to search for a mystical tree that could change the fate of humanity. There is a long legend about this tree. (See the film for all the backstory.) She hires Wolff to take her down the river to a specific location. Hesitantly, he agrees.

Needless to say, the movie is a hodgepodge of magical creatures and mystical elements. There are many colorful scenes with amazing creatures and a beautiful tree (spoiler alert – they do find the tree!)

The chemistry between Blunt and Johnson is similar to that of Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen. Blunt is a feisty and eager woman. These two definitely get on each other’s nerves. He calls her “pants” because she wears trousers instead of a dress, which was a no-no for women of the time. And she calls him “skippy” instead of skipper, which annoys him to no end.

What adds to the fun of the film are the one-liners and quips that guests who have taken the Jungle Cruise ride in Disneyland are all too familiar. For instance, we all know when we board the boat that we will see “the back side of water.” While the story is more magical than the attraction, viewers do get a sense of the popular ride.

The bonus features include a “making of” featurette, which takes viewers behind the scenes with the actors. It’s fun way to get more inside information. The filmmakers were excited to get their first choice for each role. There is also a feature with several people who have been skippers on the park’s attraction. They have some fun stories to tell. A look at how the filmmakers created the Amazon and also filmed in Hawaii, as well as a cute feature with the two main actors also adds to the fun of the production. Deleted scenes and outtakes round out the bonus material.

Viewers may view the film in regular mode or “Expedition Mode” which shows Easter Eggs and some pop-up trivia and facts.

Jungle Cruise is available on DVD, Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Code, and 4K/Blu-ray/Digital Code. There are some frightening scenes so this film is rated PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association, was a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.