Opening 4 Jan 2018
Writing credits: David Alaux, Eric Tosti, Jean-François Tosti
Principal actors: Paul Borne, Philippe Bozo, Pascal Casanova, Emmanuel Curtil, Michel Mella
Natacha, Tony, Goliah, and Ricky are a tiger, a sloth, a hippopotamus, and a hedgehog, respectively. They work together as the “Aces” to protect the jungle from the likes of Igor, a koala bear who has a personal grudge against them and seeks revenge with the aid of exploding mushrooms. In a final battle, the Aces push Igor onto a distant island. There is peace, but not without a terrible loss. Ricky dies in the flames while attempting to rescue an egg. In deep respect for Ricky, Natacha resolves to care for the egg and, later, the penguin which hatches from it. Named Maurice, this penguin grows up believing not only that this tiger is his real mother, but that he himself is indeed also a tiger; he acts accordingly. All is well until Igor returns, more determined than ever. The team of Aces has aged, and members of the next generation: Maurice and his friends Harry, Flederike, Grummel, and Junior (gorilla, bat, monkey and fish), assume responsibility for securing the jungle safety net.
The animation by Benoit Daffis and Laurent Houis is remarkable – not only the individual drawings, but also the bright colors. Sometimes it’s difficult to follow the involved storyline, and keep track of the individual personalities. No matter: just sit back and enjoy the overall impressions supported by the artwork. David Alaux and the two Tosti brothers first put together a similar animated film in 2013, which proved the basis for a television series. This series showed in 200 countries in 40 languages, including German television 2014-2017. There followed a second film in 2015 and now we have the entertaining Jungle Bunch. You will leave the cinema humming the Rocky film song “Eye of the Tiger.” (Becky Tan)