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Jungle 2 Jungle is a 1997 remake of French film "Un Indien Dans La Ville"[1] starring Tim Allen.

Michael Cromwell (Allen), a New York-based commodities broker, wants to marry his lady love Charlotte (Lolita Davidovich). But his divorce from his first wife, Dr. Patricia Cromwell (JoBeth Williams) has not been finalized yet, and he has to locate her. He traces her to a tribal settlement in Canaima National Park, Venezuela. His visit comes with a surprise: Michael and Patricia have a 13-year-old son who has been raised by the tribe, Mimi-Siku (Sam Huntington).

Michael is convinced to take his son with him in a first visit to New York City. Major culture shock follows. Also, the boy finds his first love in Karen Kempster (Leelee Sobieski), daughter of Michael's co-worker Richard (Martin Short).


Jungle 2 Jungle provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Depends on if you consider it an "accident" or not--Mimi is looking for his pet tarantula in Charlotte's bed while she's sleeping in it, and gets an eyeful of her lower bits. He visibly doesn't mind what he sees, but she understandably flips out when she sees him there.

 Mimi: [happily] Nice poochie-poochie!

Charlotte: [wrapping herself up in a blanket and fleeing] THAT IS THE LAST "POOCHIE-POOCHIE" YOU'RE GOING TO SEE AROUND HERE, YOU LITTLE SAVAGE!

  • Actor Allusion: Michael accidentally blowguns his girlfriend's cat. His reaction is a familiar guttural "Oh, no..."
  • Alpha Bitch: Charlotte.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Blithe Spirit: Michael and Mimi-Siku go for a stroll in Central Park after buying some hot dogs from a vendor. Then Mimi notices some Street Performers singing and playing instruments for a number that sounds remarkably similar to the tribal music he has heard back home, and he excitedly performs an ecstatic dance before the astonished onlookers. Mimi urges his father to join him, and Michael indulgently does. Then everybody in the park gets into the spirit and joins in the spontaneous dance party.
  • Blow Gun: Michael contrives to shoot himself in the leg with semi-paralytic darts not once but twice.
  • Cultural Translation: The original took place in France. Disney changed this to America.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Michael.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Mimi and Karen actually didn't (this is a Disney film, after all, and they're just thirteen), but it doesn't stop her dad from freaking out and threatening her with boarding school.
  • Dog Food Diet Well, Cat Food Diet.
  • Eat the Dog: It's a running gag. First, Mimi wants to eat Charlotte's cat, but he settles for the cat food instead. Then he kills a pigeon with an arrow and gives it to a homeless man to eat. Finally, he steals the Kempsters' exotic fish and roasts them over a campfire in the backyard.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Subverted, then played straight. Jovanovic and his goons are more than sufficiently menacing (nearly slicing off Richard Kempster's fingers), but then they are humiliatingly trounced by Mimi-Siku and the surprisingly competent Kempster family.
  • Foreign Remake: The original was French.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Hoo boy...
  • Giver of Lame Names: Mimi. At age six, he named himself "Mimi-Siku," which means "cat piss." When he meets Michael, he names him "Baboon."
    • However, he later averts this trope by giving Karen a native name with a nice meaning.
    • May be In-Universe Values Dissonance as Mimi's mother claims it's a territorial thing. "Baboon" may be a joke, however.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: At the beginning of the movie, Michael is a bona fide Jerkass who is wrapped up in himself and his white collar world, which costed him his first marriage. But his ex-wife Patricia isn't much better--she constantly belittles Michael; she springs Mimi-Siku on Michael after thirteen years; she says that promises in the tribe are kept no matter what, despite her breaking her promise to meet Michael in Caracas for the divorce paperwork; and she angrily guilts Michael into taking a son he knew nothing about two days ago back to New York, knowing full well that Michael made the promise with the belief that a "man" is eighteen or older and not thirteen.
  • Husky Russkie: The Russian boss.
  • Kidanova: Mimi-Siku is very popular with the village girls and gives them cooking pots as gifts, which the girls love and are more practical than flowers in the jungle. He doesn't stop when he gets to New York, either, flirting with a girl on the street and later romancing Karen. Michael claims it's In the Blood, but Patricia seems skeptical.
  • Letters 2 Numbers
  • Literal Minded: Michael tells Mimi to pour milk on the Cap'n Crunch to make breakfast. But Michael neglects to tell Mimi that both should go into a bowl first...
  • Mighty Whitey: Played with, but ultimately repudiated. Mimi-Siku is quite adept at tribal customs, but that is only because he has been explicitly raised as an native, and among native children. At one point the chief assigns him a task in order to "become a man," but due to Michael's refusal to cooperate it at first doesn't look as if Mimi will succeed. Michael himself is noticeably squeamish around the various jungle animals and Mimi's pets - as are other Anglo-American characters when Mimi is brought to New York.
  • Raised by Natives: Mimi-Siku.
  • Rite of Passage: In order to become a man, Mimi-Siku is tasked with bringing back fire from the Statue of Liberty.
    • Plus there's the ceremony which both Mimi-Siku and Michael take, which involves grabbing a smoldering torch with your bare hand.
  • The Remake
  • Shout-Out: "He's doing a Fay Wray!" (On Mimi-Siku on the outside of a high-rise)
  • Sink-or-Swim Fatherhood
  • Toilet Humor: In the natives' culture, children choose their own names. Mimi chose his at age six, and apparently "Mimi-Siku" means "cat piss."
    • Mimi also doesn't know how to use a bathroom. First he pees on the plane's exit hatch during the flight to New York, then later starts to pee on a potted plant in Charlotte's office.
  • Trailers Always Spoil?: The few people who went to see the movie did so because of the trailer. Especially the part where Martin Short is shown a tarantula bigger than his hand. Unfortunately, that was the best part of the movie.
  • You No Take Candle: Mimi-Siku apparently talks like this since he was raised alongside a native South American tribe, though it's really odd since his mother speaks perfect English.

Notes

  1. ("An Indian In The City" though it was released in English as "Small Indian, Big City")
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