Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Wild Premiere

This morning while preparing for my BlogTalkRadio show about films based on TV shows, I couldn’t help thinking about the George of the Jungle premiere my husband and I attended a few years ago. Holding a traditional Hollywood premiere wasn’t exciting enough for the adventurous execs at Walt Disney Studios. Instead, they decided to take over San Diego’s Wild Animal Park. Fortunately, Larry and I were among the press invited to this event.

As expected, the film’s buffed-up star, Brendan Fraser, captured most of the media attention. The popular actor appeared to have time for everyone. When I mentioned to him how much the youngsters wanted to see George of the Jungle, he added, “And their parents, too, because they remember this character from the 1960s TV cartoon series.”

After completing the obligatory press line, Larry and I followed director Sam Weisman past the park’s assorted fierce creatures and their brave keepers, over the Congo Fishing Village Bridge, down the Kilimanjaro Backcountry Trail, and finally into the Heart of Africa. A sumptuous buffet awaited all guests at our destination, making the long trek worthwhile, and live African music put us in the right mood for the movie to follow in the Bird Show Amphitheater.

George of the Jungle amused me with its combination of innocent slapstick comedy and sophisticated dialogue. My favorite character, the elephant who thinks he’s a dog, almost stopped the show with his incredible canine-like movements, thanks to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

No doubt about it, those Disney folks throw a great party! They also know how to make entertaining movies, and I think George of the Jungle ranks as one of their best.

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