Earth, sometime in the 21st century. Because of non-stop environmental destruction, the United Nations commissions a private company, "Eternal Earth," to create an artificial jungle, to be a nature preserve and to protect animals. All wild animals are forced to live in it.
The animals that live in this "neo-jungle" have an easy life. Leo, son of Panja, is born in this artificial world. Because of the unrealistic nature of the neo-jungle, Leo lives his life like he hasn't a care in the world. But Leo is ridiculed by the other animals; they call him a coward—he is not like his father, the great Jungle Emperor, but Leo vows that some day he will be.
Kenichi, son of the Eternal Earth company's CEO, has no doubt about the great success of the neo-jungle. The story starts when Leo and Kenichi meet. Kenichi has the special ability to understand what the animals are saying.
I remember watching the "Kimba, The White Lion" series when it broadcasted in Portugal throughout the mid 90's and it was a very good one (I even loved one of the episodes, it was so touching)
This special (that commemorates both the 90th anniversary of Tezuka Osamu and the 50th anniversary of Fuji Television) is really different from the series: it's like it reinvented itself from them, centering the story in our current century and having current important issues included on the story
It's enjoyable in many ways: it has good comedy and drama moments and I liked the relationship between Leo and Kenichi. Its animation (art)
is great as well
On the other hand, the story could have been much better if there would be a bit more of character developement on the leading characters (once more, talking Leo and Kenichi)
A good recomendation for the fans of "Kimba, The White Lion" and for the anime fans, all in all
Let's start with the positives. While I'm not a fan of the new style the animation is beautiful, and I enjoy seeing the careful detail put into the animation...
The message of the movie stays relatively the same. Human bad, nature good. The whole safety VS freedom thing. Though I'd like for them to go for a new message after all the other new stuff I guess it's fine.
That's about it for the good.
The story is bad, it'd be good for maybe a crossover between Astro Boy and Jungle Emperor, but with Jungle Emperor alone? No. It's so not Jungle Emperor at all.
It's like making a Flintstones movie, but putting the Flintstones into a medieval setting. It's just not right.
Leo's character is mutilated beyond the point of recognition. Leo is a courageous and smart Lion who believes that all animals have the right to live, similar to his father, Panja.
This Leo is a cowardly idiot, to put bluntly.
Isn't it kind of weird how Toto is here, but Bubu is completely absent?
This would be good if it wasn't supposed to be a Jungle Emperor movie.