Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” was one of those popcorn fun flicks with blockbuster stars that found itself in a bit of uncharted waters. For one thing, it was a film that had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic. The other bit was that it was one of the few titles to hit Disney+ under their Premier Access brand. Still, the film, based on the ride of the same name found its success with audiences. So much so that there is a sequel on the way. But for those who chose to wait for the film’s home entertainment release, their patience will pay off as it finally arrives on Blu-ray and DVD, and also just in time for Disney+ Day as it launches for all subscribers on November 12.
Jungle Cruise itself is just a cinematic version of a cinematic attraction. Audiences are whisked away on this one-of-a-kind adventure that’s led by a Frank (Dwayne Johnson), a dashing roguish river cruise captain who takes Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt), a fearless scientist and her sidekick brother, McGregor (Jack Whitehall) and a jungle cat through the dangerous waters of the Amazon jungle in order to find the Tree of Life. And the film many of those familiar nuances the ride has like the backside of water, the perilous unknown, and, of course, the dad joke spiel everyone can’t help but laugh, and roll their eyes at.
Though Johnson and Blunt’s chemistry make for a terrific on-screen pairing that’s filled with laughs and plenty of witty back-and-forth. Add to that how director Jaume Collet-Serra navigates helming the project and utilizing a reverent screenplay written by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, and Michael Green, and it becomes something that’s surprisingly fun and wholly entertaining.
But because the film was painfully reliant on the abundance of CGI, it takes away from the magic and practicality the original ride had. Now it is understandable how CG was used in place of some characters like Proxima, Frank’s jaguar, so that it wouldn’t endanger the actors or the animals themselves. However, some of the larger scenes like the climatic finale where Lily is hoping from branch to branch with a clearly CGI background and Frank fighting off against CG characters serve more as a distraction than a tool to aid the story.
So those CG distractions will appear on the home entertainment versions. Whether or not it affects your viewing experience just depends on your tolerance, but the fact remains that Jungle Cruise is entertaining and proves that it has a lot to offer in terms of expanding the ride’s mythology.
Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” Bonus Features*
- Jungle Cruise Expedition Mode – Climb aboard a ramshackle tramp steamer (or your own couch) to learn fun facts, discover Easter eggs and catch some pop-up trivia throughout the movie.
- It’s A Jungle Out There: Making Jungle Cruise – Director Jaume Collet-Serra, the cast and crew discuss the importance of the film’s elements, from casting to makeup to the use of an ancient indigenous language, in creating the world tha
- t honors one of Disneyland’s most beloved rides.
- Dwayne And Emily: Undoubtedly Funny – Go on-set with the two stars, whose newfound friendship helped them project a natural onscreen chemistry. Although their characters challenge each other throughout the film, the actors make each other laugh. A lot!
- Creating The Amazon – Explore the cinematic artistry involved in creating the world of “Jungle Cruise,” including how Frank’s boat coursed “dangerous” water in a tank in Atlanta, how a town was built in Kauai, and how a ferocious jaguar came to life, among other amazing effects.
- Once A Skip, Always A Skip – Join a panel of “Skippers” at the Disneyland Resort as they reminisce about the rewards, challenges and surprises they’ve experienced while helming the world-famous “Jungle Cruise” attraction, and hear their advice to aspiring skippers everywhere!
- Outtakes – Step behind the scenes of the production to catch the cast in a series of flubs, falls, foibles — and a whole lot of laughter.
- Deleted Scenes
- MacGregor Drives The Boat
- MacGregor Water Skis
- Joachim And Nilo On The Dock
- Frank Talks To Proxima & Lily’s Nightmares
- Sub Gets Stuck
- Proxima Surprises MacGregor
- Frank Gets The Cold Shoulder
- Trader Sam And Lily Walk In The Jungle
- MacGregor And Trader Sam Say Goodbye
- Frank Makes Tea For Lily
- The Backside Of Water
Jungle Cruise is out now on Disney+ and Digital, and will be available in all major retail stores on November 16, 2021.