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Leo the Lion: King of the Jungle (1994)

Leo the Lion, King of the Jungle, is estranged from his disaffected subjects. When he needs their help to rescue a young cub's mother from hunters, they refuse to give it unless he promises... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Ail ...
Monkeys (voice)
Nathan Aswell ...
Aardvark (voice)
Chera Bailey ...
Tooey's Mother (voice) (as Cheralynn Bailey)
...
Elephant (voice)
...
Leo the Lion (voice) (as Gary Chalk)
Lillian Carlson ...
(voice) (as Lilliam Carlson)
...
Crocodile / Poacher #2 (voice) (as Ian Corlett)
Michael Donovan ...
Narrator (voice)
Kent Gallie ...
Giraffe (voice)
...
Lead Poacher (voice) (as Phil Hayes)
Roger Kelly ...
Hyena (voice)
Ellen Kennedy ...
(voice)
...
Chameleon / Python (voice)
Joanne Lee ...
(voice)
...
Tooey (voice) (as Andrean Libman)
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Storyline

Leo the Lion, King of the Jungle, is estranged from his disaffected subjects. When he needs their help to rescue a young cub's mother from hunters, they refuse to give it unless he promises to be a better king. The cub shames him into agreeing. Written by van Goethem

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A heartwarming musical adventure for the whole family.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

20 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Leo León  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

King of the Jungle
(uncredited)
Produced by Andrew Dimitroff
Composed by Nick Carr, Ray Crossley and Andrew Dimitroff
Lyrics by Joellyn Cooperman
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User Reviews

 
Underrated Story
28 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some of the best children's stories are not on Nickelodeon or in published in Highlights, but hiding in the darkest corners of run-down movie stories. Leo the Lion is a perfect example of this. Even though I was already around seven or eight when I had the pleasure of first seeing this movie, it instantly became one of my favorites. Today that copy is sitting on my dresser, almost broken from being played so much.

The title character is a lion king who doesn't care one bit for the animals he's supposed to be in charge of ("We demand your attention!" "Or your resignation!") He's happier just to lay around in the sun and steal from weaker animals. And to top it all off, he's too stupid to notice that animals are going missing. Sounds like George W. Bush turned into a big cat.

Naturally, kiddie movie protocol demands a cute little kid to get through to the big guy. And in this case, it comes in the form of a lion cub (strangely, his mother never named him. Leo eventually starts calling him Tooie.) He's left to fend for himself when his mother is captured by poachers to be sold to a circus and it's then that he meets Leo. Long story short, he wins the king over and they plan to free all the animals that where captured, all the while teaching Leo about being kind to others. And stuff.

The plot? Predictable. The villains? Beyond cliché. But that's to be expected and Leo the Lion really is a sweet story. In fact, it has a good share of moments that deserve an "awwww!" With his big sad eyes, strange chocolate points, and the fact that his life sucks, Tooie is downright adorable. I wish I knew who did his voice...they're very, very good. So is Leo's, if a tad overboard with the gruffness.

Quite possibly the best thing about this movie is the music. Leo the Lion has an incredible soundtrack for a low-budget, made for children under six. The opening theme is just plain catchy and I dare you not to tap your toes to it. The second is sung by Tooie post-orphaning but pre-Leo, when he's alone and desperately trying to take care of himself...he sounds so genuinely heartbroken. The third is the "Hey, audience! Leo's changed! He's a nice guy now! See? See? See?" It's not as good as the other two but not at all unlikable.

Leo the Lion is not Disney by any means. In fact, it must be viewed as what it is--a short movie meant to entertain a few kids--to be enjoyed. But I think it's a sweet little gem of a movie that, as well as its intended purpose, can easily put a smile on the face of adults. It's a shame more people don't know about it.


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