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Jungle Film - How To Improvise

Jungle Movies"Arrrooouuaaarrrghhhghhh- arroouuaarrghhharroouuaarrghhh!"
—Tarzan (numerable movies)

Introduction

Movie set in the jungle, usually about humans surviving in the hostile environment. More often specifically about one human who is lost in the jungle and learns its ways.

Essence

  • About a human adapting to or developing in the jungle; the adventures he has there; or his or her interactions with the civilization he is from.
  • The man in the jungle usually emerges as a hero and is often high in the jungle ranking.
  • The hero fights threats to the jungle way of life, which can be other animals, natural disasters or, very often, other humans.
  • There are laws of the jungle that we ‘civilized’ humans do not know or follow.
  • The other humans usually call the hero something like jungle man or apeman. The animals, if they speak, may have a more poetic, descriptive or even teasing name for him. Tarzan, for instance, means Whiteskin and Mowgli means frog.

Characteristics

WhereThe Jungle, clearings, villages, rivers. Sometimes the ‘apeman’ will get taken back to civilisation, but mostly the action takes place in the jungle itself.
When Mostly 1800s.
WhoHuman lost in the jungle who wears only a loincloth - sometimes the hero is British aristocracy by birth.
His animal friends are either pet-like (such as Tarzan’s chimpanzee, Cheetah) or advisors and teachers (as in Mowgli’s friends in The Jungle Book); His animal enemies (such as Shere Khan the Tiger in The Jungle Book). Each species has its own characteristics.
Humans (often the bad guys): jungle tribes (often head-hunters or cannibals, but can also be peaceful); hunters; explorers; loggers; daughter of one of them.
WhatFighting animals; rescuing humans and animals; communicating with animals; stock footage of animals running through jungle; being confused by modern society and/or technology; having to choose whether to stay in jungle he knows or go back to civilisation he ‘belongs to;’ swinging on vines; hacking away at the undergrowth; giving warning and rallying cries to the animals.

Examples (from Amazon)

Key subgenre:

Tarzan
 
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