George of the Jungle is a 1997 movie based on the cartoon of the same name, starring Brendan Fraser as George and Leslie Mann as Ursula.We learn in the Animated Credits Opening that George survived a plane crash in the heart of Africa, but was sadly unfound by the survivors and rescue crew. Here, he grows into a man who rules the jungle. An heiress named Ursula explores the area with her snooty fiance, Lyle (Thomas Haden Church), who abandons her when a lion attacks them. George swoops in to save Ursula, and takes care of her while Lyle and a couple of poachers (in search of the mythical "White Ape", which is George) try to find her. George and Ursula eventually fall in love with each other, and they go back to San Francisco for the requisite Fish out of Water plot. George and Ursula have to deal with the treacherous Lyle and Ursula's disapproving, meddling mother in order to stay together and live happily ever after.Completely light-hearted, with a narrator who delights in the fact there's No Fourth Wall and lampshades just about everything, George of the Jungle was a box-office success and relatively well-received with critics. In 2003 it got a direct-to-video sequel, which had Christopher Showerman as George and Julie Benz as Ursula. ("Me new George.Studio too cheapto pay Brendan Fraser.")
This film provides examples of:
Adaptation Dye-Job: Ursula, who was a redhead in the original cartoon, is blonde in the movie.
Agony of the Feet: Ursula kicks Lyle in the shins to escape and he hops around for a bit before grabbing her again.
Babies Ever After: The film ends with first a scene of George and Ursula's baby showing he's inherited his dad's clumsiness by walking into a low hanging bar, and then proceeds to parody The Lion King.
Bilingual Backfire: One of the guides makes it very clear that the other guides only speak Swahili. Until it eventually comes to light that they do know English enough to understand him, they just don't speak it.
Narrator: [Ape is] hoping to hear the jungle king's awesome— (Does the Tarzan yell... in George's voice, no less.) Hey, I'm pretty good at that...
Bridal Carry: Played straight when George carries an unconscious Ursula to bed in the first movie. Subverted in the sequel where George is about to carry Ursula out the window, but knocks her out on the wall when turning around momentarily.
Bride and Switch: At the climax, Lyle tries to forcibly marry Ursula when they enter a dark tunnel. Upon exiting the tunnel he learns that he actually married an amorous gorilla instead.
Chekhov's Skill: George teaches Ursula how to vine swing while in the jungle, and later in making a jungle call in the city. She uses both when she arrives to help George in the battle with Max and Thor.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Ursula's father doesn't appear or even mentioned in the sequel. Ursula's mother may have divorced him for favoring their daughter's marriage with George.
Cool Old Guy: Ursula's father who takes a shining to George and encourages Ursula to follow her heart.
Continuity Nod: The sequel is packed with them, most notably the scene where George and his family are shipped to Africa in a very large crate, thanks to "a tip from Brendan Fraser."
Contrived Coincidence: When Ursula's mother accidentally sees her and George walking down the street, the narrator lampshades it: "Every story gets to have a really big coincidence and here's ours..."
Narrator: Don't worry — nobody dies in this story. They just get really big boo-boos."
*Gilligan Cut to the battered, bandaged, alive-but-very-much-ticked-off guide*
Narrator: What did I tell you?
Does Not Like Shoes: Inverted with George. He tends to go barefoot in the jungle, but for a cross-country running montage, he pulls out a pair of Nike Airs. Averted with Ursula, who (unlike her animated counterpart and most Jane Porter-type women) is only barefoot on two occasions in the movies and wears boots and sandals instead.
Narrator: Ursula Stanhope went inside to break the news to her parents, who took it extremely well. Ursula: Mother, Daddy, I love you both very much. I have something very important to tell you... and I hope you'll understand. I don't want to marry Lyle any more. Ursula's parents, smiling, in unison: We understand, dear. (Ursula smiles brightly) Narrator: Juuuust kidding! Ursula's mother:AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!(drops wine glass)
Guide: So in this version, there are two lions with the white ape?. A minute ago, there was only one. Lyle: Hey, the important thing, Kwame, is that I was outnumbered.
Innocent Fanservice Boy: George complains about the shower, saying that the "waterfall" is too warm and he slipped on a "strange slippery rock"... while nude, in front of the heroine and her best friend.
Interactive Narrator: The narrator is an active and slightly malignant force. At one point, Thor (a Mook) picks a fight with him over his insulting description, to which the narrator responds by rewinding the movie just to taunt him. (The mook's comrade then asks, "Thor, were you fighting with the narrator?")
In the sequel, Lyle gets into an argument with him during the climax. The infuriated narrator calmly reaches down and plucks him off to the sky while the heroes stare in complete bemusement.
It's not rather surprising that Ursula eventually decides that she doesn't want to marry Lyle anymore. First he gatecrashes Ursula's trek through Africa and tries to drag her back home, even when it's clear that she's enjoying herself there and doesn't want to leave. Then he nearly kills one of the group's porters, and has the nerve to blame the porter's "inexperience" for it. Then he treats the porters as if they barely understand the modern world (referring to a lighter and camera as "magic fire" and a "magic picture", respectively). Then he drags Ursula into the jungle so that they can find a white ape and therefore leave, gets both of them lost, and ditches Ursula when they encounter a lion. And the next time he sees her, he claims that he was fighting the lion the whole time, and that she's just too scared to remember this. And this is just the first act.
Heck, even Lyle pretty much hit the nail on his own head when he thinks the guides are saying that he's the biggest jerk they've ever seen in their lives. Which to be precise, he really is.
My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Lyle uses a phrasebook to attempt to communicate with his native porters in the African jungle: "Pardon me, girls. I know you're feeling pretty hey sailor up here about now. But if you would just let me order a bowl of fried clams, we can all have smallpox tomorrow."
Narrator: And they responded with awe. Cast: Awwwww... Narrator: I said awe. A-W-E. Cast: Oooooh... Narrator: That's better.
A more straight example:
Narrator: Ursula was amazed that she was lost in the wilderness with a jungle man. Ursula: Here I am, lost in the wilderness with a jungle man.
Never Live It Down: In-Universe. When Lyle is reintroduced during the sequel, the narrator gleefully reminded him of the time he fell into a pile of elephant poop in the first film. Lyle is less than amused.
Nobody Can Die: As the narrator explains, they just get really big boo-boos.
No Fourth Wall: The narrator gleefully lampshades every plot point and convention, George has a lot of asides to the viewer, and one of the villains in the first movie even take the time to berate the narrator for giving them such a hard time. Taken Up to Eleven in the second film, where the narrator completely gets rid of Lyle by physically reaching in and plucking him out of the movie!
In the first movie, during Ursula's bouts of unconsciousness following her crash into a tree:
Ursula: Mommy, make the monkey stop talking...
Ursula: I'm gonna pass out again now. Bye.
Later, in the sequel:
Ursula: Oh, the elephant's wearing New Balance. (faints)
Police Lineup: Parodied when Lyle takes part in a lineup. In normal police lineups, the people hired are meant to have similar physical features to the convicted/accused. Lyle ended up standing next to jungle natives who weren't even the same skin colour as he was and they were of different shapes and sizes.
Ursula's mother: Arthur, I wish you would do something about all these monkeys. I feel like Jane Goodall.
Ape: Madam, I knew Jane Goodall and you are no Jane Goodall.
Rage Against the Author: Thor (one of the bad guys) gets into a fight with a narrator: "Why don't you say something constructive for a change, like what we should do now?"
BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE YOU! (and eventually invisible punches are thrown into Those Two Bad Guys...)
This ends up defeating Lyle in the second film, where he pisses the narrator off so much, he plucks him out of the film.
Reality Warper: The Narrator parodies this. He is able to change anything in the story as much as he wants - such as getting rid of Lyle, letting Beatrice and a Zulu guide live, fastforwarding a mook's rant at him, even fastforwarding Ursula's long-winded explanation about why she doesn't want to marry Lyle anymore...
Sexual Karma: Lyle winds up with a (semi-sentient) gorilla... who he'd just exchanged vows with while in a dark cave, thinking it was Ursula.
Shoo Out the Clowns: In the sequel, Ursula (though not a comic relief character) is put to sleep just before to the big fight at the end, waking up just as it ends. This is odd, considering her actually contributing to the fight at the end of the first movie.
Slapstick Knows no Gender: Ursula crashes into two trees in the first movie, and in the sequel, is knocked out by George swinging her against a wall. In a deleted scene from the sequel, George even swings into her, sending her flying.
Spoiled Sweet: Ursula. Despite being a wealthy heiress who's rich enough to have a man completely treated for being shot in the head, she's a very nice person.
Strange Minds Think Alike: In an early scene, Lyle's decision to cross a dilapidated bridge causes some of his expedition guides to get really bad boo-boos. In the next scene, he's shown to be wary of them and specifically states that they "Must think [he's] the world's biggest jerk" and that they're probably planning to do something evil to him. Camera pans to them speaking in Swahili, and the subtitles reveal they say nearly the exact same thing.
On the other paw, it is later revealed that the guides speak and understand fluent English; they understood him saying that, and probably said it to mock him.
Tap on the Head: George, and even Ursula, smash into trees and other things in both movies and don't seem to need extensive medical aid afterward.
That's Gotta Hurt: A couple of examples in reaction to George's crashing into something.
This Is Gonna Suck: "This biggest swing in jungle history. Will hurt very much... But George have to do it." Whimper. The swing is so long that he builds up enough velocity to actually knock a George-shaped section of bark off the other side of the tree. Ow.
This Is My Boomstick: Parodied. Lyle Van de Groot, rich snob white guy, attempts to impress his native guides by offering them lighters and showing off his camera... even though his guides are clearly familiar with such things. The guides play along for a bit, and then burst out laughing at him, whereupon their translator makes it clear they're not only unimpressed, they know more about cameras than he does.
Kwame: He says that he likes your magic pictures... but he prefers the resolution of the Leica 35-millimeter transparencies. He also says that your lens is dirty, but he has the equipment to clean it for you.
Going the other direction, Lyle later attempts to scare George off with a lighter shaped like a handgun. George, having never seen any kind of gun before, keeps charging. Then it turns out the gun is real.note Just several minutes before that, during the elephant dung incident, one of the guides actually tossed Lyle the real gun and he was about to light up his cigar with it, unaware that the "lighter" is his actual gun. The I Just Shot Marvin in the Face trope, however, quickly became averted when the group heard Ursula laughing in the distance, signifying that they just stumbled near George's treehouse.
What's an X Like You Doing in a Y Like This?: Ape reads a book on "human courtship rituals" to help George (Coffee, Tea or Me, a real-life book about two lusty young fictional stewardesses) and suggests the line "What's a nice girl like you doing in a plane like this?"