Follow TV Tropes


Film / Jungle Cruise

Go To
"Of all the jungle cruises you can take in the Amazon, this one is undoubtedly the cheapest, but also the most thrilling."
"Legend has it there is a tree in the Amazon that possesses unparalleled healing powers. And the Arrowhead is the key to unlocking it."
Lily Houghton

Jungle Cruise is a 2021 adventure film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and based on the Disney Theme Parks ride of the same name, and in turn loosely based on The African Queen, the film that inspired the ride.

Set during the early 20th century, a riverboat captain named Frank Wolff (Dwayne Johnson) takes Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), an English scientist, and her brother MacGregor (Jack Whitehall) on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life, which is believed to possess healing powers. All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals, a competing German expedition and a rather unexpected enemy.

The film also stars Édgar Ramírez, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti. It was released on July 30, 2021, simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access. The film became available to all Disney+ subscribers on November 12, 2021. In August 2021, it was announced a sequel, again featuring Johnson and Blunt, had been greenlit.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Jungle Cruise contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: MacGregor punches Joachim into a wall, who then happens to be crushed by a piece of stone that falls from above. MacGregor immediately lampshades that he didn't mean for that to happen.
  • Action Girl: Lily is quite the swashbuckler, having even more stunts than Frank, as well as throwing a pretty solid punch.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Like with Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise adds plenty of new characters and lore that didn't exist in the original ride, such as the Tears of the Moon, the tree that can heal anything, the Conquistadors who were cursed while trying to take it, the Germans seeking to seize it for their war effort, and many of the Amazon creatures in general as the Amazon River has the most minimal role of all the rivers in the ride, being primarily represented by piranhas or Inspiration Falls depending on the version.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Lily and Frank playfully refer to each other as "Pants" and "Skippy" respectively.
  • Agony of the Feet: Shortly after getting the arrowhead from the society, Lily and MacGregor recount an incident where he apparently lost two toes from an expedition to Bhutan when he was 7 when MacGregor is arguing against joining her on her planned Amazon trip. Later, he hurts the other foot when escaping from Aguirre and his men.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Proxima the jaguar acts a lot like a dog.
  • Ambiguously Gay: MacGregor is rather heavily implied to be gay, but not explicitly said to be so. He admits to Frank that he has rejected three attempts by his family to marry him off to highborn young ladies because his affections lie "elsewhere," and his sister Lily is the only relative who doesn't regard him with disgust. Given the social conventions of upper-class Edwardian English society, it's possible that he's talking about being in love with a working-class woman, but his evasive description (and the fact that he's an able-bodied military-age male who's not in the army at the height of WWI), and the fact he never mentions an actual love interest and the specification that he could not accept any offer (which could be loyalty to another woman he has fallen for, but is more likely to mean that the issue is in the gender) pushes the audience's suspicions pretty far in the other direction. It's worth noting that this is accurate for the time period the movie is set in.
  • Amusing Injuries: Poor Frank gets punched a whole lot. And after he's revealed to be immortal, he gets even worse, since he can survive things like being stabbed, shot, and attacked by piranha.
  • And I Must Scream: Tired of Aguirre and his crew constantly tracking him down, Francisco lured them into a trap that dropped them down into a cave out of sight of the river. When the jungle tried to drag them back, they were immobilized, turned to stone, and their bodies began to erode, becoming part of the jungle itself. At the end, he leaves them in the same state once again, and nearly suffers this fate himself.
  • And Starring: "With Jesse Plemons, And Paul Giamatti"
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: At one point, Lily and Frank discuss Aguirre's cartographer, with Frank saying that he spent his life searching for the Tears of the Moon to no avail. He fails to mention that he was said cartographer, and had been searching for the Tears of the Moon for centuries.
  • Angry, Angry Hippos: Invoked. During his boats trips, Frank uses a fake hippopotamus to scare the tourists, even though (As one of the tourists points out) hippos don't live in the Amazon.
  • Artistic License - Firearms:
    • When Joachim shoots at Frank's steamboat with dual mounted machine guns, he runs out of ammo, calls for "reload", and then sits around as if he expects it to happen automatically (the actual reloading process occurs offscreen). The guns he's using have ammo drums that have to be swapped out manually.
    • At least one of the German soldiers uses an American shotgun despite being a member of the Imperial German Navy (and Imperial Germany's contentious relationship with shotguns on the battlefield, which they insisted was a war crime).
  • Artistic License – Ships:
    • Frank's riverboat, La Quila, doesn't make much sense mechanically. The "engine" seen being lifted out of the ship near the start of the film looks vaguely like a dressed-up steam engine piston assembly, but it has no obvious physical connection to the firebox or propeller (such connections would also make the engine more difficult to remove and reattach than shown). The firebox is misplaced, being located in a stove-like chamber at the base of the (excessively large) funnel instead of being under the boiler (which either doesn't exist, or is also not where it should be). The mechanical parts of the ship in general are overdressed with pointless components and pipes while the actual working parts are too small for a boat the size and speed of the Quila (an engine with one or two pistons, a stove-size firebox, and a boiler small enough to stow away are more fitting for the small steam launches used by the real-life ride).
    • The interior of Joachim's U-Boat is excessively roomy, to the point where it's not immediately obvious that the scenes taking place in his personal study are actually inside a part of the sub until he opens the door. Needless to say, this sort of accommodation would not be possible in a World War One-era submarine (which were notoriously cramped, greasy, and generally filthy).
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Prince Joachim is one of the main antagonists of the movie, seeking the Tree of Life to use its powers to win the war for Imperial Germany.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • MacGregor sums up Lily's excursion at the Society.
      MacGregor: Breaking and entering, larceny and, worst of all, having to take public transport.
    • At the end, when MacGregor is telling the Society about the adventure, they seem to take in all the crazy exploits, the battles with evil Germans and the undead monstrous conquistadors...but it's when he mentions a woman being chief of a native tribe that the Society members act in outraged disbelief, as if they're unaware of the female monarchs their own country has had in the past—including Queen Victoria, whose reign had only ended with her death in 1901, well within living memory of the setting.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A German U-boat might have allowed Joachim to smuggle himself and a crew of supporters into the Amazon river undetected, as well as boasting more offensive capability that anything else in the river, but U-boats were built for the open ocean, not rivers. Even a river as big as the Amazon can only barely fit the sub, and the closest it gets to being a threat is at the start of the journey, when the river mouth is widest and Joachim can maneuver without too much difficultly, allowing him to bring the guns and torpedoes on board to bear against Frank's decisively less well-equipped craft, but once Frank used his boat's smaller size and greater agility to his advantage, Joachim accomplishes little to inconvenience him, save wrecking Nilo's rival boating company in the crossfire. By the time of the Final Battle, the submarine becomes beached when Frank and Lily uncover the secret entrance to the Tears of the Moon through lowering the water level in the basin they're in, whereas Frank's boat can still proceed through to the tree no problem.
    Frank: Who brings a submarine to the Amazon?
  • The Barnum: Frank's "thrilling" cruise is purposefully engineered to be exciting without any real danger, using fake submerged hippos and natives acting the part of blowgun-wielding "marauders".
  • Beastly Bloodsports: In the bar where Lily and MacGregor meet Frank, some fights between spiders and scorpions are organized.
  • Been There, Shaped History: A mild case as it turns out Frank is the one who founded the town he lives in centuries before.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: It does not take long after Frank and Lily meet for them to start bickering, giving each other sassy nicknames, and saving each other's lives.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Prince Joachim and Lope de Aguirre are the main villains of the movie.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The name of Frank's original rescued animal was the Spanish phrase La Proximanote . It was also the name of the next one, and the next one, and the next one.
  • Bling of War: Aguirre's armor was both more ornamental than the rest of his troops and gilded with gold.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Justified in Frank's case as a side-effect of the curse prevents him from losing any blood. When the curse stops working again, he happily notes that he's bleeding.
  • Book Ends: The film begins with MacGregor giving a speech to the Society, stuttering and using cue cards from Lily while going along as a distraction to ask for their approval. The movie ends with him giving his own speech and fully confident after his Character Development, soundly and rightfully rejecting their request for Lily to join on her own behalf.
  • Brick Joke: Early on in the film, Lily taunts Joachim by switching the arrowhead in it's container with a Toucan toy that was in the same packaging crate. Joachim keeps hold of it, and in the finale Frank does the same thing to Aguirre, pretending the Toucan toy wrapped up in a cloth is the Petal they're fighting over to distract him long enough for his boat to ram and block the river entrance to the chamber they're in, activating their curse's restrictions against all 5 of them.
  • Brother–Sister Team: Lily and MacGregor Houghton. Lily's adventurous and determined, and MacGregor goes with her to keep her out of trouble. Also counts as Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Poor Nilo, getting his boating company caught in the crossfire of a submarine.
    • Also MacGregor, who gets repeatedly dragged into his sister Lily's adventures. Apparently, one such expedition cost him two toes.
  • But Not Too Gay: Billed as yet Disney's most recent "first openly gay character"note  MacGregor merely says his "interests lie elsewhere" when discussing his past refusal to marry. (Just to cement that it's this trope, he talks of being ostracized because of "who I love," but has no love interest whatsoever in the film.) Justified in that the timeframe is WW1 and England was known to arrest gay people for 'crime of indecency' so he at least has an excuse of not wanting to discuss it out-loud.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: MacGregor is a downplayed example. Lily has a tendency to let her adventurous tendencies get the better of her, while the cooler-headed MacGregor helps to save her from whatever situation she's put herself in. The opening demonstrates this well when Lily is hanging over a busy street, and MacGregor gets a double-decker bus to stop under her, allowing her to drop down safely.
  • Complete Immortality: The conquistadors including Frank are immune to any form of death, including old age or injury. No matter how damaged they are, they'll just regenerate. The only way to circumvent this is to break their curse with the Tears of the Moon.
  • Curse Cut Short: Frank gets out an "Oh, shi—" before getting taken out with a tranquilizer dart.
  • Deadpan Snarker: How MacGregor copes with the situation.
  • Death by Looking Up: MacGregor knocks Joachim against a wall that causes a pillar to fall on top of him, though he has enough time to let out an "Oh scheiße" before he's crushed.
  • Death Seeker: Frank, after experiencing Who Wants to Live Forever?. He gets over it after Lily lifts his curse and instead goes to London with her to live out his natural lifespan.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: Lily pulls off one by proxy in the finale, shooting Frank to make it look like she was betraying him for a chance at the Tears of the Moon. He wasn't really affected because of his curse, but it gave him the opportunity to fake it and go to rescue MacGregor.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "Trader Sam likes a trade."
  • Determinator:
    • Lope de Aguirre was this, relentlessly venturing further into the Amazon jungle no matter how many losses he suffered, from his ship, to his crew falling one by one, to eventually himself succumbing to either exhaustion or disease before the natives found him and nursed him back to health. Francisco reveals this was because his daughter was deathly ill, and he hoped to cure her with the petals, but it's tragically Deconstructed as this very trait of his is ultimately what damns him to a Fate Worse than Death twice over. The native chief cursed him and bound him to the river because he refused to turn back after finally finding proof of the Tears of the Moon and was willing to slaughter both the natives and even his own brother-in-arms Francisco if it meant getting the arrowhead, and his refusal to accept the consequences of his actions lead to him instead blaming Francisco when he became included in the conquistador's curse, hunting him down and repeatedly killing him over the years until Franciso was forced to subject him to Taken for Granite, because he would never stop coming after him otherwise.
    • Lily is also a good example. She will get the Tears of the Moon, and no undead conquistadores, German royalty, river rapids, naysaying from Frank, or sexist gentleman's club will stop her.
      Frank: You should give up!
      Lily: You should give up the guitar!
  • Disney Death: Happens to Frank twice. First, during a fight with Aguirre, he's stabbed through the heart and falls into the river. Then it turns out that he's immortal. And later at the end of the final battle, he sacrifices himself by ramming his boat to block the river in order to defeat Aguirre once and for all, turning himself, Aguirre, and his men into stone. Then Lily gives him the petal, which revives him.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: After making a pun about a pair of toucans fighting over something to eat (a game only two can play) that falls flat, Frank starts explaining that they're toucans and only two can play...get it? His passengers aren't impressed.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Prince Joachim indulges in some Evil Gloating about how first he will use the Tears to win the war, then Take Over the World, and finally "reign forever." Given that he's the youngest son of Kaiser Wilhelm, it sure doesn't sound like he plans on sharing immortality with Papa Willy or any of his five big brothers or his younger sister.
  • Dwindling Party: Aguirre's expedition got hit with this, first losing their ship on the mouth of the river, then the entire crew dying one by one to the dangers of the jungle, with only 5 conquistadors, including Aguirre himself, being left on the verge of death by the time the native tribe found them and nursed them back to health with the Tears of the Moon. Then that number dwindles down to 4 once Francisco turns on his compatriots when they start killing the natives to get the arrowhead.
  • Dying Curse: After being stabbed, the chief used his last breath to lay a curse on the five conquistadors to live forever yet never be allowed to leave view of the Amazon River. This also saved his daughter, who had the Arrowhead, as the jungle dragged Aguirre away from her.
  • Evil is Petty: Prince Joachim's not only a greedy bastard, but he's also quite vindictive shown in the Royal Society at the beginning of the film when he murders many of Sir James's workers with his own hands just because the latter unintentionally mispronounced his name.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Unlike the similar curse in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Conquistadores' curse doesn't specifically do anything to their appearance, as demonstrated by Frank/Francisco, their Token Good Teammate who looks totally normal. Their current Body Horror is the indirect result of continuing to be evil after being cursed. Francisco had to trap them in a cave away from the Amazon to stop them pursuing him. Since they were suddenly away from the river, the jungle tried to pull them back, but it couldn't get them through the surrounding stone, and instead merged them with the surroundings. Even after they're re-animated by Joachim bringing the river to them, their original bodies have suffered so badly from erosion that they were replaced with things like bees, mud, and snakes. Had they not gone after Francisco, they'd look much the same as they always had.
  • Exact Words: When Joachim said that only one of them can get the petal, he asks Frank if was willing to give up his petal for Lily. Frank specifically said Lilly will have to kill him for it. So she does. Or more specifically, she helps him fake his death so he could go help MacGregor.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The conquistadors were cursed with immortality at the cost that they would always be drawn back to the river if they tried to go out of visual range of it. Later, Francisco (Frank) managed to trap them in a pit so that they would be kept away from the river for centuries, their bodies collapsing and being 'replaced' by things ranging from bees to snakes until the German forces detonated explosives to send the river into the pit. This happens again at the end, when the heroes use Frank's riverboat to cut off the flow of water into the temple; the curse drags them into the temple walls, where they will presumably stay forever.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Aquirre mentions getting revenge on a man named "Francisco" one minute before the reveal that Frank is a former member of their group and is cursed as well.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Frank looks surprised when Lily shows the map...which makes sense as he drew it and is amazed a copy got to England.
    • When Lily's about to make a deal with Nilo to take her on the Jungle Cruise instead of Frank once she discovers he's not Nilo, Frank gives a Wolf Whistle to get her attention. Shortly thereafter the bar they're in is attacked by a jaguar that Frank heroically drives off to impress Lily with his capabilities. Said jaguar is actually Frank's trained pet, and the whistle was to summon her for an impromptu performance.
      • In said staged fight, when Frank wrestles with the jaguar on the ground, he sees a scorpion skittering towards the cat and immediately throws her to the other side (and when he sees a spider on that side, he tosses her up and onto a table), showing that he's clearly manipulating the fight to keep Proxima away from anything that might actually hurt her. He is also more concerned about Proxima's safety than his own, since he is effectively immortal.
      • During the fight Proxima bites Frank's arm, later prompting him to remark that she did it "way too hard". Such a bite would have, at the very least, left Frank with a noticeably bleeding wound, yet he appears perfectly fine. One may wave it off as being part of the ruse, or a fumble of the FX crew, but it's actually a subtle hint at him being unable to bleed due to his curse.
    • Frank looks noticeably shaken when he sees the arrowhead Lily's wearing around her neck and becomes insistent upon being the one to take her on the cruise to find the Tree, even after she's discovered his lies about being Nilo, whereas before he was determined to take her on a safe, but enjoyable trip to get her money to pay for his boat back. At first, this seems to be foreshadowing that Frank had himself been searching for the Tree before giving up and deciding to become a Riverboat skipper after failing to find it for years, but instead it's because he's literally just seen the key to breaking his curse dangled right in front of him and knows Lily is actually serious about finding the tree.
    • Frank complains Proxima is "the worst cat I've ever had." This seems a joke at first until you learn Proxima is only the latest in the long line of cats Frank has owned over the centuries, all sharing the same name.
    • During a conversation with MacGregor Frank reveals that he speaks Latin which was the dominant lingua franca of European scholars prior to the 18th century. As a cartographer Frank would likely have been versed in this language as part of his education.
    • Frank makes reference to having "run out of things to draw" before it's revealed that he was the cartographer for the conquistador's expedition through the Amazon and has spent centuries drawing maps of the region.
    • When Frank and Lily meet the mutated Aguirre, Lily is surprised that the legend of the Conquistadors is true, while Frank just says "this is impossible." Frank already knew the curse was real, because he was one of the conquistadors and is the reason they were trapped, thus he isn't surprised that Aguirre is alive, just that he escaped the cave.
    • Frank initially nicknames Lily as "Pants", mainly out of his jokes about seeing a woman wearing pants. While it could easily be chalked up to it being an unusual sight in the Amazon, it may also be combined with Frank's lack of knowledge about the world beyond the Amazon due to his curse, not to mention his age; seeing as it's been a while since he was last in an actual city and may literally not be used to seeing women wear such clothing to begin with. It's not just him either; the conquistadors similarly refer to Lily as the "woman in pants", which hints at both Frank's true age and his history with them.
    • Observant viewers will realize that the terms of the conquistador's curse, that they are 'never to leave sight of the river again' fits neatly in with Frank's job as a riverboat captain who has intricate knowledge of the estuaries and layout of the jungle landscape.
    • When talking about the local legend that some types of fish in the river as shapeshifter spirits who will curse them with bad nightmares for life if they look them in the eye, Frank warns Lily and MacGregor that 'If you believe in legends, you should believe in curses too.' Whilst it seems to be foreshadowing the fact that the conquistador's curse is Real After All, it's actually foreshadowing that Frank himself has first-hand experience with the curse, being a member of the conquistador's party 400 years ago.
    • During Frank's conversation with MacGregor, he has somewhat doubtful expression when MacGregor claims there haven't been any conquistadors in the area for 300 years. Because MacGregor is claiming the cursed conquistadors weren't real, to one of the conquistadors in question.
    • Counts more as Five-Second Foreshadowing, but when Frank is impaled by Aguirre, he seems remarkably unconcerned with the mortal wound, pulling himself closer on the blade to grab the arrowhead from one of Aguirre's snakes and throwing it to Lily even as he falls off the tree, showing remarkable clarity of mind for somebody who's about to die. It turns out that Frank's actually immortal, and has apparently been impaled before. Repeatedly.
    • Frank is negotiating with the natives in their own language. After a few moments, we see the translation where Frank is surprisingly outspoken about Lily being difficult and blasé about their lives in danger. This sets up the reveal the tribe and Frank are working together and this is all a huge performance. A similar foreshadowing can be taken from earlier in the film where the natives who "attacked" Frank's tour group were obviously also putting on a performance.
    • Early in the movie, Frank jokingly claims that Zaqueu looks 10, but is actually 47. Frank is actually the one who is significantly older than he looks.
    • In the first scene where Frank is giving a jungle cruise to tourists, he points out two toucans fighting over food ("a game only two can play"). This foreshadows the role of the toucan figurine when two characters are fighting over either the Tears of the Moon or the arrowhead, where the loser is tricked into fighting over the figurine instead.
    • When Frank gets punched by either of the Houghton siblings, he comments on their "strong form." While this is expected for Lily, he also says it about MacGregor. MacGregor happens to be an amateur boxer.
    • Frank seems to be incredibly fond of his riverboat and refuses to part with her or replace her, despite her being...past her prime (to put it mildly). Turns out, he built the boat by hand 400 years ago and she has been his home the whole time, which explains his reluctance to part with her.
    • Why would Frank be particularly cold and dismissive of the Houghton siblings, even treating them exploitatively in the first acts? As someone cursed to be immortal, he has already buried many of his friends so he does not want his heart broken again. The emotional distancing has become a coping mechanism.
  • Friendship Moment: Frank explaining to Lily his full backstory for the first time including his true name and why he was also chasing after the Tears of the Moon marks the moment the two characters were able to finally trust each other.
  • Funny Background Event: While Frank is tossing MacGregor's bags in the river, a group of locals on a rowboat can be seen snagging the luggage for themselves.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The Conquistador that's made out of Bees Wax, is dripping honey, and has bees following him everywhere is none too pleased when Prince Joachim kills some of his bees. He learns about it because one of them managed to escape and flew back to tell him. When he appears he says quite angrily "I've been told you were not nice to my little friends."
  • Gender Flip: The male shrunken head salesman Trader Sam is switched into the female chief of the native tribe.
  • Got Me Doing It: Lily unleashes a bad pun at the end, as Frank had been doing throughout the movie.
  • Guilt by Association Gag: A dramatic example. Francisco, who would eventually be known as Frank, was included in the curse on the conquistadors despite turning on them in order to protect the native village.
  • He Knows Too Much: After his identity is accidentally revealed, Joachim kills everyone who was in earshot of it. Justified as he is a German aristocrat in the middle of London during World War I.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Frank uses La Quila to block the river and petrify the conquistadors once more... at the cost of the curse getting him too. Thankfully, it doesn't last long before Lily cures him.
  • Historical Domain Character: All villains:
    • Prince Joachim Franz Humbert of Prussia, youngest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II.note 
    • Lope de Aguirre, the 16th Century Spanish conquistador, who's been trapped in the Amazon jungle since his supposed death. His comrades (Melchor, Sancho, and Gonzalo) are all names of historical figures relevant to Aguirre's conquest of Peru.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade:
    • Prince Joachim of Prussia was a real person; he did serve in the German army during the First World War but doesn't seem to have been particularly villainous. Indeed Irish rebels against the British during the Easter Rising in 1916 even considered offering him the throne of an independent Ireland in the event of a German victory. Overlaps with Death by Adaptation as the real Joachim survived the war only to take his own life in 1920 after Germany became a republic and his marriage had fallen apart.
    • However, the trope is also downplayed: Joachim is a villain mostly because he opposes the heroes, and while his goal is not admirable in the slightest using a magical remedy to win the war and extend his own life keeping the monopoly of it are pretty understandable goals for a member of a royal family. His villainous actions are done in pursuit of that goal rather than out of malice. He is also one of only two men never shown to be dismissive of Lily because of her gender.
  • Hollywood Natives: Invoked by Frank, who works with the Puka Michuna as part of his show, with the tribal leader, Trader Sam, even commenting on how ridiculous the whole show is, and the tribe is actually quite normal, even if they aren't entirely aware of outside happenings.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The conquistadors, sans Frank, due to a side effect of their curse; when they're freed after having been petrified for centuries, erosion had done a serious number on their bodies and they have to take elements from the surrounding area to fill in the missing parts. Aguirre himself is mostly snakes, and his men are made of beehives, mud, and tree branches respectively.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Subverted. When MacGregor drinks what he thinks is beer at the native tribe, Frank points out it's actually fermented spit. Though initially disgusted, MacGregor continues to drink it anyways. It is also a sign of character development.
  • Improperly Placed Firearms: A minor example where one of the U-boat crew threatens Frank with a Winchester '97 12-gauge. The Germans had a major cultural aversion to shotguns being used as combat weapons, enough that in 1918 they threatened to execute any American captured with one as a war criminalnote . So although not impossible, it is highly unlikely that any German grunt would even possess, much less use, a combat shotgun.
  • Inevitable Waterfall: Frank and Lily's boat heads towards a waterfall at one point when sailing down the rapids. They almost end up going over it because Frank gets distracted messing around with Lily and fails to notice they've missed the turn into the safer river path.
  • Invincible Hero: Frank puts on the persona of being one in his river cruises, pretending to be an experienced skipper who can handle any dangers the jungle throws at him and his passengers with ease and cracking jokes all the time. Then it turns out he's literally this, as one of the five conquistadors who were cursed by the chief, he literally cannot die or be meaningfully hurt by any dangers of the jungle, and has apparently been stabbed by weapons often enough that Trader Sam has gotten tired of pulling them out of him and offers advice to Lily on how to best yank out a sword Frank's impaled by.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: One of the fake menaces Frank brings up to the tourists is a hippopotamus, but (as one girl points out) there are no hippos in the Amazon.
  • Invincible Villain: The conquistadors are cursed and utterly unkillable, with the heroes being able to fight them off, but not being able to keep them down for long, and unlike the cursed pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean, breaking their curse isn't easily achievable, as it requires the Tears of the Moon, which only bloom rarely in a secret location, so the heroes' only real choice is to Run or Die. Thankfully, the 'run' option is made more practical by the curse, as the Conquistadores can only pursue targets so far before they're dragged back to the river.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Of all the snide remarks that Lily makes to Frank, the one that really gets to him is the accusation of playing his guitar off-key.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Frank and Lily, for each other.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Joachim doesn't have any noble purpose regarding the flower, but he is right in pointing out that Lily owes nothing to the association that wouldn't accept him because of her gender (noticeably, he is the only man beside MacGregor to never disregard her because of it, in his first appearance seeming genuinely impressed by her pointing out that the association mislabeled an artifact). Lily does end up choosing to reject the association in the end because of their mistreatment.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Lily gives up the single petal she has to revive Frank. The moonlight then happens to illuminate a single branch, allowing another to bloom for her to take.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Both Frank and MacGregor, in different ways.
    • Frank is generally cynical, doesn't think Lily can find the Tears of the Moon, and runs a tourist attraction full of fake thrills. He's also willing to put himself on the line to save Lily and Trader Sam's tribe. And during Lope de Aguirre's expedition, he was the only one to turn against Aguirre when he decided to massacre the tribe that took him in.
    • MacGregor really doesn't like the jungle and also doesn't think the legends are real. But that doesn't matter to him, because Lily's his sister (and the only member of his family who didn't disown him for his homosexuality), and he'd follow her into a volcano.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Frank's many puns are often met with groans. One child begs her mother to make him stop.
  • Large and in Charge: Frank is the skipper of the boat and it's mentioned several times how big he is. He's played by 6'5"/196cm, 260lb/118kg Dwayne Johnson. This actually becomes a plot point, as it means Frank is too large to fit through the underwater ruins blocking the entrance to the tree's location, and has to help Lily overcome her inability to swim to reach the lever that opens the way.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: MacGregor is presented as an Upper-Class Twit who is shown to hate the jungle, behaves quite effeminately (he's quite possibly gay) and brings an absurd amount of luggage on a trip up the Amazon River. He's also a Queensberry Rules boxer, and proves himself to be a very competent fighter when he completely levels the German submariners during the finale. He's even the one who takes out Prince Joachim, albeit partially by accident.
  • Logical Weakness: Albeit an impractical one; the Conquistadores' curse restricts them to the immediate vicinity of the Amazon river. If you really want them away from somewhere, you can re-route the river, changing where the curse allows them to go. Of course, this does require significant effort (it's not easy to change the course of the world's largest river), but it's how Joachim awakens the Conquistadores to help him out- he uses explosives to direct the river partially into the cave where they were trapped. It's also how the heroes defeat the Conquistadores in the end, using Frank's steamboat as an impromptu dam to suddenly define the area they were in as 'too far from the river'.
  • Logo Joke: The bay in the Disney logo is seen to have purple water, and after the Disney logo fully appears the camera dives into the water.
  • Lots of Luggage: MacGregor brings an absurd amount of luggage for a trip up the Amazon. Frank promptly throws most of it overboard.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The trapped Conquistadores have had parts of their body replaced by jungle. This makes them "disgusting" in the words of one and makes Aguirre wonder if they still have souls, but it allows them to control the wildlife in their bodies.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The adventure-seeking Lily who prefers wearing pants to MacGregor, who always tries to be a Sharp-Dressed Man and be clean, no matter how impractical.
  • Master of Unlocking: Lily is quite adept at lockpicking and uses it to get things she wants and into places others don't want her to be.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The native chief cursed all five conquistadors for the slaughter of his tribe, including Francisco, who didn't participate in the massacre and actually helped his daughter escape with the arrowhead his 'allies' were trying to retrieve, thus forever including him in Aguirre's eternal punishment despite not having done anything to deserve it himself. It's Justified though, as it's implied the chief's curse was vaguely-worded enough to count all the conquistadors as a group together, and the majority of them were guilty of shedding innocent blood, so the chief's Dying Curse wasn't able to exclude Francisco, not to mention the fact that the chief wasn't able to see Francisco turning on his comrades to protect his daughter. In addition, it also technically saved Francisco's life, as he was mortally wounded by Aguirre and almost died before the curse affected him.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: In-Universe. Frank's Jungle Cruise tour includes props of Hippos that he makes move around with loaded weights strategically cut to stimulate the cruise with safe but exciting thrills for the passengers. One little girl tries to point out that hippos aren't native to the Amazon before Frank shushes her.
  • Motive Decay: Frank reveals Aguirre's quest to find the Tears of the Moon was initially to find a cure for his terminally ill daughter, before he succumbed to anger and slaughtered the natives upon being rejected by the chief on the cusp of achieving his heart's desire. His anger at Francisco/Frank protecting the natives and allowing the chief's daughter to flee with the arrowhead they needed to find the tree lead to him spending their immortal lives hunting Frank down and killing him again and again, despite both of them being immortal and thus the outcome pointless regardless, and his daughter having long succumbed to either her disease or aging over the years. By the present day, he merely wants to break the curse that binds him to the river and give Frank further punishment for the Fate Worse than Death he gave them.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Frank is the Pungeon Master just like the skippers on the ride the film is based on.
    • The "dangers" of Frank's boat trips for tourists seen in the trailer are as fake as the ride it's based on. Frank also utters the famous "backside of water" line after he secretly cuts a rope to produce a "waterfall" from a sluice pipe hidden above.
    • A deleted scene would have reprised the "Backside of Water" joke on a grander scale as the La Quila enters the chamber of the Tears of the Moon through a waterfall.
    • Dr. Albert Falls is alluded to through a collection of artifacts discovered on his expedition, including the mysterious arrowhead.
    • While Frank's riverboat operation is the film's version of the Jungle Navigation Company, the competing "Nilo's River Adventure" bears a closer resemblance to the original Disney ride and the bright red and white boats from pre-90s incarnations. Nilo's office also features a door based on the offices seen on the upper floor of the Skipper Canteen at the Magic Kingdom.
    • Nilo's cockatoo is Rosita, the missing Birdmobile girl from The Enchanted Tiki Room that later made an appearance in person in the Jungle Cruise/Tiki Room themed restaurant Tropical Hideaway at Disneyland.
    • The chief of the native tribe is named Trader Sam, albeit a gender-flipped incarnation.
    • The chamber the Tears of the Moon is hidden in is essentially a Mayincatec version of the sunken temple found at the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo versions of the attraction.
  • The Navigator: Both Frank and Lily are skilled navigators, Lily because she's been adventuring most of her life and is skilled at reading maps and orienteering, and Frank because he lives and works on the Amazon, and knows every branch and tributary, because he's had centuries to roam them, looking for the Tears of the Moon. In fact, he's the one who drew the very map Lily is using.
  • Never Say "Die": Frank uses a lot of euphemisms to talk about his intent to commit suicide after breaking the curse.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Joachim fires a torpedo against the La Quila, a tiny riverboat.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: No explanation is ever given for Frank's clear American accent, even though he's living in Brazil and is a 400-year-old Spaniard.
  • Not So Above It All: At the end of the movie Lily joins in with making puns while driving Frank off into London.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Beeswax Conquistador comes off as the least threatening of the cursed conquistadors, being knocked out and incapacitated twice by mundane means whereas his more threatening compatriots require more effort to subdue, as well as partially enjoying his cursed state because he now tastes delicious, but his connection to the bees nesting inside him means that the conquistadors have a long-range spy network, able to communicate with Joachim and send him after Frank and the others when they evade the cursed group, as well as tracking them down for the Final Battle when one bee escape Joachim's attempts to crush them all and prevent the conquistadors finding the tree.
  • Only in It for the Money: Frank only reacts to Lily's demand for a river trip when she starts talking about her wealth, in part because he needs to make 5000 Real in one week in order to pay off his debt to Nilo in order to keep his boat, and his livelihood. This then becomes subverted when he catches a glimpse of the Arrowhead hanging around her neck, as it offers an opportunity for him to finally break his curse.
  • Panthera Awesome: Proxima the jaguar. Frank exploits this by training her to fake fights with him to make him look good.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Lily restarts Frank's engine by giving it a kick.
  • Piranha Problem: At one point, Frank throws a small rodent into the river to attract piranhas and eat them. Later in the film, a school of piranhas attacks Frank to eat him.Since he's immortal they aren't successful, but the experience is clearly unpleasant for him.
  • Pocket Protector: Subverted, but the spirit of the trope is there. Towards the climax of the movie, Lily grabs a gun and fakes turning on Frank in order to take Joachim's offer of 'a single petal' from the tree, shooting him so he falls into the water and can then ambush the remaining Germans back on his cruise boat holding MacGregor hostage. Frank actually doesn't have any such protective items to block the bullets, but since he's Immortal, it enables him to convincingly 'fake' getting shot more realistically. The only thing that nearly gives away the ruse is Frank getting equally taken off-guard by Lily's Unspoken Plan Guarantee and needing a second bullet to get the hint.
  • Politically Correct History: Zigzagged. MacGregor was realistically shunned by most of his family and associates for being gay in the 1910s. When he explains this to Frank, who is a Spaniard that grew up in the 1500s during the country's conservative Catholic environment, Frank is surprisingly open-minded about his sexuality and doesn't judge him. Given Frank's been stuck on the river for 400 years and has likely met plenty of people from all types of cultures and customs, he's had plenty of time to accept such things.
  • Profane Last Words: Joachim says "Oh scheiße" before being crushed to death.
  • The Punishment: The Conquistadors certainly don't like their current state, but it allows them some decent, if creepy superpowers, while Frank is entirely human, aside from the immortality. The trope is downplayed because the punishers didn't intend for them to get powers, and their curse does come with the hobble of being unable to go too far from the Amazon river. The chief who cursed them originally wanted them to stop them from pursuing his daughter, and Frank intended to just trap them forever. The reason they are partially made of jungle is because of the effects of erosion on their petrified bodies, and they only escape because Joachim re-directed the river with explosives.
  • Prussians in Pickelhauben: Apart from Lope de Aguirre, the villains are Imperial Germans, complete with a U-boat. Bonus points for Joachim specifically being the Prince of Prussia.
  • Pungeon Master:
    • True to the original ride, Frank can't help but riff off several puns during his touring spiel, much to the annoyance of everyone who goes on a voyage with him. Some of the jokes are directly lifted from the ride's script.
    • In the ending, Lily teaches Frank how to drive. Lily remarks she has no idea what they're getting into, to which Frank replies, "An automobile". Lily replies that that remark was "exhausting". Geddit?
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Justified. The cursed Conquistadors use archaic weapons like a musket, crossbow, hatchet and swords that are still in working order and sharp as they're ever been—in the case of the crossbow and cusket they're still able to fire despite their wielders being made of Mud and Beeswax without the substances interfering with the firing mechanisms in any way—alongside armour that's still in usable condition, but it's made clear that this is because the items in question have become fused to their bodies through the centuries, and are thus included in the curse that preserves their existence. At once point, Aguirre chucks a knife at Lily that then turns into a snake, showing that they're basically forming the weapons from the surrounding environment to attack their targets with, when they're not using the parts of the environment they're made of to attack instead.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: When MacGregor reads Lily's prepared statement at the beginning, he says, "Pause for dramatic effect" in front of everybody.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: Subverted when Frank shoots a rodent out of a tree and MacGregor asks if he expects him to eat that. Instead he uses it as piranha bait.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Frank and Lily.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Frank the skipper is really the 400 year old Francisco, formerly Aguirre's cartographer and right-hand man until the massacre of the natives created a rift between them.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: Trader Sam and the other native characters are reimagined as native actors Frank hires to provide thrills to his passengers. Sam even mocks the stereotypical costumes they put on to scare Lily and MacGregor.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Aguirre could make the most of his immortality like Frank has done, but instead he obsesses over punishing him for his betrayal. This forces Frank to inflict a Fate Worse than Death on him.
  • Running Gag: One of the Houghton siblings getting surprised by Frank and reflexively punching him in the face, which he shrugs off with minor annoyance (and a remark that they have "strong form").
    Frank: Every time!
  • The Savage Indian: Invoked by Frank as one of the "dangers" of the Amazon. At one point, jungle natives start shooting darts at Frank's boat, which is full of tourists; when one actually gets inside the boat instead of just hitting the side, Frank mouths "c'mon!" and gives them a disapproving "that could've hit someone!" look, to which they depart with a sheepish wave of apology, meaning they're just in cahoots with him to provide safe thrills to the tourists.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Trader Sam literally jumps ship when Joachim catches up to the heroes and she swims back to her tribe.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Aquirre and his men into were imprisoned in a cave where they couldn't see the river, resulting in them being turned to stone when the curse tried to drag them back and couldn't do it properly. It turns out Frank did it. Joachim sets them free. Frank manages to cut them off from the river inside the temple and seal them away again.
  • Sealed Evil in a Duel: A variant, in that Frank and Aguirre technically don't have to fight each other, but Aguirre blames him for losing the arrowhead all those centuries ago and takes his anger out on Francisco by repeatedly hunting him down and killing him, even if the curse prevents Francisco from staying dead. Eventually, Frank gets tired of getting repeatedly stabbed and decides to swap this for Sealed Evil in a Can instead.
  • Self-Inflicted Hell: While cursed to live forever and be unable to leave sight of the river, Aguirre and his men only end up as twisted, undead monsters because they continued to hunt down Frank in the name of Revenge, leading him to trap then in a place where they couldn't return to the river and were left petrified for centuries.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Frank is a gun-toting, rough-and-tumble boat captain and former Spanish conquistador. MacGregor Haughton is a foppish pretty boy, albeit a surprisingly competent Queensberry Rules boxer.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: MacGregor insists on being one, impracticality be damned. Both Frank and Lily point out multiple ways that this is a bad idea. He does not remain one for long.
  • Shot in the Ass: MacGregor gets it with a tranquilizer dart.
  • Shout-Out: Many to The African Queen, to the point of it almost being an Homage:
    • The main female character's names are both types of flowers, Lily and Rose.
    • Frank's outfit is very similar to Charlie's in the film.
    • Frank and Charlie when first starting out, point out that there's only two hours of daylight left, but Lily and Rose points out that that is two hours of extra time to go.
    • Frank and Charlie point out that the only place to take a bath is the river. However, Lily doesn't take them up on the bath, unlike Rose.
    • After going through a set of rapids, the main male character expects the female character to want to turn back, but instead they enjoyed it.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: MacGregor's role is greatly de-emphasized in the trailers (the amount of times he's clearly in frame across all of them could be counted on two hands, and his speaking lines on one hand), while Nilo never shows up or is mentioned at all; justified, as Jack Whitehall and Paul Giamatti aren't nearly as internationally famous as Blunt and Johnson are.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Dr. Albert Falls is only mentioned in passing, but he found and retrieved the Arrowhead that was required to find the Tears of the Moon. There's also Aguirre's cartographer, who made the maps that Lily and Joachim both use. Subverted with the latter; he's actually a main character.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring": MacGregor attempts to play "I Spy" with Trader Sam in the canoe before being ambushed.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In comparison to the film mostly using rousing adventure-movie-style music, the tragic backstory portions instead use a re-recorded version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters".
  • Staff of Authority: Prince Joachim carries a fancy one that also happens to be a Sword Cane.
  • Super Drowning Skills:
    • Lily doesn't know how to swim.
    • During the final fight at La Luna Rota, after MacGregor knocks some German soldiers into the water, they are not seen again.
  • Take Me Instead: When the group is captured by the natives, Frank tries to convince them to let Lily and Macgregor go, insisting that there's no way all three can get out. Subverted when it's revealed that Frank knew all along they weren't in real danger.
  • Taken for Granite: This is the fate of the conquistadors after Francisco tricked them into falling down a pit far from the river, manipulating the specific wording of their curse against them. When the jungle attempted to drag them back, it couldn't pull them through the rock and they were instead fused into it. By the time Joachim releases them after 300 years, the elements have eroded their petrified bodes enough that they end up forming replacements from the jungle matter around them in facsimiles of their original bodies. Frank exploits this in the climax to petrify them and himself once more.
  • Taking You with Me: Frank pulls this on Aguirre and the conquistadors during the finale. Ramming his steamer to cut off the river's access to the tree chamber causes the curse to ensnare and petrify all five Spaniards, Frank included. Only a last second intervention prevents this being fatal.
  • There's No Kill like Overkill: Using a pair of MG-08/15 machine guns against Frank's boat? Reasonable enough if you have murderous intent. Escalating to a torpedo when that fails? Now you're just getting ridiculous.
  • Tribal Face Paint: When MacGregor befriends some of the locals, one offers what MacGregor assumes to be red face paint. Only after does he learn it's permanent tattoo ink.
  • Underwater Kiss: Frank does the "Breath of Air" type to Lily (twice) to save her from drowning when she's trapped in an underwater cage.
  • Undying Loyalty: Despite him loathing his sister's adventurous nature and the scrapes it drags him into, MacGregor states he would still follow Lily into a volcano if he had to, because she's the only member of his family who didn't disown him when it was revealed he was gay (or so he implies.)
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Lily's plan to trick Joachim at the end is a good example, although it almost fails because Frank is just as in the dark as the audience, and doesn't know he's supposed to fall into the water after she shoots him, so he can swim over to help free MacGregor. Luckily, he gets the hint after the second shot.
  • Upper-Class Twit: MacGregor is a benign example. He is the sort of guy who tries to take golf clubs on a trip down the Amazon, but he's also the sort of guy who will follow his sister into a volcano because she stood up for him.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People:
    • Frank has a pet jaguar, showing his deep understanding of the Amazon and the creatures living there.He's also had an ocelot and a cougar over the years.
    • The Beeswax Conquistador also appears to view the bees nesting in him as allies/companions, referring to them as his "little friends" when confronting Joachim at the sacred tree.
  • Vomit Chain Reaction: After the rapids, Frank teases Lily about looking seasick and offers some food, prompting her to vomit. This in turn causes MacGregor to vomit to Frank's amusement... until he nearly vomits himself.
  • Villains Want Mercy: Aguirre begs Frank not to seal him and the other Conquistadors away again as they're being turned back to stone.
  • Weaksauce Weakness:
    • The Conquistadors are effectively immortal and possess incredible powers but have to stay in sight of the Amazon at all times. Several times, their attempts to get the arrowhead are thwarted simply because their target ran a bit too far away, and they get dragged away from the chase. Intentionally invoked by the chief who cursed them in the first place, as he wanted to make sure they couldn't catch his daughter as she escaped with the arrowhead.
    • The Beeswax Conquistador apparently shares a sympathetic connection to the bees nesting in his body. When Frank vents the furnace on his boat into his face, it floods the cabin with smoke and suffocates the bees, causing the Conquistador to faint in addition to the heat causing the honey and beeswax in his body to soften and lose its integrity.
  • Wham Line:
    Frank:'s Francisco. And I'm basically 400 years old.
  • Wham Shot: When Lily finds Frank washed up on shore after being stabbed, she thinks he miraculously survived...and then sees the sword still sticking out his back with Frank seemingly feeling no pain, let alone bleeding.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Aguirre pursued the tree in order to save his daughter's life, and it was being denied that which drove him to turn on the natives. Despite this it's never mentioned what happened to her and so whether she recovered from her illness or died is left unknown. Justified, as the conquistadors were cursed to be unable to leave the Amazon river, and as such had no real way of finding out her fate.
  • What Have I Become?: The conquistadors are horrified at what has become of their bodies. Aguirre even wonders if they still have souls after being ravaged by the curse for centuries. However, it's averted by the beeswax conquistador.
    Mud Conquistador (in Spanish): We're disgusting.
    Beeswax Conquistador (in Spanish): Speak for yourself. I'm delicious!
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Obviously the cursed conquistadors aren't happy about their situation, but Francisco is shown having lived for so long that he's had to bury every friend he's made since. At the conclusion, Francisco is 'freed' of his immortality and enjoys the chance to live a normal life away from the Amazon even knowing that he will now die of old age.
    "Everything you see as new, I've seen hundreds of thousands of times."
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lily is afraid of swimming, which is a bit problematic when her latest adventure takes her up the Amazon river.
  • The Worm That Walks: Aguirre and his fellow conquistadors have had their bodies devolved into this after years of being cut off from the river, with them being made of different jungle parts like snakes, mud and frogs, tree roots and branches, and bee nests.
  • Wrestler of Beasts: Frank fights a jaguar in front of the protagonists to convince them to hire him. It is later revealed that the jaguar was tamed and the fight was staged.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good!: As shown by Frank/Francisco, the conquistadors' curse doesn't actually make them monsters or anything other than Immortal humans who cannot die, age or leave sight of the river for the rest of eternity. Aguirre's pointless anger at Francisco for allowing the chieftain's daughter to flee with the arrowhead instead drives him to spend about 50 years hunting him down and killing him again and again in a pointless demonstration of his wrath towards his former brother-in-arms, rather than doing something productive with the time he had been granted. Whereas Francisco was able to build a small town, and make a livelihood out of the advantages the curse granted him, Aguirre's refusal to do anything other than blame others for his situation instead lead to him being imprisoned by Franciso and devolving into a literal and figurative monster by the present day.

"If you believe in legends, you should believe in curses too."