Note: The review that follows is of the Special Edition of a film first released in 2003.
Comparisons with the earlier version released 41 years ago (featuring the voices of Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, George Sanders, and Sterling Holloway among others) are inevitable and perhaps unfair. As I began to watch this sequel, I tried very hard to experience it and then judge it on its own merits. All issues considered, my rating of it is explained as follows: I think it offers pleasant but unexceptional entertainment (Three Stars) and several bonus features that add one Star to my rating.
My guess is that, in general, adults enjoy the special features (other than interactive games such as ?Mowgli?s Jungle Ruins Maze?) more than children do. In the sequel, the plot remains faithful to the beloved Rudyard Kipling novel, this time featuring the voices of John Goodman, Haley Joel Osment, Mae Whitman, and Jim Cummings. Phil Collins provided the voice of Lucky. I watched this film with several of my younger grandchildren, none of whom had seen the 1967 version. Unlike their parents and grandparents, they and other children ages 4-14 seem to think nothing of watching a film they like several times either in a theatre or a DVD of it, whether or not it is a sequel.
Although a sequel offering solid entertainment to ?children of all ages,? I doubt if it will not have the same enduring appeal from one generation to the next as do other feature length animated films produced by Disney (e.g. Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Pinocchio, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) and Pixar (e.g. Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and WALL-E) nor by DreamWorks (e.g. Antz and Shrek). I agree with my grandchildren: it was fun to watch but generates no interest in seeing it again soon. It must join a long line ahead of it.