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I say this regrettably as I do like Golden Films' output in general, especially Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio. However, re-visiting their animations The Jungle King(though I have yet to see Tarzan of the Apes) beats Anastasia as their worst. It is not irredeemable however, the best asset is easily the classical music that plays throughout, with the likes of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Mendelssohn's Midsummer Nights Dream Overture, Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours, Elgar's Enigma Variations, Rimsky Korsakov's Sheherazade, Wagner's Flying Dutchman, Bizet's Carmen and Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, and the final 10 minutes or so are the most involving The Jungle King gets. However, the animation is very uneven, sometimes vibrant but more often than that it is poor with flat colours and stiff character designs. The title song is forgettable and not catchy at all, with no attempt whatsoever made to make the singer(who has that singing-through-gritted-teeth sort of voice) similar to the voice actor. The voice acting often feels overdone, especially Max who is overly-bombastic a lot of the time, but they are not helped by, with the exception of Irwin, the increasingly camp and even effeminate characters(I know Max wasn't meant to be likable but The Jungle King goes beyond that, you actually can't stand him). Nor by the writing which is never witty or funny no matter how hard it tries, the will fire you, execute you and then....fire you again! line came across as ridiculously exaggerated, while the story is contrived with little happening or engaging until the end fight. Overall, most of the time my childhood favourites hold up, The Jungle King sadly is not one of them. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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